No. 12/13 Stanford Stuns No. 6/8 Oklahoma
Feb. 22, 2008
Cathedral City, Calif. - Michelle Smith smashed her third homerun of the day in the sixth inning, helping the No. 12/13 Stanford softball team stun No. 6/8 Oklahoma today at the Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. With the 3-2 victory, the Cardinal remains perfect on the year, improving to 13-0. Oklahoma falls to 9-3 with the loss.
Junior pitcher Missy Penna stuck out ten batters, and gave up just one earned run for her tenth win of the season.
Smith went 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead the Cardinal offensively. Rosey Neill also had two hits in the game, and Melisa Koutz and Maddy Coon rounded out the six Stanford hits. Oklahoma also had six hits in the game, with Samantha Ricketts and Lindsey Vandever notching two apiece.
Most of the scoring happened right off the bat, with three of the game's five runs coming in the first inning. On the second at bat of the game, the Sooners' Savannah Long took a Penna pitch over the center field fence, and quickly put Oklahoma on the board.
At its first opportunity, however, Stanford answered, taking over the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Alissa Haber was hit by a pitch to start the inning, putting Stanford's first of 11 base runners aboard. Senior Tricia Aggabao laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the ball was overthrown when the Sooners attempted to throw Haber out at second. Haber moved to third on the play to put runners at the corners, and when Aggabao stole second, an overthrow scored her. With one out, Smith cracked her first of two crucial hits, scoring Aggabao from second.
Stanford's 2-1 lead held for the better part of the game, but that was not to say that both teams didn't threaten. Both squads had base runners in all but one inning. Oklahoma left six runners on base to the Cardinal's four.
In the fifth inning, the Sooners finally capitalized on an opportunity. Penna struck out Amber Flores to lead off the inning, but the Sooner outfielder reached first base on a contentious dropped third strike play. Flores was bunted to second, and scored after a single by Ricketts and a misplay in the Stanford outfield.
Smith responded quickly, however, wasting no time giving Stanford its lead back. The senior cracked her third homerun of the day over the left field fence, and put Stanford in position to upset its first ranked opponent of the year. The blast was the 35th of Smith's career, putting her second only to Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza on the Stanford career chart.
In the seventh inning, Vandever led off with an infield single, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Penna once again came through in the clutch, however, striking out Long to clinch the Stanford upset.
The Cardinal returns to the field tomorrow, taking on Ohio State and UNLV in a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m.