No. 7/10 Stanford Closes Season With 8-7 Extra Inning Loss To No. 4/5 Alabama
May 27, 2006
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - No. 7/10 Stanford Softball (42-18, 10-11) fell to No. 4/5 Alabama (54-9), 8-7, in eight innings to end the season at the NCAA Super Regional in Tuscaloosa. Alabama jumped to an early seven-run lead in the first inning, but Stanford tallied three runs in the bottom of the first. The Cardinal tied the game in the fourth inning with runs by sophomores Michelle Smith and Erin Howe and a two-run single by senior Lauren Lappin. The Crimson Tide sealed the Women's College World Series berth in the eighth inning as Jordan Praytor scored Mandy Burford for the game-winning run.
Praytor reached on a fielder's choice for Alabama in the first inning. Staci Ramsey and Dani Woods were walked to load the bases. Starting pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle then slammed a double down the left line to score Praytor and Ramsey for the 2-0 Crimson Tide lead and Michelle Menningmann entered the game to pinch run for VanBrakle. Kelley Montalvo was walked to load the bases again for Alabama and Penna entered the circle to pitch for Stanford starter Becky McCullough midway through the first inning. Dominique Accetturo was then walked to bring home Woods for the third Alabama run of the game. Ashley Holcombe followed with a double against the left field fence to score Menningman and Montalvo. Brittany Rogers knocked a double to center field to score Holcombe and Burford. After one half inning, Alabama led, 7-0.
Senior centerfielder Catalina Morris reached on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Lappin then reached on an error by the thirdbaseman and Morris advanced to second base. Freshman third baseman Maddy Coon hit a hard single up the middle to advance both runners, then Morris came home on an error by the centerfielder and Coon and Lappin took an additional base. Penna followed with another base hit up the middle, scoring Lappin for a second Cardinal run. Coon scored from third base on a wild pitch, but the Crimson Tide continued to lead after one complete inning, 7-3.
In the top of the fourth inning, Praytor was walked on base for the Crimson Tide and Ramsey reached with a single to shortstop. Katie Johnson entered to pinch run for Ramsey at first base. Woods advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and VanBrakle was intentionally walked to load the bases. Penna struck out one batter and another flied out to Morris in centerfield to end the inning without an Alabama run.
Smith was hit by a pitch for Stanford in the bottom of the fourth inning and Howe was walked to first base. Sophomore second baseman Tricia Aggabao then knocked a single up the middle to load the bases. Chrissy Owens entered the game to pitch for Alabama midway through the fourth inning. Sophomore rightfielder Anna Beardman reached on an error by the thirdbaseman, while Smith and Howe scored on the play. Junior leftfielder Jackie Rinehart loaded the bases again with a single to shortstop, then Lappin followed with a two-run base hit over the shortstop's head to tie the game at 7-7.
Morris opened the bottom of the sixth inning with a double to center field and Lappin was walked on base, but the inning closed without a run for the Cardinal.
In the top of the eighth inning, Mandy Burford reached on an error, later stealing second base. Burford advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Praytor then scored Burford with a single to right field for the 8-7 Alabama lead.
Morris knocked a single to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning to get on base, but Alabama's defense held the Cardinal off to claim the win, 8-7. The Cardinal ends the year with it's ninth-straight 40-plus win season.
Score by Innings R H E------------------------------------------Alabama............. 700 000 01 - 8 5 4Stanford............ 300 400 00 - 7 7 1------------------------------------------