Cardinal Hosts Doubleheader With San Jose State

April 15, 2003

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Hosting The Spartans ...
Coming off a successful weekend in Arizona, the 15th-ranked Stanford softball will host a doubleheader with San Jose State on Wednesday, April 16. The first contest is slated for 5 p.m. The Cardinal (32-15) have won five of their last six games, including a 4-3 upset at top-ranked Arizona last weekend. Stanford will also host Cal in a single game on Friday night beginning at 7 p.m.

Scouting The Opponent ...
San Jose State stands at 21-26 overall entering the doubleheader at The Farm. The Spartans have lost five straight games, including 7-2, 3-2 decisions at Louisiana Tech last weekend. Becca Baldridge is the only San Jose State starter batting over .300, hitting .314 on the season with six doubles and a team-leading 18 RBI. Miranda Gonzales and Veronica Ramo have each contributed 13 RBI. Carol Forbes has led the Spartans in the circle with a 15-11 mark and a team-low 1.29 ERA in 147 innings of work. San Jose State is coached by Dee Dee Enabenter-Omidiji who is in her third year with the Spartans. Since 1994, the all-time series between the teams is tied at 10-10. Last year at San Jose, the Cardinal won the first game 10-2 but the Spartans got the nightcap 1-0.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal moved up one spot from last week's rankings and stand at No. 15 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released April 15. 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 10th. No. 12 Arizona State is followed by 15th-ranked Stanford and No. 20 Oregon.

Recapping Last Weekend's Games ...
Catalina Morris hit two solo home runs in the first and second innings and Dana Sorensen struck out 12 batters to lead Stanford to a 4-3 upset over top-ranked Arizona last Friday night in front of 2,237 fans at Hillenbrand Stadium. The victory marks only the third all-time against the Wildcats for the Cardinal, who also handed Arizona its first Pac-10 defeat. Morris got Stanford on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-2 pitch over the center field wall for her fourth home run of the season. The Cardinal then got consecutive base hits from Lauren Lappin and Cassi Brangham to put runners at the corners. With two outs, Elizabeth Bendig delivered a double to left center to plate Lappin for the 2-0 Stanford lead in the first inning. With two outs in the second, Morris hit her second homer of the game off Wildcat starter Alicia Hollowell to extend Stanford's lead 3-0. Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning to get the Wildcats within 3-2 of the Cardinal. Maureen LeCocq answered back in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to start the inning, marking her second home run of the year and giving Stanford a 4-2 advantage. Lovie Jung hit her 21st home run of the year to lead off the bottom of the seventh, making it 4-3 Stanford.

Stanford could only manage three hits as they suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 12 Arizona State last Saturday night. LeCocq tied the game with her third home run of the season, and second in two days, in the third inning to make it 1-1. Stanford starter Tori Nyberg retired the Sun Devils in order through the fourth inning until Jennifer Forner scored on Adriana Garcia's sacrifice fly to center field, giving Arizona State the 2-1 win.

Home runs from Morris and Leah Nelson and a two-hit pitching performance from Sorensen led Stanford to a 4-1 victory over Arizona State on Sunday. Both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings, but in the top of the third Meghan Sickler led off with a base hit to left field. Morris then followed with her sixth home run of the season and her third of the weekend to put Stanford up 2-0. Stanford added another score in the fifth. Lappin recorded a two-out single to center and two pitches later stole second. Cassi Bragham lined a single to right center, plating Lappin for the 3-0 Cardinal advantage. Stanford added one more run in the seventh when Nelson smashed a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence, marking her second homer of the season.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 42 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .395 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's hitter has also tallied 27 runs, eight doubles, 14 RBI and holds a .458 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. She currently has a 12-game hitting streak, dating back to March 29 vs. Washington.

Nyberg Standing Tall ...
At 5-11, senior pitcher Tori Nyberg has registered 24 starts and has 13 victories to her name in 2003. Nyberg has a 1.87 ERA in 123.2 innings of work. The Belmont, Calif., native has fanned 98 batters and held opponents to a .221 average. At the Stanford Classic, Nyberg fanned a season-high 10 batters against Texas A&M. She is also flexing a conference-best 9.3 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. 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 15-5 on the year, holding a team-low 1.03 ERA, and has struck out 231 batters in 143.1 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has 12 double-digit strikeout performances, which leads the Pac-10 and holds a conference-best 11.22 strikeouts per game average.

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 94 of the squad's 169 RBI this season. They also have 15 of the team's 27 home runs and 31 of the 65 doubles. Brangham leads the team with 30 RBI, followed by Allister's 29. Allister also has six home runs and Ching has a team-leading 11 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 .355 average and has nine doubles, six home runs and 23 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. Earlier in the season she posted a seven-game hitting streak in February, and most recently hit two home runs at Arizona and one vs. Arizona State last weekend. Morris has also hit safely in 31 of Stanford's 47 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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