No. 4 Cardinal Host Stanford Invitational This Weekend

Feb. 23, 2005

Cardinal Host Stanford Invitational II: The fourth-ranked Stanford softball team (11-1, 0-0 Pac-10), return to the friendly confines of Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium to host the Stanford Invitational II, February 25-27. Joining the Cardinal will be Auburn (14-4). Alabama-Birmingham (7-6), UC Davis (2-10), Sacramento State (5-3) and Texas Tech (3-4). Stanford will open with UC Davis on Friday, February 25, at 5 p.m.

Michelle Smith Picks Up Second Pac-10 Player Of The Week Honor: Stanford freshman third baseman Michelle Smith has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Softball Player of the Week, for Feb. 15-21, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. Smith, from Agoura Hills, Calif., hit .429 (6-of-14) over the weekend, with four home runs, seven RBI and four runs scored in victories over Hofstra, Jacksonville, Seton Hall, South Florida and Florida A&M. She hit two home runs against host South Florida in a 6-4 Cardinal win. Smith led the team with 18 total bases and a 1.286 slugging percentage. She was perfect in the field with three putouts and 15 assists. On the year, Smith leads the Cardinal with seven home runs in 11 games.

About UC Davis: The Aggies (2-10) are coached by Karen Matteson who is in her first season at the helm of the program ... They are led by Jessica Hancock (.281, 9 H, 4 RBI) and Megan Turman (.263, 10 H, 2 RBI) ... In the circle, Hancock is 1-3 with a 1.29 ERA and 28 K's ... The two team are tied 3-3 all time with their last meeting taking place in 1996.

About UAB: The Blazers (7-6) are coached by Maria Townsend, who is in her sixth year at the helm ... UAB is led by Holly Krzan (.280, 7 H, 4 RBI) and Chelsea McCall (.270, 10 H, 2 SB) ... In the circle for the Blazers will be Erica Mascarenas (4-0, 1.40 ERA, 22 Ks) along with Jennifer Nelson (2-2, 2.88 ERA, 19 Ks) and Amanda Antonovich (0-3, 3.50 ERA, 6 Ks ... This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

About Texas Tech: The Red Raiders (3-4) are coached by Teresa Wilson, who is in her first year at the helm of the program ... The team is led by Kelly Rhyne (.444, 8 H, 6 RBI) and Jennifer Corkin (.400, 8 H, 4 RBI) ... In the circle, the Red Raiders are led by Erin Crawford (1-1, 3.68 ERA, 18 Ks) and Julie Hauck (0-2, 4.35 ERA, 6 Ks) ... Stanford holds a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series with Texas Tech ... The last time the two teams met was in 2003, when the Cardinal won, 7-0.

About Auburn: The Tigers (14-4) are coached by Tina Deese, who is in her ninth season ... The team is led by Holly Currie (.417, 20 H, 21 RBI) and Paige Jones (.388, 19 H, 10 RBI) ... In the circle, the Tigers are led by Holly Currie (6-3, 1.06 ERA, 68 Ks) and Beth DiPietro (6-1, 1.42 ERA, 43 Ks) ... Stanford and Auburn have met only one time before, in 1999, and the Cardinal was victorious.

About Sacramento State: The Hornets (5-3) are coached by Kathy Strahan, who is in her 13th season ... The team is led by Lindy Winkler (.400, 10 H, 1 2B) and Ashley Dawson (.313, 5 H, 1 2B) ... In the circle, the Hornets are led by Brianne Ferguson (3-1, 0.52 ERA, 26 Ks) and Nikki Cinque (2-1, 1.91 ERA 11 Ks) ... Stanford leads the all-time series, 15-5 ... The two teams played a double-header last year in which the Cardinal won, 4-0 and 2-0.

Last Week: The Cardinal won the USF/Wilson Invitational, going 5-0. Stanford posted wins over Jacksonville (W, 2-1), Seton Hall (W, 4-1) South Florida (W, 6-4) and Florida A&M (W, 8-0). Meghan Sickler hit .625 (5-for-8) with five RBI, two doubles and a homerun while Michelle Smith hit .429 (6-for-14) with four homeruns and seven RBI. Freshman pitcher Lauren Nydam went 3-0 with a save, postin a 0.00 ERA over 11.2 innings of work with eight K's.

Smith Digs The Long Ball: Freshman Michelle Smith (Agoura Hills, CA) has started off 2005 with a bang. The third baseman has hit a conference-leading seven homeruns in 12 games played. She leads the team with a 1.233 slugging percentage and has contributed 14 RBI and eight runs scored to the Cardinal effort while hitting .433 on the season.

Cardinal Hit Parade: Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA) and Leah Nelson (Oakland, CA) lead the team with 16 and 15 hits respectively. Lappin, who is hitting at a .457 clip, ranks first in the league in hits while Nelson, batting .455, is tied for second. Catalina Morris (Senoita, AZ) and freshman Michelle Smith (Agoura Hills, CA) each have 13 hits and are tied for eighth in the Pac-10.

Nydam Rules At USF/Wilson Invitational: Lauren Nydam, a freshman pitcher from La Canada, Calif., picked up three wins and a save this weekend at the USF/Wilson Tournament in Tampa, Calif. She posted a 0.00 ERA over 11.2 innings pitched, allowing only five hits and one unearned run. Nydam also recorded eight K's for the tourney. Nydam recorded a save against host-South Florida, pitching two hitless innings with two K's. In her first start of the season, she scattered two hits over four innings with two K's. Nydam also picked up wins against Seton Hall and Jacksonville.

Stanford Picked Fourth In Preseason Pac-10 Coaches Poll: California has been selected by the Pac-10 Conference softball coaches as the Conference's top team in 2005. The Bears received 44 points, including three first place votes. Just one point behind, Arizona tabbed second place with 43 points, while UCLA was picked third with 42 points. Stanford finished fourth with 30 points, while Oregon and Washington finished fifth and sixth with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Rounding out the rest of the poll was Oregon State with 12 points and Arizona State with 10 points.

Lappin and Rinehart On Player Of The Year Watch List: The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today its initial watch list for the 4th annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Junior shortstop Lauren Lappin and sophomore outfielder Jackie Rinehart are among those on the list. The watch list is comprised of 40 players that represent 23 colleges and 10 different Conferences. A list of 25 finalists will be announced on April 5.

Head Coach John Rittman: Cardinal head coach John Rittman, now in his ninth year on The Farm, was named the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding Stanford to its best Pac-10 finish in school history in '04 as they tied for second. He was an assistant coach for the 2004 USA Softball team, that brought home a gold medal in the Athens Summer Olympics. Rittman has compiled a 356-166-1 overall record at Stanford. He has led the Cardinal to seven consecutive NCAA postseason appearances (including two CWS stints) during his tenure and seven consecutive 40 win seasons.

Up Next: The Cardinal travel to Southern California for the Worth Invitational, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, March 4-6. Joining Stanford will be Nevada, Minnesota, Boston College, Northwestern and host-CS Fullerton. The Cardinal will open with Nevada on Friday at 11:15 a.m.

This and That: Stanford is currently sporting an eight-game winning streak heading into this weekend ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponents, 97-18 this year ... Stanford has not allowed a runner to score in the third inning this season ... The Cardinal have posted five shutouts this year.

Notes From The Dugout: Leah Nelson leads the team with six mulit-hit games ... Michelle Smith leads the squad with six multi-RBI contests ... Smith is on a five-game hitting streak heading into this weekends games ... Catalina Morris, Jackie Rinehart and Lauren Lappin have hit 1-2-3 in the batting order for every game this season.

Cardinal Record When ...
Day Game: 8-1
Night Game: 3-0
7 inning game: 6-1
6 inning game: 0-0
5 inning game: 5-0
Extra inning game: 0-0
One-run game: 1-1
Stanford Scores first: 9-0
Opponent Scores first: 2-1
Stanford leads going into last inning: 11-0
Opponent leads going into last inning: 0-0
Score tied going into last inning: 0-1
Game one of doubleheader: 0-0
Game two of doubleheader: 0-0
Vs. ranked opponents: 1-0
Vs. unranked opponents: 10-1
Last five games: 5-0
Last 10 games: 9-1

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