No. 6 Cardinal Host Stanford Invitational

March 23, 2005

Cardinal Host Stanford Tournament: The sixth-ranked Stanford softball team (19-3, 0-0 Pac-10), host their final tournament of the season this weekend, March 24-26, at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. Joining the Cardinal will be Hawaii (17-14), Illinois (13-8), Northwestern (15-7), St. Mary's (5-16) and UNLV (19-11). Stanford opens tourney play against Hawaii at 5 p.m. on Thursday evening, then takes on St. Mary's at 7 p.m.

About Illinois: The Fighting Illini (13-8) are coached by Terri Sullivan ... They are led by LeeAnn Butcher (.373, 28 H, 3 RBI) and Shanna Diller (.359, 23 H, 22 RBI) ... In the circle, Mary Miller leads the staff (8-3, 2.86 ERA, 51 K's) ... Stanford holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series with Illinois ... Last season, the two teams met at the Stanford Classic in Palo Alto, Calif, with the Cardinal winning, 5-0 ... The Illini are hitting .295 as a team with a .945 fielding percentage and a 3.60 ERA.

About UNLV: The Rebels (19-11) are coached by former Stanford associate head coach Lonnie Alameda ... The team is led by Marissa Nichols (.442, 46 H, 21 RBI) and Caitlyn Paus (.333, 33 H, 22 RBI) ... In the circle, the Rebels are led by Shannon Crisp (7-0, 1.76 ERA, 25 K's) and Jacque Kerrigan (12-10, 2.05 ERA, 98 K's) ... Stanford is 3-0 against UNLV all-time ... The two teams last met in 2003 at the ASU Fiesta Bowl Tournament where the Cardinal won 8-0 (5 innings) ... UNLV is hitting at a .277 clip as a team with a .964 fielding percentage and 2.24 ERA.

About St. Mary's: The Gaels (5-16) are coached by Jessica Hanaseth ... The team is led by Justine Larsen (.302, 16 H, 6 RBI) and Marcia-Marie Euker (.292, 14 H, 2 RBI) ... In the circle, the squad is led by Kelly Harrison (1-3, 3.46 ERA, 14 K's) and Megan Galloway (3-6, 5.09 ERA, 21 K's) ... Stanford holds a 19-6 advantage in the all-time series with SMC ... Last year the two teams split a doubleheader in Moraga with the Gaels winning 2-1 and Stanford winning 7-0.

About Hawaii: The Wahine (17-14) are coached by Bob Coolen ... The team is led by Tracie Uchima (.353, 30 H, 9 RBI) and Tyleen Tausaga (.388, 31 H, 15 RBI) ... In the circle look for Melissa Coogan (10-6, 1.92 ERA, 70 K's) and Sannon Tabion (6-4, 2.30 ERA, 59 K's) ... Stanford holds a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series with Hawaii ... The two teams played twice last year with the Cardinal winning both matchups by a score of 1-0.

About Northwestern: The Wildcats are coached by Kate Drohan ... The team is led by Garland Cooper (.393, 24 H, 15 RBI) and Stephanie Churchwell (.377, 29 H, 17 RBI) ... In the circle, the squad is led by Eileen Canney (9-2, 1.02 ERA, 81 K's) and Courtnay Foster (6-4, 1.65 ERA, 96 K's) ... Northwestern leads the all-time series 2-1 after a win earlier this season at the CS Fullerton Tournament (a 6-1 win).

Last Week: The Cardinal dealt with the rainy Bay Area weather over the weekend, splitting a pair of games on Sunday at the Stanford Round Robin ... The team beat Utah, 6-0, and fell to Princeton, 2-0 ... Freshman Erin Howe (.667) went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a homerun while fellow frosh Anna Beardman hit .500 (2-for-4) with a run scored ... Freshman pitcher Becky McCullough picked up the win over Utah, throwing six scorless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Up Next: The Cardinal travel to Fresno, Calif., for a non-conference doubleheader with Fresno State on Monday, March 28, at 6 p.m. Stanford then kicks off conference play over the weekend at the Arizona schools, April 1-3.

Notes From The Dugout: Leah Nelson leads the team with nine mulit-hit games ... Michelle Smith leads the squad with eight multi-RBI contests ... Erin Howe is on a three-game hitting streak heading into this weekend's games ... Stanford recorded a season-high 19 hits against DePaul (2/12) earlier this year ... Cardinal pitchers have thrown five one-hitters in 2005.

This and That: Stanford's longest winning streak of the season was a 14 game stretch (from 2/12 to 3/5) ... They are currently on a one-game win streak ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponents, 154-39 this year ... The Cardinal have posted nine shutouts this year ... Stanford has scored 10 or more runs three times in 2005 ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponent in every inning except the seventh ... Stanford is 15-1 when they outhit their opponents.

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 361-166-1 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.

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