No. 9/10 Stanford Hosts No. 17 Washington And No. 1 UCLA To Close Pac-10 Play
May 10, 2006
COMING UP: No. 9/10 Stanford Softball (35-15, 7-11) hosts No. 17 Washington (32-20, 6-12) and No. 1 UCLA (42-5, 14-3) in the final weekend of Pac-10 Conference play. The Cardinal is set to play the Huskies at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 11. Stanford will then match up against the Bruins on Friday at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 1:00 pm. Friday night's contest will be broadcast live on CSTV.
CARDINAL FALLS TO SUN DEVILS, WILDCATS: The Cardinal traveled to Arizona State and Arizona last weekend, dropping one game to the Sun Devils and two to the Wildcats. On Friday night, ASU scored three runs in the first inning to claim the win, adding three more in the third inning. Arizona scored the first run of the game on Saturday, but Stanford overtook the lead with a two-run home run by Lindsay Key in the fourth inning. The Wildcats came back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the win. On Sunday, Callista Balko brought in three runs for Arizona with a home run in the first inning. Michelle Smith brought Stanford within two runs with a home run in the fourth inning, but the Wildcats held the Cardinal off for a 6-1 win.
NO. 17 WASHINGTON HUSKIES: No. 17 Washington (32-20, 6-12) travels to The Farm after upsetting Oregon State, 1-0, last weekend, but split two games with Oregon. Ashley Charters leads the squad in hitting with a .383 average, 37 runs and 23 RBI. Danielle Lawrie is 20-12 in the circle with a 1.55 ERA. Earlier this season, Stanford split two games with the Huskies, winning 1-0 on Saturday, but falling, 8-0, on Sunday. Washington leads the overall series against the Cardinal, 26-16.
NO. 1 UCLA BRUINS: Top-ranked UCLA is 42-5 with a 14-3 record in Pac-10 action. The Bruins picked up a 7-0 win against Oregon and a 1-0 win over No. 5 Oregon State last weekend, with a rainout against the Beavers on Sunday. Andrea Duran leads the Bruin hitters with a .353 batting average, 48 runs, 36 RBI and 12 home runs. Anjelica Selden is 27-4 in the circle with a 0.98 ERA. The Bruins took one game against the Cardinal earlier this season, 5-4. UCLA leads the all-time series against Stanford, 32-9.
SENIOR TRIBUTE: Five Cardinal players will be honored on Saturday as departing seniors. Over the last four years, Megan Bordelon (Laguna Niguel, CA), Shoney Hixson (Oklahoma City, OK), Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA), Catalina Morris (Sonoita, CA) and Laura Severson (Frankfort, IL) have led their squads to four consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the Women's College World Series in 2004. The team has gone 168-76 over the last four years, helping Stanford to its first-ever Pac-10 championship in 2005.
RECORD REVIEW: Freshmen pitcher Missy Penna came close to Dana Sorensen's single-game strikeout record (16) earlier in the year against Nevada, tallying 13 strikeouts. Penna has totalled 154 strikeouts in 31 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.
NATIONAL POLL: UCLA remains atop both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA Top 25 polls for the fifth-straight week, while Texas and Arizona hold strong in the second and third spots, respectively. Stanford fell to the ninth ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and tenth ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
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.
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.