Stanford Hosts Oregon, Oregon State This Weekend

April 3, 2003

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Back To Pac-10 Play ...
The 13th-ranked Cardinal got a spilt at Sacramento State on Wednesday in a non-conference doubleheader, and returns to Pac-10 Conference play this weekend to face the Oregon schools. Stanford (27-12) will start things off on Friday night when they take on the Ducks at 7 p.m. and continue league action with single games on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) against Oregon State.

Scouting The Opponents ...
Oregon holds a 17-9 overall record heading to The Farm on Friday. The Ducks are 1-3 in the Pac-10 after getting a 10-2 win over Oregon State, but fell to Arizona State 2-0 and Arizona 4-1 and 8-0 last weekend. Lynsey Haij (.352) and Beth Boskovich (.333) lead the Duck offense, while four other players have nine RBI to their name. Freshman Amy Harris (6-6) has a 0.90 ERA and has tossed 83 strikeouts this year, which is currently sixth all-time for a freshman at Oregon.

Oregon State continues its long stint on the road to the Bay Area. The Beavers will play a non-conference doubleheader at Santa Clara on Thursday and face California on Friday afternoon before heading to The Farm on Saturday. By the end of the week, Oregon State (22-16) will have played 42 of its first 43 games on the road. Shelly Prochaska is hitting a team-high .380, while teammate Brynnen Guthrie is right behind with a .377 average. Nine different Beavers have homered this year, which is second in the conference. Monica Hoffman is 16-10 in the circle with a 2.06 ERA.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal dropped one spot from last week's rankings and stand at No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released April 1. Oregon State dropped out of the poll but the rest of the Pac-10 teams are featured in the rankings, including the top three teams, led by top-ranked UCLA. Arizona stands at No. 2, Washington No. 3 and defending national champion California is ranked seventh. No. 12 Arizona State is followed by 13th-ranked Stanford and No. 21 Oregon.

Recapping Wednesday's Game In Sacramento ...
Stanford took a break from Pac-10 Conference play on Wednesday afternoon, splitting a doubleheader at Sacramento State. The Cardinal won the first contest 5-1, but dropped the nightcap 6-5 to stand at 27-12 overall. Catalina Morris started the first game with a double and advanced to third on Jessica Allister's sacrifice bunt. Cassi Brangham delivered a single that scored the game's first run. The Hornets came back to tie the game, but Kira Ching recorded a base hit in the top of the fifth that drove in Lauren Lappin to retake the lead. Stanford added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Brangham collected her third hit of the game in the seventh and later scored when Allister's hit was mishandled by the Sacramento State shortstop, plating Stanford's final run of the game. Dana Sorensen picked up her 12th win of the season to move to 12-4 on the year. She went six innings, scattering three hits and fanning 10 Hornet batters. In the nightcap, Stanford jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Allister's sixth home run of the season over the left field fence also scoring Ching who had earlier tripled. The Cardinal added one more in the third then Sacramento State stormed back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Ching recorded her second sacrifice fly in the game putting Stanford up 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning. In the sixth, the Hornets erupted for three runs to hold a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh inning. Stanford fought back in the seventh and came within one run when Lappin smashed a ball over the fence for her second home run of the season, but it was not enough. Tori Nyberg took the loss for Stanford, falling to 12-6. Lappin led the 10-hit offense, going 3-for-4. Brangham chipped in two hits, including a double.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 34 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .353 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's hitter has also tallied 18 runs, five doubles, nine RBI and holds a .461 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 and since has two on the year.

Nyberg Standing Tall ...
At 5-11, senior pitcher Tori Nyberg has registered 21 starts and has 12 victories to her name in 2003. Nyberg has a 1.77 ERA, 28 earned runs in 111.0 innings of work. The Belmont, Calif., native has fanned 92 batters and held opponents to a .221 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) and earned the tournament's Most Valuable Pitcher honor. Last weekend against the Huskies (3/30) she recorded her second no-hitter of the year, finishing with 11 strikeouts. Sorensen is now 12-4 on the year, holding a team-low 0.81 ERA, and has struck out 188 batters in 111.2 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has 10 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 75 of the squad's 132 RBI this season. They also have 12 of the team's 18 home runs and 28 of the 54 doubles. Allister leads the team with 25 RBI, followed by Brangham's 24. Allister also has six home runs and 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 .330 average and has six doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI to her credit. She has also delivered in the clutch, going 4-for-9 when a runner is on third base. Morris also has two game-winning hits thus far in her young career and leads the team with 11 stolen bases. She posted a team-best seven-game hitting streak from Feb. 14-22, and on the season has hit safely in 24 of Stanford's 39 games.

Nelson's Breaking Out ...
Sophomore Leah Nelson came through as a designated player last weekend, going 2-for-4 in two contests. Against Washington on Saturday, Nelson recorded her second double of the season and the following day smashed a solo home run (her first of the year) to help the Cardinal defeat the Huskies. She also hit safely in both of Stanford's games at Sacramento State on Wednesday. On the season the Oakland, Calif., native is hitting .235 with five RBI.

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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