Cardinal Host Santa Clara, Travel To Washington And UCLA

April 21, 2003

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Looking To Get Back On Track ...
After a disappointing weekend series against rival California last week, the Stanford softball team will hope to get back on track with games versus Santa Clara, Washington and UCLA. The Cardinal will host the Broncos in a midweek doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday evening and then follow with a trip to Seattle for a single game against the Huskies on Friday night. Stanford continues its road trip to Los Angeles with games on Saturday and Sunday at Easton Stadium. After winning five of their last six games, the Cardinal dropped three to Cal to stand at 32-18 overall and 4-8 in the Pac-10 Conference.

Scouting The Opponents ...
Santa Clara was won four consecutive games, sweeping doubleheaders against San Diego last weekend. The Broncos are 24-19 overall and sport a 5-5 mark on the road. Jessica Clee is leading the Santa Clara offensive attack with a .305 batting average with six doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI. Jenny Brown has eight doubles and a team-high 20 runs batted in to her name in 2003. Jaime Forman-Lau is leading the Broncos in the circle, with a 15-10 mark. She has 212 strikeouts and a 1.41 ERA in 174 innings of work. Santa Clara is coached by Marcy Crouch, a 1999 Stanford grad, who is in her fourth season at the helm of the Bronco program.

Washington is 37-7-1 overall and 6-5 in the Pac-10. The Huskies got five win over Arizona State, Oregon and Oregon State, but suffered 5-2 and 10-0 losses at UCLA last weekend. Kristen Rivera and Kathy Fiske are both batting over .350 for Washington, with Rivera tallying a team-leading 17 home runs and 51 RBI. Jaime Clark has also chipped in 11 home runs and 33 RBI to the Husky offense. Tia Bollinger heads the pitching staff with a 1.28 ERA, a 20-5 record and has 152 strikeouts in 175.2 innings of work. Earlier in the year the two teams met at the Speedline Invitational in Tampa, Florida, with Stanford getting the 3-1 victory. At Smith Family Stadium in March, the squads split games. Washington took the Saturday night game 6-0, while the Cardinal came back on Sunday to win 4-0 behind Dana Sorensen's no-hitter.

UCLA dropped a contest at Oregon two weeks ago, but have rebounded to take victories over the Ducks and beat Washington (5-2, 10-0) last weekend. Natasha Watley is hitting a team-high .507 on the season with seven doubles, three triples, six home runs and 39 RBI. Tairia Mims is right behind her with a .484 average and has hit in 48 Bruin base runners. Eight different UCLA players have hit a home run this season, led by Mins' 14 and Claire Sua's 11. Keira Goerl have limited opponents to a .112 average and has fanned 234 in 200 innings. Goerl (26-5) and Michelle Turner (10-0) have combined for a 0.68 ERA. Earlier in the year, UCLA defeated Stanford at Smith Stadium 5-0 despite 12 strikeouts from Sorensen.

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 ...
Stanford outhit its opponent 5-3, but could not recover from a two-run home run by California's Courtney Scott giving the Golden Bears a 2-1 victory over the Cardinal on Friday night. Stanford freshman Catalina Morris led all hitters with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. The game was tied at 0-0 until the fifth inning when Scott hit a one out two-run home run over the left field fence for the 2-0 Cal lead. Stanford pulled within one run when Morris recorded her third single of the night to start the sixth inning. Lauren Lappin walked, but was out at second on Cassi Brangham's fielder's choice. With one out Kira Ching delivered a fly ball that scored Morris for the Cardinal's lone run of the game. Dana Sorensen took the loss for Stanford, falling to 15-6. In the complete game she scattered three hits and fanned nine Cal batters.

Stanford could only manage one run in two defensive battles at California, suffering 1-0 and 2-1 losses in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon. In the first contest, California jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Cardinal could not push a run across in the sixth or the seventh innings, despite a lead off single by Heather Shook to start the sixth. Tori Nyberg went the distance for Stanford, but took the loss to fall to 13-8.

The Golden Bears struck first on the scoreboard in the first inning of the nightcap. With runners on first and second, Veronica Nelson delivered an RBI single plating Kaleo Eldredge for the 1-0 Cal lead. Stanford went hitless through the first four innings. Following a Katherine Hoffman walk in the fifth, Morris smashed a triple to right center scoring Hoffman and tying the game at 1-1. Elizabeth Bendig got on base due to a Cal error, but the Cardinal could not take advantage in the top of the seventh. The Golden Bears recorded consecutive base hits in the bottom half and Vicky Galindo came through with a single up the middle to score the game-winning run for California, giving them the sweep..

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in only her first 45 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .378 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 .447 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 had a 12-game hitting streak from March 29 vs. Washington to April 13 and has tallied 17 multiple hit games. In conference play, Lappin is also hitting a team-high .389 with three doubles.

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 15-7 on the year, holding a team-low 1.12 ERA, and has struck out 249 batters in 156.1 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 11.28 strikeouts per game average. Nationally she ranks fourth with her strikeouts per seven innings 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 95 of the squad's 171 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 .356 average and has nine doubles, six home runs and 24 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 two weekends ago. Morris has also hit safely in 33 of Stanford's 50 games.

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