Stanford Falls In Extra Innings At No. 2 UCLA, 3-2
April 27, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. - For the second consecutive day, the 16th-ranked Stanford softball team dropped a one-run heartbreaker at No. 2 UCLA. This time Natasha Watley hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Bruins defeated the Cardinal 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles.
With the loss, Stanford stands at 35-20 overall and 5-10 in the Pac-10 with two weekends remaining in conference play. UCLA improves to 39-5 overall and 11-3 in the league.
Both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings, but the Cardinal jumped on the board first in the third. Pinch runner Heather Shook (Whittier, CA) scored the game's first run on Catalina Morris ' (Sonoita, AZ) sacrifice fly to left field. UCLA followed with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning loading the bases with no outs. Stanford starter Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA) walked Caitlin Benyi, scoring Monique Mejia for the 1-1 tie. Sorensen then got Tairia Mims to line into a double play and Claire Sua to fly out to Cardinal catcher Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, TX) to end the inning.
Allister gave Stanford the 2-1 lead when she led off the fifth with a solo home run to left field. The Bruins answered right back with homer from Watley in the bottom of the inning.
Stanford threatened in the sixth when Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA) smashed a double off the wall in right center, but Leah Nelson (Oakland, CA) was gunned down at the plate trying to score from first. UCLA starter Keira Goerl got Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, CA) to miss on the third strike and end the Cardinal rally.
The game went extra frames when either team could push a run across in the seventh. Stanford got an opportunity in the top of the eighth when Nelson walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch with one out. Megan Bordelon (Laguna Niguel, CA) entered the game to pinch run for Nelson and advanced to third on Ching's third hit of the contest. The Cardinal had runners on second and third with one out, but Goerl got both LeCocq and Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, CA) to pop up and end the inning.
Watley then took a 1-1 pitch from Sorensen over the center field wall to win the game for UCLA in the bottom of the eighth.
For the second straight game, Stanford outhit the Bruins 6-3 but stranded nine base runners to UCLA's four. Ching led all hitters with a 3-for-4 outing, including a double. Sorensen took the loss for Stanford (17-8), striking out 12 Bruin batters and scattering three hits.
Stanford will get a break from conference play on Wednesday, April 30 when they host Saint Mary's in a single game that will begin at 7 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium.
No. 16 Stanford 001 010 00 2-6-1No. 2 UCLA 001 101 01 3-3-1