Cardinal Travel To Fresno State For A Midweek Doubleheader

March 25, 2003

Stanford, Calif. -

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Midweek Doubleheader Sends Cardinal To Fresno ...
The 12th-ranked Stanford softball team has won three of its last four games and will travel down to Fresno State for a doubleheader with the Bulldogs on Wednesday. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Bulldog Diamond, marking the first away contest for the Cardinal this season. Stanford (24-8) will get in two more games before facing top-ranked UCLA and No. 2 Washington this weekend.

Scouting The Opponent ...
Last week at Bulldog Diamond, Fresno State picked up six wins, four shutouts, with doubleheader sweeps over Long Island, CS Northridge and San Diego State to stand at 15-14 overall. The Bulldogs, 11-5 at home, are 1-7 against top-25 opponents. Fresno State has three players batting over .300, led by freshman Christina Clark's .340 average with five doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 19 RBI. Sophomore Jamie Southern holds a 9-8 record in the circle with a 0.89 ERA and 147 strikeouts. Fresno is coached by Margie Wright, who is in her 18th season at the helm of the Bulldog softball program.

Cardinal History In The Series ...
In the all-time series between Stanford and Fresno State, the Bulldogs hold an 11-5 edge. However, the Cardinal has captured five of the last six meetings including a doubleheader sweep last year at Smith Family Stadium. Stanford shutout the Bulldogs, 5-0 and 1-0 in the nightcap.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal stayed at the same spot from last week's rankings and stand at No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released March 24. All eight Pac-10 teams are featured in the rankings, including the top three teams, led by top-ranked UCLA. Washington stands at No. 2, Arizona No. 3 and defending national champion California is ranked seventh. No. 12 Stanford is followed by 13th-ranked Arizona State, No. 19 Oregon and 22nd-ranked Oregon State.

Recapping Last Weekend ...
The Cardinal won three of four contest in their final weekend of non-conference games. Stanford split with San Diego State, dropping the first game 2-0 but rebounded to take the nightcap 3-0 last Saturday. Dana Sorensen took the loss, pitching the complete game, striking out 11 and scattering five hits. Catalina Morris led the Cardinal offense, going 2-for-3 at the plate, while Maureen LeCocq went 2-for-4 in the first game. Tori Nyberg got the win against the Aztecs in the circle and Cassi Brangham accounted for most of the offense going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI in Stanford's win. Morris powered the Cardinal offense, going a combined 4-for-8 with a triple, home run and three RBI as Stanford swept visiting Illinois-Chicago 5-0 and 6-1 on Sunday afternoon. Elizabeth Bendig was 2-for-2 in the first contest and Sorensen got the win to move to 10-2, going five innings and striking out seven. Kira Ching smacked a solo home run in the first inning and Stanford never looked back en route to its 24th win of the year. Nyberg picked up her 11th win of the year, pitching five innings and striking out five. Lauren Lappin and Jessica Allister each went 2-for-3 to head the Stanford offense.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 27 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .367 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's hitter has also tallied 15 runs, four doubles, eight RBI and holds a .451 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 18 starts and has 11 victories to her name in 2003. Nyberg has a 1.36 ERA, 18 earned runs in 92.1 innings of work. The Belmont, Calif., native has fanned 82 batters and held opponents to a .214 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 10-2 on the year, holding a team-low 0.49 ERA, and has struck out 147 batters in 85.2 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has seven 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 68 of the squad's 118 RBI this season. They also have 11 of the team's 15 home runs and 26 of the 46 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 .341 average and has four doubles, two home runs and 15 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.

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