No. 4 Cardinal Take On No. 11 Tennessee At Super Regional
May 25, 2005
Cardinal Host Tennessee In NCAA Super Regional: The fourth-ranked Stanford softball team (43-14, 13-8 Pac-10), seeded sixth nationally, host #11 Tennessee (59-13), seeded 11th nationally, May 27-28, at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The winner of the best two-of-three series will advance to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Cardinal are making their eighth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance in 2005. Last year, Stanford finished tied for third at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the previous four seasons, the team has been to the WCWS two times.
The winners of each regional site advanced to eight Super Regionals where the winners will play a best of a three-game series. The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The Championship final also is different this year, with the two teams playing a best-of-three series.
NCAA Regional Recap: Stanford opened NCAA postseason play with a 9-0 win over Robert Morris in six innings then picked up a 9-1 victory over #22 Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon ... The Cardinal capped off the weekend with a 3-2 victory over host-Missouri to advance to an NCAA Super Regional ... Michelle Smith hit .667 (6-for-9) for the weekend with four RBI while Leah Nelson had a 4-for-9 effort (.444) with seven RBI (including three homeruns) ... Becky McCullough went 3-0 in the circle for the Cardinal with a 1.17 ERA and 13 strikeouts ... Stanford outscored their opponents 21-3 in three games, hitting .369 as a team for the weekend.
Pac-10 Champs!: The Stanford women's softball team grabbed a share of the 2005 Pac-10 title. It is the first Pac-10 title for the Cardinal in the history of the program. Stanford ended the regular season with a 40-14 overall record, 13-8 in league play. The 13 wins ties a Cardinal record set last year for most conference wins in a single season. Stanford shares the Pac-10 title with Arizona, California and Oregon State who all ended league play with a 13-8 record.
About Tennessee: The 11th-ranked Volunteers (59-13) are coached by Ralph and Karen Weekly ... The team is led by Lindsay Schutzler (.397, 95 H, 65 R) and Kristi Durant (.396, 82 H, 73 RBI) ... In the circle, Monica Abbott leads the pitching staff with a 0.54 ERA, 42-7 record and 524 strikeouts ... Tennessee is hitting .320 on the year with a 0.85 team ERA and .982 fielding percentage ... Stanford is 3-0 against the Volunteers lifetime ... The last meeting between the two teams came in 2000 at the Campbell Cartier Classic (2/18) as the Cardinal won 9-0.
Smith Digs The Long Ball: Freshman Michelle Smith (Agoura Hills, CA) has 19 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 19 homers is tied for first in the Pac-10 (with Washington's Kristen Rivera) and she ranks in the top five in homeruns per game nationally. Her 54 RBI this season ranks fourth for a single season and needs just one more to move into a tie for third (Jessica Allister, 2004, 54 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': With 43 victories in 2005 the Cardinal have notched their eighth consecutive 40-win season. The single-season record for victories on The Farm is 54 in 2001. Stanford tallied 49 wins in 2004.
Lappin Lights It Up Offensively: Junior shortstop Lauren Lappin (Anahiem, CA), an alternate on the 2004 U.S. Softball team that won a gold medal in Greece, leads the team with 52 runs scored in 2005. She is second in hits with 57 and doubles with 10. The 52 runs scored ranks fourth for a single season on The Farm (Jessica Mendoza is third with 57 in 2000). She also has seven stolen bases on the year. The 2004 second-team All-American is ranked 17th nationally in runs per game (0.96).
Notes From The Dugout: Catalina Morris leads the team with 20 mulit-hit games ... Michelle Smith leads the squad with 20 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 ... Michelle Smith is on an four-game hitting streak heading into the Tennessee game ... Becky McCullough's 20 wins in the circle this season ranks eighth for a single season on The Farm ... Stanford's 290 RBI in 2005 is a school record for a single season (previous high was 275 in 2002) ... Their 319 runs in '05 also ranks first all-time (previous record was 305 in 2002).
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 three-game winning streak ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponents, 319-123 this year ... The Cardinal have posted 16 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 33-2 when they outhit their opponents ... Stanford's 67 homeruns this season is a Cardinal single-season record and is second in the conference in 2005 ... 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 189 career hits, Morris has entered the top 10 on The Farm (6th). Her 68 hits in 2005 ranks 10th for a single season.
Five 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 the 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. Former Cardinal athletes Jessica Mendoza and Dana Sorensen along with current juniors Lauren Lappin, Catalina Morris and freshman Michelle Smith are among the invitees.
Five Pac-10 Teams Advance To NCAA Super Regional Action: Five of eight Pac-10 teams advanced to NCAA Super Regional competition this weekend. Five of six teams that received No. 1 seeds--Arizona, California, Stanford, UCLA, Washington-- advanced. Arizona will host Oklahoma, California is at Baylor, Stanford will host Tennessee, UCLA will host Georgia and Washington is at Michigan.
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 385-176-1 overall record at Stanford. He has led the Cardinal to eight consecutive NCAA postseason appearances (including two CWS stints) during his tenure and eight consecutive 40 win seasons.
Senior Class: Six seniors - Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, CA), Katherine Hoffman (Kansas City, MO), Leah Nelson (Oakland, CA), Meghan Sickler (Houston, TX), Heather Shook (Whittier, CA) and Michelle Thiry (Renton, WA) - have led the team to four consecutive berths in the NCAA tournament during their tenure, including a trip to the Collee World Series in 2004. The team has gone 177-79 over that time with four straight 40-win seasons. They also helped the team to its first-ever Pac-10 Championship in 2005.
Where They Rank In The Pac-10: Catalina Morris (4th, batting average, .360), (5th, runs scored, 46), (2nd, doubles, 15), (1st, total bases, 130), (5th, slugging percentage, .688), (2nd, hits, 68), (T2nd, triples, 4), (T5th, homeruns, 13); Lauren Lappin (8th, batting average, .343), (T2nd, runs scored, 52), (T10th, doubles, 10), (T6th, hits, 57), (T7th, walks, 25), (4th, sac flies, 3); Leah Nelson (10th, batting average, .340), (T5th, walks, 27), (7th, on base percentage, .457), (8th, RBI, 39), (T4th, HBP, 7); Michelle Smith (T6th, doubles, 11), (2nd, total bases, 126), (2nd, sluggin percentage, .746), (T9th, hits, 56), (3rd, RBI, 54), (T1st, homeruns, 19); Jackie Rinehart (T4th, triples, 3).™