No. 10 Stanford Faces No. 18 Fresno State On Wednesday

March 23, 2004

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Cardinal Take On Fresno State Before Hosting Stanford Classic: The 10th-ranked Stanford softball team (20-7, 0-0 Pac-10) will face 18th-ranked Fresno State in a doubleheader at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium at 5 p.m. before hosting the Stanford Classic, March 25-28. Participants include BYU (14-7), UC Riverside (8-24), Hawaii (16-16), Illinois (16-9-1) and Stanford. The Cardinal will open tournament play against Hawaii on Friday, March 26 at 4 p.m. then take on UC Riverside at 6 p.m.

Last Time Out: The Cardinal went 2-2 over the weekend at the Stanford Round Robin Tournament, splitting matchups with Illinois-Chicago and UC Santa Barbara. Meghan Sickler hit .429 for the tourney, with three doubles and two RBI. Leah Nelson hit .364 with a team-leading three RBI. Both Dana Sorensen and Laura Severson went 1-1 for the weekend in the circle.

Around The Pac-10: Freshman Jackie Rinehart ranks fourth in the conference in batting average (.459), eighth in on base percentage (.489), and 10th in hits (39) ... Sophomore Catalina Morris is first in triples (3) and tied for first in hit by pitches (6) ... Katherine Hoffman is tied for sixth in sac bunts (5) ... Leah Nelson is tied for fifth in sac flies (2) ... Jessica Allister is tied for sixth in HBP (4) ... Senior Dana Sorensen is seventh in strikeouts (111), third in saves (3), eighth in innings pitched (97.2), eighth in wins (11), and eighth in appearances (19) ... Sophomore Laura Severson is sixth in opponent batting average (.167).

About Fresno State: The Bulldogs are coached by Margie Wright, who is in her 19th season at the helm ... Wright picked up her 1,100th NCAA Division I at home against Long Island on March 16 ... Fresno State went 5-2 last week after sweeping Long Island at home (5-0, 8-0 in 5 inn.) and going 3-2 at the Kia Klassic with wins over No. 7 Oklahoma (2-1), Illinois (3-0) and No. 13 Pacific (11-2, 5 inn.) while dropping games to No. 1 Arizona (7-0) and No. 4 Florida State (3-0) ...This will be the 19th and 20th meetings between Fresno State and Stanford as the Bulldogs lead the series, 12-6 ... The two teams split last year in Fresno, Calif., (2-0, 0-1).

About Hawaii: The Wahine enter with a 16-16 overall record ...They are coached by Bob Coolen, who has been at the helm since 1992 ... Pitcher Shannon Tabion leads the pitching staff wtih a 1.78 ERA (11-5, 77 K's) ... Stacey Ritter (.372) leads the squad with 32 hits while Tyleen Tausaga (.313) has a team-leading 24 RBI ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Wahine, 2-1 with the last meeting taking place in 1997.

About BYU: Brigham Young University enters the week 14-7 overall under second year head coach Gordon Eakin (50-24) ... The Cougars are batting .287 as a team and led individually by Kate Walker, who is leading the squad with a .346 batting average. Walker leads the team in home runs (5) and RBI (15) ... Niki Andersen is the ace of the staff owning an 8-3 record with a 1.93 ERA ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Cougars, 2-1 ... The two teams met last in 2002, splitting a doubleheader (W, 6-3; L, 5-4).

About UC Riverside: UC Riverside enters the week 8-24 overall under first year head coach Connie Miner ... The Highlanders are batting .237 as a team and is led by Melissa Sanchez, who is the only player batting over the .300 line ... In the circle, UCR has been mainly starting Janell Jackson (3-7, 4.33 ERA) and Kimberly Dillon (5-9, 4.97 ERA) ... Stanford won the only previous meeting with the Highlanders in 2002 (W, 13-5).

About Illinois: The University of Illinois enters the week 16-9-1 overall under fourth year head coach Terri Sullivan (151-90-2) ... The Fighting Illini host Drake in a doubleheader Wednesday prior to the tournament ... UI is batting .287 as a club led individually by Rachelle Coriddi, who owns the team's highest batting average at .407 ... Amanda Fortune is the ace of the staff with a 10-5 record and 1.27 ERA ... Stanford won the only previous meeting with the Illini in 2003 (W, 7-6).

Up Next: The Cardinal open conference play, hosting Oregon State at 7 p.m. on April 2 ... Stanford then takes on Oregon at 2 p.m. on Saturday and again on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Catch Me If You Can: In 27 games this season, the Cardinal are 28 of 36 in stolen bases with junior outfielder Katherine Hoffman leading the team with nine on the year. Jackie Rinehart has six and Catalina Morris has five. Eight different players have at least one stolen base on the Stanford team.

This and That: Jackie Rinehart leads the team with 11 multiple hit games ... Lauren Lappin is tops on the squad with five mulitiple RBI games ... Meghan Sickler is currently on a season-high 11 game hitting streak ... Jessica Allister has hit safely in the past four consecutive games.

Notes From The Dugout: Freshman Jackie Rinehart leads the team with 39 hits ... Sophomore Catalina Morris has proved to be a 'triple threat' - the centerfielder leads the squad with three triples and has 11 extra base hits ... The Cardinal has outscored its opponents 109-48 ... Morris also leads the team in hit by pitches with six ... The Cardinal have outscored its opponents 19-0 in the second inning ... Senior pitcher Dana Sorensen leads the staff with a 1.36 ERA and is 11-4 in the circle with 3 saves ... Stanford has posted 11 shutouts this season including two last week ... The Cardinal have played seven games where they have collected 10 or more hits (season high was 14 vs. CS Northridge) ... Rinehart and Lappin lead the team with 21 runs scored.

Sorensen Moves Into Sixth On Pac-10 Top 10 List For Career K's: Senior pitcher Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA) has already left her mark on the Cardinal record book. Sorensen holds the school record for career victories with 82 and career strikeouts with 907. She also holds the top three spots for lowest ERA in a single season. Her 907 K's ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in career strikeouts surpassing Washington's Jennifer Spediacci (1997-00). Sorensen needs just 10 more K's to surpass Arizona's Becky Lemke (1998-01) for fifth. She is 11-4 on the year with a 1.36 ERA and a team-leading 111 strikeouts.

Home Sweet Home: Stanford will be spending a lot of time in the friendly confines of the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium during the 2004 season as they host four tournaments on the Cardinal campus. The team opened the year with two home tournaments in February and host two more this month before conference play begins.

Head Coach John Rittman: Cardinal head coach John Rittman, now in his eighth year on The Farm, will be an assistant coach for the 2004 USA Softball team, set to compete in the Athens Summer Olympics. Rittman has compiled a 295-146-1 overall record at Stanford. He has led the Cardinal to six consecutive NCAA postseason appearances during his tenure.

Top That...: The Stanford softball squad will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the nation as all eight conference teams are ranked in the preseason top 25. Four Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top five (UCLA, California, Arizona, Washington). In addition, the Cardinal will take on #6 Alabama, #16 CS Fullerton, #21 Fresno State and #22 Oklahoma State.

Listen To Stanford Softball On KZSU: The Stanford softball games this weekend at the Stanford Invitational will be available on KZSU (internet only) at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu. Sean Bruich will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties.

Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll: After winning the national title last season, UCLA has been selected by the Pac-10 Conference softball coaches as the Conference's top team in 2004. The Bruins received 48 points, including six first place votes. In second place, Arizona, last year's Pac-10 Champion, earned 44 points, including the other two first place votes. California finished third with 36 points, while Washington and Stanford finished fourth and fifth with 30 and 22 points, respectively. Rounding out the rest of the poll was Arizona State with 19 points, Oregon with 13 and Oregon State with 12 points.

Lappin Tabbed Alternate For 2004 USA Softball Team: Sophomore Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA) was one of three alternates chosen for the 2004 USA Softball Team set to compete in Athens, Greece this summer at the '04 Summer Olympic Games. The 19-year-old Lappin makes her first appearance among the national team ranks. During the 2003 season, the shortstop/catcher led the USA Softball Elite squad to the gold medal at the Canada Cup and a sweep of Olympic bronze medalist Australia in the Pacific Challenge.

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