No. 8/9 Stanford Heads To No. 6/10 Arizona State and No. 3 Arizona

May 3, 2006

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COMING UP: No. 8/9 Stanford Softball (35-12, 7-8) returns to the road this weekend to take on No. 6/10 Arizona State in Tempe on Friday, May 5 at 7:00 pm. The Cardinal then travels to Tucson to match up against the third-ranked Wildcats on Saturday, May 6 (7:00 pm) and Sunday, May 7 (1:00 pm).

CARDINAL PICKS UP WIN OVER BEAVERS: Last weekend in Pac-10 action, Stanford took on Oregon and No. 8/9 Oregon State .The Cardinal fell to the Ducks, 9-0, before taking down the Beavers on Saturday, 7-5. Stanford came back from behind with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to power past Oregon State. Seniors Catalina Morris and Lauren Lappin both collected home runs against the Beavers on Saturday. On Sunday, the Cardinal fell, 4-0, after Oregon State took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Stanford also picked up a 4-3 win last night over San Jose State. After trailing by three innings, Michelle Smith hit home two runs with a double in the sixth. Jackie Rinehart had an RBI single in the seventh to tie the game and Anna Beardman hit home Erin Howe in the eighth to grab the win.

NO. 6/10 ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS: No. 6/10 Arizona State (42-9, 6-6) hosts the Cardinal after going 1-2 last weekend against Washington and UCLA. The Sun Devils beat the Huskies, 1-0, on Friday before losing two games to UCLA, 0-1 and 1-3. Arizona State will play at Arizona tonight leading into this weekend's games. Kaitlin Cochran leads the ASU hitters with a .458 average, 39 runs, 52 RBI and 12 home runs. Katie Burkhart has gone 21-4 in the circle with a 1.09 ERA, while Desiree Serrano is 15-5 with a 1.32 ERA. Stanford split two games with the Sun Devils earlier this season, topping ASU 3-1 before dropping the second game, 1-3. Arizona State leads the all-time series against the Cardinal, 19-14.

NO. 3 ARIZONA WILDCATS: No. 3 Arizona (36-9, 7-6) takes on Stanford after going 2-1 last weekend against UCLA and Washington. The Wildcats fell to UCLA, 8-2, on Friday before rebounding with a win over Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Saturday. Arizona claimed a second win over the Huskies, 10-1, on Sunday with home runs by Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox. Lowe leads the team with a .448 average, 31 runs, 21 RBI, eight doubles and two home runs. Alicia Hollowell is 19-4 on the season with a 0.89 ERA, while Taryne Mowatt has gone 17-4 with a 1.06 ERA. Arizona won the first game of the series against the Cardinal earlier this year, 4-1. The Wildcats are 39-4 all-time against Stanford.

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 154 strikeouts in 29 appearances, ranking her eighth on the all-time top-10 list with at least six 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 five triples thus far, putting her one away from Catalina Morris' school record of six triples in 2004.

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. The award 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: UCLA remains atop both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA Top 25 polls for the fourth-straight week, while Texas and Arizona hold strong in the second and third spots, respectively. Stanford fell to the eighth ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and ninth ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll.

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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