Softball Returns To Action This Weekend

March 19, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Last Tune-Up Before The Pac-10 ...
The 12th-ranked Stanford softball team finished its preseason tournament run with a second place finish at the Speedline Invitational two weeks ago in Florida. This weekend, the Cardinal return home to Smith Family Stadium with two final doubleheaders before starting their Pac-10 Conference schedule. Stanford (21-7) will host San Diego State on Saturday and Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Both contests are slated to begin at 12 p.m.

Scouting The Opponents ...
San Diego State enters Saturday's contest with the Cardinal, winning seven of its last nine games. The Aztecs swept a doubleheader with Nevada, 2-0 and 3-0, to stand at 20-11. Pitcher Bre DeSanta threw the second no-hitter of her career Tuesday, holding a 0.55 ERA and has 102 strikeouts on the season. Jacque Vaca leads the offensive attack, hitting .360 on the year with 17 RBI. Illinois-Chicago will end its eight-game road trip of Northern California at The Farm. The Flames dropped two at the Pacific Mini Tournament on Tuesday and will have doubleheaders with San Jose State and Santa Clara before facing the Cardinal on Sunday.

Cardinal History In The Series ...
Stanford played both San Diego State and Illinois-Chicago last season. The Cardinal defeated the Aztecs 9-0 in the Campbell/Cartier Classic, leading the series record 6-2. Stanford then faced the Flames in last year's first day of the Speedline Invitational, beating them 2-1. The Cardinal has won both contests against Illinois-Chicago.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal dropped one spot from last week's rankings and stand at No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released March 17. All eight Pac-10 teams are featured in the rankings, led by top-ranked UCLA. Arizona stands at No. 2, Washington No. 3 and defending national champion California is ranked sixth. No. 12 Stanford is followed by 13th-ranked Arizona State, No. 19 Oregon and 20th-ranked Oregon State.

Recapping The Speedline Invitational ...
The Cardinal went 7-1 and took second place at the Speedline Invitational in Plant City, Fla. Stanford defeated Coastal Carolina (7-1) and needed extra innings to beat Western Michigan (8-5), behind Catalina Morris ' two-RBI double in the eighth. The Cardinal used 11 strikeouts from Dana Sorensen and Cassi Brangham delivered the game-winning hit scoring Laura Severson in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 1-0 victory over No. 22 South Florida. Stanford then picked up wins over Long Island (7-3) and Illinois (7-6) to finish 5-0 in pool play. Sorensen fanned 13 more and the Cardinal went on to defeat Pacific 4-0 in the first game of the championship bracket. In the semifinal game, Sorensen threw a one-hitter and struck out 14 as Stanford upset No. 4 Washington 3-1 sending them to the title game. Oklahoma State scored three unearned runs in the first inning and the Cardinal could only get one run across as the Cowgirls defeated Stanford 3-1 in the championship game. For her efforts Sorensen was named the Speedline Invitational's Most Valuable Pitcher, finishing with 55 strikeouts and allowing just one earned run. Brangham and Morris also joined Sorensen on the All-Tournament team.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 23 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .388 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's lead-off hitter has also tallied 14 runs, three doubles, eight RBI and holds a .478 on-base percentage. Lappin hit her first career home run against North Carolina at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, a solo shot over the left field fence.

Nyberg Standing Tall ...
At 5-11, senior pitcher Tori Nyberg has registered 16 starts and has nine victories to her name in 2003. Nyberg has a 1.57 ERA, 18 earned runs in 80.1 innings of work. The Belmont, Calif., native has fanned 71 batters and held opponents to a .226 average. At the Stanford Classic, Nyberg fanned a season-high 10 batters against Texas A&M. Last season, Nyberg was Stanford's ace in the circle recording a 26-11 mark with a 1.51 ERA in her first full season as a starter.

Look Who's Back ...
After missing last season due to a knee injury, junior two-time All-American Dana Sorensen saw her first action in more than a year at the ASU Fiesta Bowl Tournament. Sorensen pitched the final inning against UNLV, striking out two batters in her first appearance in 2003. On Feb. 14, Sorensen recorded her first start since Feb. 2, 2002 against Penn State. The San Diego, Calif., native went the distance, striking out eight and allowing only three hits in Stanford's 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions. At the Stanford Classic, she threw her first career no-hitter against No. 12 Georgia (2/28) and fanned 15 batters. She also had a huge weekend at the Speedline Invitational, striking out 55 in 29 innings, including a one-hit 14 k's in the team's upset of Washington (3-1). Sorensen is now 9-1 on the year, holding a team-leading 0.48 ERA, and has struck out 129 batters in 73.2 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has six double-digit strikeout performances.

Upperclassmen Stepping It Up ...
Stanford's senior and junior class of Jessica Allister, Cassi Brangham, Kira Ching and Maureen LeCocq are the heart of the team's lineup. All together, they have recorded 63 of the squad's 105 RBI this season. They also have 10 of the team's 13 home runs and 33 of the 40 doubles. Allister leads the team in RBI (23) and home runs (5), while Ching has a team-leading 10 doubles to her name.

Morris On A Tear ...
Freshman Catalina Morris has quietly become one of Stanford's leading hitters this season. The Sonoita, Ariz., native is second on the team with a .312 average and has four doubles, one home run and 12 RBI to her credit. She has also delivered in the clutch, going 4-for-8 when a runner is on third base. Morris has two game-winning hits thus far in her young career, a single scoring Cassi Brangham for the 2-1 Stanford win over Penn State and most recently a double that plated Elizabeth Bendig and Meghan Sickler in the eighth inning against Western Michigan (8-5).

Cardinal Picked Fourth In Pac-10 Preseason Poll ...
Stanford was tabbed to finish fourth in the conference as selected by the Pac-10 coaches in the annual preseason poll. UCLA, the 2002 conference champion, was picked as the top team in 2003. The Cardinal garnered 30 points to tie California for fourth place. Arizona was chosen to finish second, followed by Washington, Stanford, Cal, Arizona State, Oregon State and Oregon. The Pac-10 placed seven of its eight squads in the NCAA Tournament last season, with four teams advancing to the World Series.

Welcome To The Farm ...
Stanford has a solid freshmen class of four players coming in this season. Infielder Megan Bordelon (Laguna Niguel, CA), shortstop Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA), outfielder Catalina Morris (Sonoita, AZ) and pitcher Laura Severson (Frankfort, IL) will all see their first action in the Cardinal and White this spring. Stanford also welcomes sophomore outfielder Katherine Hoffman (Kansas City, MO), who joins the squad after running for the Cardinal cross country team in 2000.

The Rittman File ...
John Rittman begins his seventh season at the helm of the Stanford women's softball program after being named head coach on July 12, 1996. Rittman's 2002 squad finished 44-20 overall and earned a sixth place finish in the Pac-10 at 7-14. The 2001 season was the most impressive campaign under Rittman's tenure, as the Cardinal finished with its best single-season overall record at 56-16-1. Rittman, the 2001 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year, picked up his 250th career victory in Stanford's 9-1 win over Arizona State on May 3, 2002 and has accumulated a 254-120-1 overall mark while with the Cardinal. Prior to being named head coach at Stanford, Rittman spent four seasons as the assistant coach at Washington.

Categories:
Now on Pac-12 Network
12:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder
Close