Stanfords Continues Run Through Stanford Invitational; Bests Pacific, 16-2
Feb. 16, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - In its third game of the Stanford Invitational, the 13th-ranked Cardinal softball team exploded offensively, blasting the Pacific Tigers with 16 hits and 16 runs in a 16-2 win. The victory was the fourth straight by run-rule for Stanford, and the team improves to a perfect 8-0 on the year.
The game started with good news and bad news for the Cardinal, but the good ended up far outweighing the bad. The bad news? Cardinal ace Missy Penna allowed her first runs of 2008, allowing an opponent to score for the first time after 30 shutout innings. The good news? The Stanford offense was behind her, scoring 16 unanswered runs to demolish the Pacific Tigers by a 14-run margin, its largest of the year. The defense held tight as well, not allowing a single baserunner after the first inning.
Facing a pitcher who had been perfect thus far, the Tigers quickly showed that they were not intimidated. Freshman outfielder Lindsey Pierce led off with an infield single, and, with one out, pitcher Alyce Jorgensen took a Penna pitch deep over the center field wall. The homerun was the first allowed by Penna this season, and resulted in the first two runs allowed by the Stanford ace as well.
The Stanford hitters quickly erased the deficit, however, punishing the Tigers with seven runs and six hits in their first offensive chance. Stanford went through 11 batters in the inning, and put seven different players on base. Alissa Haber earned a lead-off walk, and an infield single by Maddy Coon put a second runner on for Stanford. With two outs and runners at the corners, freshman Melisa Koutz cracked a clutch single up the middle to score Haber and start the Cardinal's second two-out rally in less than 24 hours. Shannon Koplitz followed with a single to right to tie the game, and Rosey Neill ripped a double off of the right center field wall to put the Cardinal up 4-2. A walk and an infield single by Anna Beardman loaded the bases, and Neill scored on a wild pitch by Jorgensen. On her second at-bat of the inning, Haber doubled deep to left center to score two and bring the Cardinal advantage to 7-2.
Penna fanned three consecutive batters in her second time through the circle, and Stanford soon was back to continue the flood of runs. Coon cracked a lead-off double to start the inning and, after an infield single by Michelle Smith, Koutz smacked a double off the right center field wall to score Coon. A batter later, Neill drilled her third homerun of the year over the left field fence, boosting the Stanford lead to 11-2.
Stanford started at the top of its lineup and batted all the way through the order again in the third inning. With one out, Tricia Aggabao singled, Coon cracked her second double of the game and Smith walked to load the bases for Koutz. For the third consecutive inning, Koutz came through in the clutch, popping a two-run single up the middle. With two outs, Neill scored Smith with her third hit in as many at-bats. In her second career trip to the plate, freshman Brittany Minder hit an RBI-single to right field, scoring Koutz.
In the fourth inning, the Cardinal added one final exclamation point to the win. Aggabao reached on a Tiger error, moved around to third after a single and a walk, and scored when Koplitz earned Stanford's fifth walk of the game.
Nine Cardinal players combined for 16 hits, and Stanford outhit the Tigers, 16-2. Coon notched three hits, two doubles and reached on all four at-bats, while Neill went 3-for-4 with six RBI and a homerun. Koutz went 3-for-4 with her fourth career double, and drove in four Stanford runs.
Penna pitched four innings, struck out five batters and allowed just two hits, earning her sixth win of the year.
Stanford will play the next game of the afternoon, taking on Santa Clara in the No. 1 seed versus No. 4 seed match-up. The winner will play tomorrow at noon, while the loser will play at 10 a.m.
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