No. 5 Cardinal Prepare For Arizona Schools

May 10, 2005

Cardinal Wraps Up Regular Season At Home Against Arizona Schools: The fifth-ranked Stanford softball team (39-12, 12-6 Pac-10), close out Pac-10 play and the regular season against the Arizona schools this weekend at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal take on Arizona State (28-22, 3-15 Pac-10) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 and No. 3 Arizona (37-9, 11-7 Pac-10) on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m.

Broadcast Schedule: The Thursday Cardinal vs. Arizona State game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net on a tape-delayed basis ... Barry Tompkins will handle the play-by-play duties ... Friday's game against Arizona will be shown live on CSTV ... Beth Mowins and Ann Schatz will handle play-by-play and color commentary.

It Comes Down To This: With only a game separating the top two teams in the conference (OSU and Stanford), and California and Arizona a game behind the Cardinal, the Pac-10 Champion will be decided this weekend. Oregon State, the current leader, must travel to Washington and UCLA while both Stanford and Cal host the Arizona schools. Last season, Stanford tied for second in the conference (13-8) with a school-best 13 wins in league play. The Cardinal currently have 12 wins in the Pac-10 in 2005. Stanford has never won the conference title in softball.

Did You Know: The Cardinal have won five series against Pac-10 opponents this year, taking two-of-three from UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and California. They are currently 1-1 with Arizona State and 0-1 with Arizona, heading into this weekend's games.

NCAA Selection Show: The field of 64 teams for the 2005 NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be announced live between 7:30 and 8 p.m. ET, Sunday, May 15, on ESPN News. The regional pairings and sites will be announced. In addition, the ESPNews audio signal is available on the ESPNews channel on XM Radio and SIRIUS Radio.

Last Week: The Stanford softball team went 2-1 in three games last week ... They defeated Oregon, 5-1 on Friday then split a pair of games with Oregon State (L, 0-1 in nine innings; W, 6-4) ... Jackie Rinehart hit .556 for the weekend (5-for-9) with two runs scored and two doubles while teammate Catalina Morris had a .455 average (5-for-11) with four runs scored and two homeruns ... Erin Howe and Leah Nelson each collected three RBI for the Cardinal ... Becky McCullough went 1-1 on the weekend while Laura Severson posted a 1-0 record in the circle.

About Arizona State: The Sun Devils (28-22, 5-13) are coached by Linda Wells ... They are led by Heidi Knabe (.313, 46 H, 20 RBI) and Valerie Sevilla (.289, 43 H, 26 RBI) ... In the circle, Katie Burkhart leads the staff (10-12, 1.46 ERA, 200 K's) while Desiree Serrano (12-7, 2.29 ERA, 117 K's) is right behind her ... The all-time series between the Sun Devils lead the all-time series with Stanford 19-13 ... The Cardinal and ASU split their two earlier meetings in Tempe ... Arizona State is hitting .245 on the year with a 2.04 team ERA and .958 fielding percentage.

About Arizona: The Wildcats (37-9, 11-7) are coached by Mike Candreas ... They are led by Caitlin Lowe (.513, 80 H, 45 R) and Autumn Champion (.388, 52 H, 34 R) ... In the circle, Alicia Hollowell leads the staff (26-7, 1.10 ERA, 369 K's) ... Arizona leads the all-time series with Stanford, 36-4, with the Cardinal dropping an earlier matchup with the Cats in Tucson (L, 2-4) ...Arizona is hitting .311 on the year with a 1.34 team ERA and .979 fielding percentage.

USA Softball Connection: While Mike Candrea and John Rittman might stare at each other from opposing dugouts during the collegiate softball season, the two teamed up in Athens, Greece, to help the U.S. Olympic softball team bring home a gold medal. Candrea served as the head coach of the squad, while Rittman was an assistant coach. Cardinal shortstop Lauren Lappin was an alternate on the squad as well.

Smith Digs The Long Ball: Freshman Michelle Smith (Agoura Hills, CA) has 18 homeruns on the year, which breaks the previous single-season record of 14 held by former All-American and current USA Softball team member, Jessica Mendoza (2001 and 2002). Smith's 18 homers leads the Pac-10 (tied with Washington's Kristen Rivera) and she ranks in the top five in homeruns per game nationally. Her 50 RBI this season ranks fifth for a single season and needs just three more to move into a tie for fourth (Sarah Beeson, 2000, 53 RBI). Smith has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times during the '05 season - more than any other conference player.

An Eye On '40': The Cardinal enter Thursday's game with a 39-12 overall record. With one more win they will hit the 40-win mark and post their eighth consecutive 40-win season. The single-season record for victories on The Farm is 54 in 2001.

Notes From The Dugout: Catalina Morris leads the team with 18 mulit-hit games ... Michelle Smith leads the squad with 18 multi-RBI contests ... Jackie Rinehart has recorded the longest hitting streak of the season (11 games) ... Stanford recorded a season-high 19 hits against DePaul (2/12) earlier this year ... Cardinal pitchers have thrown six one-hitters in 2005 ... Jackie Rinehart is on an three-game hitting streak heading into the Arizona State game ... Becky McCullough's 17 wins in the circle this season ranks ninth for a single season on The Farm ... Stanford's 267 RBI in 2005 is the second most for a single season (Cardinal had a school record 275 in 2002).

This and That: The Cardinal are 19-0 when they hit two or more homeruns in a game ... 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 winning streak ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponents, 293-116 this year ... The Cardinal have posted 14 shutouts this year ... Stanford has scored 10 or more runs six times in 2005 ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponent in every inning except extra innings ... Stanford is 30-2 when they outhit their opponents ... Stanford's 62 homeruns this season is a Cardinal single-season record and is second in the conference in 2005 ... The Cardinal have scored 293 runs in 2005 - tied for third most for a single season ... Their 14 triples this year is a single season record on The Farm as well (previous high was 13 in 2004).

Catalina Morris Watch: Senior centerfielder Catalina Morris (Senoita, AZ) can be found multiple times on the Cardinal career record lists. Morris' 12 career triples to date is a school record. Her 25 career homeruns ranks fourth and she needs just three more to tie for third (Sarah Beeson, 1999-2002) with 28. Her 13 homeruns this season ranks tied for third for a single season. With 182 career hits, Morris has entered the top 10 on The Farm (7th).

Three Former/Current Stanford Athletes To Participate In USA Softball National Team Selection Camp: The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and USA Softball announced today the 32 initial athletes invited to participate in the 2005 Women's National Team Selection Camp, June 13-17, at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. The Women's Selection Committee will announce the remaining athletes invited to the selection camp on May 18. Former Cardinal athletes Jessica Mendoza and Dana Sorensen along with current junior Lauren Lappin are among the invitees.

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.

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 383-176-1 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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