No. 8/9 Stanford Hosts No. 6 Oregon State, Oregon

April 5, 2006

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COMING UP: No. 8/9 Stanford Softball (27-6) hosts No. 6 Oregon State (29-3) and Oregon (17-12) in the second week of Pac-10 Conference play. The Cardinal will host one game against the Beavers on Saturday, April 7 (7:00 pm) before playing the Ducks on Saturday, April 8 (1:00 pm) and Sunday, April 9 (1:00 pm).

STANFORD TAKES ONE GAME IN SEATTLE: The Cardinal opened Pac-10 Conference play last weekend with a tough split between No. 2/3 UCLA on Friday in Los Angeles and No. 14 Washington in Seattle on Saturday and Sunday. After dropping a close 5-4 decision to the Bruins, Stanford claimed a 1-0 victory over Washington Saturday as Lindsay Key scored the winning run off of a sacrifice fly by Lauren Lappin. On Sunday, Lappin went 3-3 at the plate but the Huskies still pulled out an 8-0 victory. Junior Jackie Rinehart currently leads the Cardinal hitters with a .389 average and has collected nine RBI, 17 runs and a perfect fielding percentage. In the circle, freshman Missy Penna is 16-2 with a 1.42 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 118 innings.

NO. 5 OREGON STATE BEAVERS: The No. 7 Beavers upset top-ranked Arizona last weekend in their Pac-10 opener to extend a 28-game win streak, but followed with a loss to No. 9 Arizona State. Junior Breanne McGowan had two RBI in the Beavers' 2-0 victory over the Ducks Tuesday. Junior Mia Longfellow boasts a .409 average with 21 runs, 20 RBI and one home run. DeAnn Young leads the team in RBI (22) and slugging percentage (.759). In the circle, McGowan is 17-2 with a 1.31 ERA, striking out 119 on the season. Stanford leads the series, 29-12, and went 2-1 against OSU last year.

OREGON DUCKS: The Ducks are 17-12 heading into this weekend's matchup, dropping one game to Arizona last weekend, 4-1, and getting rained out of one game against both ASU and the Wildcats in Eugene. Oregon fell to the Beavers, 2-0, on Tuesday at home. Junior Kayleen Hudson leads the Duck hitters with a .348 average, 13 runs, 14 RBI and three home runs. Starter Amy Harris is 8-4 in the circle with a 1.61 ERA, 86 strikeouts and 24 walks. Senior shortstop Breanne Sabol is 14-19 in stolen bases this year and leads the team with 21 RBI. The Cardinal leads the series, 17-16, after winning all three games last season by four runs or more.

RECORD REVIEW: Freshmen pitcher Missy Penna came close to Dana Sorensen's single-game strike out record (16) earlier in the year against Nevada, tallying 13 strikeouts. Penna has totalled 119 strikeouts in 20 appearances, putting her near the all-time top-10 list with at least 23 games to play. Fellow newcomer Maddy Coon has homered nine times this year, one home run out of the all-time top-10 list. Sophomore Anna Beardman has collected four triples thus far, tying her for second on the all-time list for a single season.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST: The Amateur Softball Association announced its initial watch list on February 2 for the 5th annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Seniors Lauren Lappin and Catalina Morris and junior Jackie Rinehart have been named to the Watch List. A list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 10, followed by a list of three finalists to be announced May 31. The winner will be announced during the WCWS in Oklahoma City.

NATIONAL POLL: The Texas Longhorns reclaimed the top spot in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls after giving up the top honor to Arizona last week. The Wildcats fell to No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 4 in the USA Today/NFCA poll, while UCLA maintained the second ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll. Stanford dropped to No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 9 in the USA Today/NFCA poll after holding down the fifth position for five weeks straight. Oregon State climbed to No. 6 in both polls, the squad's highest ranking this year and matching the highest ranking in the history of the Beaver Softball program.

PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL: 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.

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