Cardinal Hosts Stanford Classic

March 8, 2006

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COMING UP: No. 5 Stanford Softball returns to The Farm this weekend to host the Stanford Classic. The Cardinal will open up against Miami (Ohio) on Friday at 1:00 pm before playing Wisconsin at 3:00 pm. On Saturday, Stanford matches up against MTSU at 1:00 pm and BYU at 3:00 pm. The Cardinal closes out the tournament versus Pacific on Sunday at 12:00 pm.

STANFORD TAKES TWO GAMES IN THE FINAL INNING: Stanford claimed three wins last weekend at the Worth Invitational in Fullerton, CA, including victories over No. 16 Northwestern and host Cal State Fullerton with seventh-inning and eighth- inning runs. The Cardinal overcame a four run deficit against Northwestern to tie the game in the seventh with RBIs from Lauren Lappin and Maddy Coon. Anna Beardman knocked in Jackie Rinehart in the eighth inning to seal the victory. Against CSF on Sunday, the Cardinal trailed heading into the sixth inning until Catalina Morris tied the game with a home run. Lappin scored Morris with a double in the seventh to claim the win for Stanford.

MIAMI OF OHIO REDHAWKS: The RedHawks enter the Stanford Classic with a 12-8 record after winning three games and losing two at the Buzz Classic last weekend in Atlanta, GA. Miami's Halle Popson was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week after batting .545 with two home runs at the Buzz Classic. Senior Courtney Salmon is 6-5 in the circle with a 3.43 ERA, striking out 86 batters this season in 67 innings.

WISCONSIN BADGERS: The Badgers (4-6) also traveled to the Buzz Classic last weekend, picking up wins over Georgia State, Florida A&M and Radford. Junior outfielder Samantha Polito leads the team in hitting with a .382 average, five runs and four RBIs. Junior Eden Brock is 3-3 in the circle for Wisconsin, tallying a 2.37 ERA and striking out 30 batters in 38 innings this season.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE BLUERAIDERS: The BlueRaiders are 6-14 overall as they travel to the Bay. At the Frost Classic last weekend in Chattanooga, TN, MTSU beat Indiana in the tournament closer after dropping five games. Junior infielder/pitcher Muriel Ledbetter currently leads the team in hitting with a .340 average, five home runs, nine RBIs and 11 runs.

BYU COUGARS: BYU was 4-1 last weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational to improve to a 14-5 overall record. The Cougars won four straight at the tournament, including two games over College of Charleston and one over No. 19 Texas A&M and Texas Southern. Senior Ianeta Le'i has tallied a .339 batting average, 14 RBIs, 10 runs and three home runs this season.

PACIFIC TIGERS: Pacific is 8-8 after splitting a double header versus San Jose State last Wednesday. The Tigers' double header against St. Francis was cancelled last weekend. Junior Gina Carbonatto leads the team in hitting with a .490 batting average, 13 runs and four RBIs. In the circle, freshman Briana Santos is 3-1 with a 0.51 ERA while fellow freshman Chelsea Engle is 3-3 with a 3.06 ERA.

NATIONAL POLL: Undefeated Arizona remains atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll, accumulating a 20-1 record. Tennessee (13-0) and Texas (24-1) are now tied for second place with 470 votes each. The Stanford women remain in fifth place with 400 points after moving up a spot last week.

CONFERENCE RANKINGS: Stanford was selected by conference coaches in the preseason poll to finish third in the Pac-10 this season. UCLA earned seven first-place votes to take the top spot, followed by Arizona in second with one first-place vote. Bay Area rival California is ranked fourth in the conference. UCLA, Arizona and California all advanced to the WCWS in 2005, with UCLA losing to Michigan in the championship series. 2005 marked the 19th-straight season in which a Pac-10 team played in the WCWS championship game.

HEAD COACH John Rittman: Now in his tenth season on The Farm, head coach John Rittman has tallied a 388-181-1 overall record (nine full seasons) and coached his team to the school's first-ever conference championship last season. Rittman recently celebrated his 400th career win against Maryland at the Palm Springs Classic. In 2004, Rittman was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and went on to help coach Team USA to a gold medal at the Athens Summer Olympics.

RECORD-BREAKING 2005: Stanford is looking to build off of a strong postseason finish in 2005, in which the Cardinal hosted the NCAA Super Regional versus Tennessee. The season proved to be record-breaking as Stanford claimed a share of the Pac-10 regular season championship for the first time in school history. Shortstop Lauren Lappin, outfielder Catalina Morris and rookie infielder Michelle Smith all earned NFCA All-American honors. In addition to being named First-Team All-Conference, Lappin was designated Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in the first year of the award's existence. The Cardinal returns 13 letterwinners and seven starters in 2006, including seniors Lappin, Morris, Megan Bordelon, Shoney Hixson and Laura Severson. Stanford will also enjoy the presense of talented newcomers Maddy Coon (Chappaqua, NY) and Missy Penna (Miami, FL).

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