No. 15/16 Stanford Heads to Washington, UCLA for Final Regular-Season Road Trip
May 2, 2007
Stanford, Calif. -
UP NEXT: The Cardinal begins its final regular-season road trip this week, traveling to the Pacific Northwest for a showdown with the No. 11/13 Washington Huskies, before turning south for two games with No. 12 UCLA. The weekend begins in Seattle at 1 p.m. on Friday, when the team will play the rubber game with Washington at Husky Softball Stadium. Stanford then heads to Los Angeles to finish the series with UCLA, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively at Easton Stadium.
ON DECK: Stanford will play its final midweek non-conference game on Tuesday, May 8, squaring off with the Aggies of UC Davis on the road. The Cardinal then hosts the Oregon schools, May 10-12, at Smith Family Stadium to close the regular-season. Stanford's two seniors, Jackie Rinehart and Lindsay Key, will be honored before their final regular-season home game on May 12.
SEASON TO DATE: Stanford is 31-14-1 overall in 2007 and carries a 6-8-1 record in the Pac-10. On Feb. 9, the Cardinal opened the season at the Kajikawa Classic in Phoenix, Ariz., and went 3-2, with a trio of solid wins and a pair of losses to No. 4/4 Northwestern and No. 17/18 Texas. Stanford closed out the weekend with a decisive win over Northwestern State, however, and came home to dominate six games on its home field. After topping Sacramento State in the home-opener, the Cardinal went a perfect 5-0 and shutout two opponents at the Stanford Invitational to claim the tournament championship. The Cardinal won another title at the FIU/Adidas Invitational the following weekend, with a perfect 5-0 record at the Golden Panthers' tournament in Miami, Fla. The squad shutout four opponents during the weekend, behind an impressive performance by Missy Penna. At the Worth Classic in Fullerton, Stanford went 2-3, with wins over Texas Tech and Minnesota. At the Stanford Classic, the team picked up five wins and another home tournament title. At its final home tournament, the team went 2-1 and dropped its first home contest of the season to Portland State. During the first weekend of conference play, Stanford topped No. 17/19 Oregon State, 2-1, before splitting with the No. 13/13 Oregon Ducks. Stanford continued Pac-10 play against Cal, and dropped the series, two games to one, but came home to dominate Saint Mary's, 8-0, later in the week. The Cardinal was then swept by the Arizona schools on the road before winning two of three against UCLA and Washington. Last week, the team picked up a 5-3 non-conference win over San Jose State, before going 1-1-1 against the Arizona schools and upsetting No. 4 Arizona. The Cardinal has outscored opponents 201-129 this season and is batting .275 as a team.
GAME-WINNING CONSISTENCY: Second baseman Tricia Aggabao paced the Cardinal last week, notching a hit in all four contests, two of which were game-winners. Against San Jose State, the junior drove home what proved to be the game-winning RBI in the third inning, bringing in teammate Maddy Coon from second with a clutch single up the middle. Aggabao then stepped up as the Cardinal resumed Pac-10 play, and hit .500 (3-for-6) for the weekend against the Arizona schools. The Walnut, Calif. native's key performance came on Saturday, when she drilled another game-winning hit to help the Cardinal stun the No. 4 Wildcats. With runners at second and third, Aggabao knocked a single down the right field line, scoring both runs and giving the Cardinal the lead. Three of the seven Cardinal hits for the weekend came from Aggabao, as she also came through for the Cardinal with one of the team's two hits off of Katie Burkhart on Friday night and one of the Cardinal's three hits off of Taryne Mowatt on Sunday. She was also perfect at second base, with 11 putouts and 11 assists on the week. Aggabao is now the fourth-leading hitter for Stanford with a .304 average, third on the team with 35 hits and riding a five-game hitting streak.
WHEN THE GAME IS ON THE LINE: The Cardinal won another one-run game on Saturday, upsetting No. 4 Arizona, 3-2. Stanford has been on the better side of eight of the team's ten one-run contests this season, and has won both contests that were decided in the seventh. Freshman Alissa Haber is the best bet at the plate for the Cardinal in clutch situations. The Newark, Calif. native is hitting a team-high .500 (25-for-50) with runners on base and a team-high .464 (13-for-28) with runners in scoring position. She is the most likely to come through for the Cardinal with two outs, as well, with a .368 (14-for-38) average under two-out pressure. The experience of seniors Jackie Rinehart and Lindsay Key has come through in clutch situations, as well. Other than Haber, the two seniors are the most likely to come through with runners on or runners in scoring position.
BOUNCING BACK: After giving up 18 runs against UCLA and Washington last week, the Cardinal pitching duo bounced back with some of the best outings all season. Becky McCullough helped the Cardinal shock the defending National Champion Arizona Wildcats, 3-2, on Saturday with her ninth win of the season. She pitched her 12th complete game, didn't walk a single batter and held the Wildcats to just five hits. Missy Penna gave up just three hits and struck out nine on Friday against Arizona State, and pitched a 12-inning shutout on Sunday against No. 4 Arizona.
THE WAY IT'S DONE: So far this season, Michelle Smith and Rosey Neill have been the ones to drive in runs for the Cardinal. Each has 30+ RBI this season and the pair leads the team with six homeruns apiece. Smith leads the team with 36 RBI, while Neill, the team's leader in walks, has 31 RBI on the year. Freshman Alissa Haber and senior Jackie Rinehart have done most of the scoring for the Cardinal, however. Haber has scored 34 of the Stanford runs, while Rinehart has crossed the plate 28 times.
LIFE ON THE ROAD: The Cardinal is 4-6 on the road this season, and has struggled at the plate. Nearly the entire Cardinal squad is hitting worse on the road than overall, except the trio of standout freshmen. Alissa Haber is hitting a whopping .467 on the road and carries an on-base percentage of .556. Shannon Koplitz is also hitting better on the road than overall with a .348 road average, while Rosey Neill is hitting more than 40 points higher on the road (.304) than overall (.260).
SCALING THE CAREER CHARTS: Seven Stanford players, including both pitchers, have etched their names on the Stanford career top-10 charts and are continuing to climb. Jackie Rinehart remains sixth all-time with 241 hits in a Stanford uniform and is alone in seventh in career runs scored (120). The senior is also tied for sixth on the career stolen bases chart (24), stands ninth on the career at bats chart (711) and ranks eighth on the career triples chart (4), three behind teammate Anna Beardman who stands sixth all-time (7). Junior Michelle Smith's collegiate homerun tally (29) is good for fourth on the career chart. Smith also stands sixth with 127 RBI and tenth with 24 doubles. As just a sophomore, Maddy Coon has already made the top-10 chart with 12 homeruns. Junior Erin Howe moved up to fifth this week in the career putouts category, passing Jenni Shideler `01 with 723 to date.
PITCHING RECORDS: Although Stanford has just two active pitchers, the staff is one of the most successful combinations in Stanford history. As just a sophomore, Missy Penna stands fourth in Stanford history with 433 career strikeouts and will likely pass Tori Nyberg `03 and take over the third spot this week. Penna is also fifth in Stanford history with 44 career wins. She has 254 K's this season alone, the fourth highest single-season tally in Stanford history. Penna's 22 wins this year matches her 2006 total and stands fifth on the Cardinal single-season charts. Junior Becky McCullough is sixth on the career strikeouts chart with 275 and stands eighth on the career wins chart with 40.
MAKING A NAME FOR 2007: As a team, the 2007 squad has already posted some of the best tallies in Stanford history. Alissa Haber's homerun against UCLA on Apr. 20 brought the team total to 29, tying for sixth in the all-time team marks. Pitchers Missy Penna and Becky McCullough have combined for 315 strikeouts this season, the fourth-best team mark in program history. The team is also already one of the top-10 squads in program history in runs, doubles, triples, RBI, walks drawn, shutouts and complete games as well.
LEADERS OF THE PAC: Entering the sixth week of conference play, freshman Alissa Haber continues to be one of the top offensive players in the conference, with a batting average (.357) and an on-base percentage (.453) that both make the top-10. Haber is also third in the doubles category with 12, one ahead of teammate Maddy Coon, who has 11 on the year. Haber, Coon and Shannon Koplitz are some of the most likely players to be hit by a pitch in the conference, and Rosey Neill makes the top-10 with 27 walks on the year. Missy Penna remains one of the top pitchers in the conference with the fourth-best opposing batting average (.182) in the league, the third-most wins (22) and the fourth most strikeouts (254). She also ranks ninth in the conference with a 1.96 ERA.
PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME: Since the conference season began, freshman Alissa Haber has stepped up and become the most dangerous offensive player on the Cardinal roster. In Pac-10 play, the Newark, Calif. native leads the league in doubles (5), ranks fifth in total bases (33), stands sixth in hits (17) and slugging percentage (.733), seventh in runs scored (11) and on-base percentage (.463) and eighth in batting average (.378). In the month of April, she hit .395, recorded nine extra-base hits and posted her second double-digit hitting streak of the season, with an 11-game run between Apr. 1 and Apr. 22. Overall, the rookie leads Stanford with a .357 batting average, 51 hits, 34 runs scored and 12 doubles.
NOTES FROM THE DUGOUT: Stanford's longest winning streak was 12 games between Feb. 11 and Mar. 2 ... The team scored a season-high 15 runs against Oregon on Apr. 1 ... The squad's 16 hits against the Ducks were also a season-high, as were the five homeruns ... The team's six doubles against Minnesota (3/4) was a season-high ... Alissa Haber leads the team with 14 multiple-hit games, but Jackie Rinehart is close behind with 13 ... Michelle Smith leads the team with ten multiple RBI games ... Haber's 11-game hitting streak from Apr. 1 to Apr. 22 was the longest so far by a Cardinal player ... The streak was Haber's second double-digit streak of the season, as she also went on a ten-game run between Feb. 10 and Feb. 22 ... Junior Tricia Aggabao is currently on a five-game hitting streak ... Stanford has posted 13 shutouts this season, including Sunday's 12-inning scoreless game with No. 4 Arizona ... Stanford has scored 10 or more runs four times this season and run-ruled eight opponents ... Jackie Rinehart's five hits against Syracuse (2/24) tied a Stanford single-game record for hits against a Division I opponent ... Missy Penna's 16 strikeouts against Northwestern (2/10) tied a single-game school record.
SCOUTING THE WASHINGTON HUSKIES: Washington is part of the three-way tie for second in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 conference record. The Huskies are 32-13 overall and carry a No. 11/13 national ranking, after going 2-1 against the Oregon schools last weekend. Senior Dena Tyson, who hit three homeruns off of the Cardinal two weeks ago, is leading the team with a .459 average and 17 homeruns. Her .571 on-base percentage also leads the team, as does her .963 slugging percentage. Ashley Charters is the team-leader with 59 hits, however, and the junior is second on the team with a .388 batting average. Five Huskies are currently hitting .300 or above, including the squad's top pitcher, Danielle Lawrie. Lawrie boasts a 1.57 ERA and 335 K's on the year, along with a .171 opponent batting average.
SCOUTING THE UCLA BRUINS: UCLA is also part of the three-way tie for second place in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 conference record and a 33-13 mark overall. The Bruins swept the Oregon schools last weekend and are looking to make a run to reclaim the Pac-10 title. Junior Krista Colburn is leading the team with a .407 average and 61 hits, but the Bruin power comes from seniors Lisa Dodd and Jodie Legaspi, who have combined for 23 homeruns this year. Freshman Megan Langenfield carries the best ERA on the squad at 1.38, but junior Anjelica Selden is the Bruins primary pitcher with a 17-8 record, 206 strikeouts and a 2.43 ERA.
LAST TIME AROUND: Stanford went 2-1 against UCLA and Washington two weeks ago, defeating UCLA on Apr. 20 before splitting with the Washington Huskies in a weather-plagued pair of games on Apr. 21-22. In front of a season-high crowd against UCLA, the Cardinal took a four-run lead in the second inning and never looked back, holding on to top the Bruins, 6-4. Against Washington, Stanford scored three runs in a third inning that spanned over two days, and out-lasted the Huskies, 3-2, before dropping a rough 12-1 game Sunday afternoon. Stanford is 12-33 all-time against UCLA and 18-27 all-time against Washington.
THE 2007 CARDINAL: Stanford returns ten letterwinners to the field in 2007, and adds four new faces. Seven starters return for the Cardinal, including three players who hit over .300 last season. Infielders Maddy Coon and Michelle Smith, outfielder Jackie Rinehart and pitchers Becky McCullough and Missy Penna make up a group of solid returning All-Conference performers. Coon led the team with nine homeruns last season, while hitting .353, and Rinehart started all 60 games and was one of the squad's top three offensive players. Smith set the single-season homerun mark in 2005, while McCullough and Penna combined for 32 wins and 252 strikeouts last season. This year, Stanford will be looking for its tenth consecutive 40-win season and its tenth-straight trip to the postseason.
2006 IN REVIEW: The Cardinal is coming off of a successful 2006 season, during which the squad posted a 42-18 record and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Stanford closed out the regular season with a home Pac-10 sweep, topping Washington and posting a pair of upsets over UCLA. The Cardinal went 4-1 in its first postseason weekend to claim the Region VI Championship and advance to the NCAA Super Regional. The Cardinal fell to Alabama, 4-1, in the first game, before dropping an 8-7 decision in extra innings to end the season.
TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, Head Coach John Rittman has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Nine opponents appeared in the preseason top-25, and 15 participated in the NCAA Championship last season.
NATIONAL POLLS: In the USA Today/NFCA poll, Stanford's upset of No. 4 Arizona helped the team climb back from No. 17 to No. 16. In the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Cardinal also stepped up one spot, moving from No. 16 to No. 15. Alabama bumped Tennessee for the No. 1 spot in both polls this week, after the Lady Vols held the top ranking for 11-straight weeks. Tennessee and Oklahoma round out the top-three on both lists. Seven of the eight Pac-10 schools are ranked in both polls, with the two Arizona schools remaining in the top-10 in both. Stanford has been listed at No. 8 three times this season, the squad's highest ranking of the season.
PAC-10 POLL: Stanford has been selected by conference coaches to finish fifth in the Pac-10 this season. Arizona, the defending National Champion, earned five first-place votes to take the top spot, followed by UCLA, the defending Pac-10 Champion, with three first-place votes. Arizona State came in third in the poll, followed by Oregon State and the Cardinal. The Pac-10 set a record in 2006 with seven teams, including Stanford, winning NCAA Regionals. Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington all advanced to Super Regionals last season, with the Wildcats, Sun Devils, Beavers and Bruins moving on to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Pac-10 teams represented half of last year's WCWS field, the most of any conference in the nation.
HEAD COACH John Rittman: At the start of his 11th season at Stanford, Head Coach John Rittman carries a 430-199-1 (.683) career record and has brought Stanford softball from a non-scholarship club-level program to a fully-funded championship contender. He has coached the team to nine consecutive 40-win seasons and nine-straight postseason appearances. Under Rittman, Stanford has claimed a share of its first conference championship and made two appearances in the Women's College World Series.