No. 16 Stanford Hosts Cal Poly

April 8, 2003

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The Mustangs Are Coming To Town ...
After a tough weekend in Pac-10 Conference play, going 1-2 against the Oregon schools, the 16th-ranked Stanford softball team will host Cal Poly in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 9. Competition is set to beginning at 3 p.m. at the Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal will then hit the road to Arizona to open their conference road season. Stanford will first make a stop in Tucson to face the top-ranked Wildcats and then travel to Tempe for single games against Arizona State on Saturday and Sunday.

Scouting The Opponent ...
Cal Poly enters Wednesday's with a 17-24 overall mark, after going 1-2 against UC Riverside to drop its first Big West series of the year last weekend. The Mustangs have gone 3-3 in their last six contests, including two wins over Pacific. Roni Sparrey leads the Cal Poly offense, hitting a .315 clip with a team-high six doubles and 27 runs scored. Chelsy Stoufer has 29 RBI on the season with two home runs. Pitching duties have been split between Jamie Gelbart, Eva Nelson and Cassi Vanderbeek, all combining for a 3.76 ERA with 124 strikeouts. Cal Poly is coached by Lisa Boyer, who is in her 15th season at the helm of the Mustang program.

Stanford is 4-2 all-time versus Cal Poly. The two teams most recently met in 2001, when the Cardinal took both games, 2-1 and 5-3.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal dropped three spots from last week's rankings and stand at No. 16 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 Arizona. UCLA stands at No. 2, Washington No. 3 and defending national champion California is ranked sixth. No. 12 Arizona State is followed by 16th-ranked Stanford and No. 22 Oregon.

Recapping Last Weekend's Games ...
Alyssa Laux delivered a two-out single in the 10th inning as Oregon defeated Stanford 3-2 on a chilly Friday night at the Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the first inning. Catalina Morris walked and scored on Lauren Lappin's double to left center. With two outs in the second, Oregon took a 2-1 lead on a two-run homer but Stanford came right back and tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the inning when Elizabeth Bendig hit her first career home run over the left field fence. Dana Sorensen took the loss, but finished with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings. For the second straight night Stanford fell in extra innings, this time Oregon State erupted for 10 runs in the top of the ninth to record a 15-5 win over the Cardinal on Saturday night. The Beavers jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the game, but Morris smashed a solo home run to make it 3-1. Stanford then got four hits that resulted in two runs and a tied ball game in the bottom of the third. Jessica Allister and Bendig each recorded RBI singles to tie the game at 3-3. The Beavers regained the lead in the sixth off a two-run home run to make it 5-3 Oregon State. The Cardinal tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Cassi Brangham drilled her second homer of the year, also scoring Lappin who had earlier doubled to send the game into extra innings. Oregon State then exploded for 10 runs off of eight hits, including two home runs, to take a 15-5 victory. On Sunday Stanford used 11 hits in just five innings to defeat Oregon State 10-1. The Cardinal wasted no time getting its offense started when Morris led off with a double to left and was sacrificed to third by Lappin. Brangham delivered a sacrifice fly to center plating Morris and giving the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. The bats stayed alive in the second inning when Lappin singled to score Michelle Thiry with one out. Brangham picked up two more RBI with her base hit that scored Meghan Sickler and Morris. Kira Ching executed a squeeze bunt with Lappin for Stanford's fourth run of the inning to make it 5-0 Cardinal. Stanford continued to tack on runs in the third, highlighted by Lappin's bases clearing triple to center for a 9-0 Cardinal advantage. The Cardinal won 10-1 in the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule. Sorensen got her 13th win of the season and Stanford finished with 11 hits by seven different players.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 37 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .381 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's hitter has also tallied 22 runs, seven doubles, 13 RBI and holds a .444 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 22 starts and has 12 victories to her name in 2003. Nyberg has a 1.93 ERA in 112.2 innings of work. The Belmont, Calif., native has fanned 93 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) and earned the tournament's Most Valuable Pitcher honor. Against the Huskies (3/30) she recorded her second no-hitter of the year, finishing with 11 strikeouts. Sorensen is now 13-5 on the year, holding a team-low 0.94 ERA, and has struck out 203 batters in 126.2 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has 11 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 83 of the squad's 149 RBI this season. They also have 13 of the team's 21 home runs and 30 of the 59 doubles. Brangham leads the team with 29 RBI, followed by Allister's 26. 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 .339 average and has seven doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI to her credit. She has also delivered in the clutch, going 5-for-11 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 27 of Stanford's 42 games.

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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