Cardinal Falls Short Against Longhorns, 3-1
Feb. 24, 2008
Cathedral City, Calif. - Despite receiving nine walks and putting runners on in all but one inning, the No. 12/13 Stanford softball team had its 15-game winning streak snapped today at the hands of the No. -/25 Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns hit two critical homeruns, and claimed a 3-1 victory over the Cardinal. Stanford falls to 15-1 with the loss, ending its longest season-opening win streak in school history at 15 games.
The Cardinal was outhit by the Longhorns, 4-3, marking just the second game of the year that the Cardinal has been outhit. Pitcher Missy Penna suffered her first loss of the year, and drops to 11-1. Penna struck out just four batters, her season-low for a complete game.
Stanford received nine walks in the game, but was only able to muster three hits, and ended up leaving 11 runners aboard to Texas' two.
Longhorn starter Brittany Barnhill helped her own cause in the third inning, cracking her first homerun of the year over the fence in left field. The solo shot, just the second hit of the game for the Longhorns, gave Texas a 1-0 lead.
Stanford was unable to answer until the fifth inning, when a wild pitch by reliever Meagan Denny finally allowed the tying run to score. Alissa Haber walked to start the inning, and was bunted to second by Tricia Aggabao. Shortstop Maddy Coon broke up Barnhill's no-hitter with a single to center field, and the Longhorn hurler was replaced in the circle by Denny. Denny walked her first batter to load the bases, and then threw a wild pitch to Melisa Koutz that allowed Haber to score. Denny walked the next batter, but struck out two Stanford hitters back-to-back to get out of the jam.
The tie didn't last long. With two outs, Barnhill knocked her second hit of the game up the middle to put a runner on for leadoff hitter Desiree Williams. Williams launched what proved to be the game-winning homerun deep to right center, giving the Longhorns a 3-1 lead.
Aggabao led off with a double to start Stanford's last chance in the seventh, and with two outs, Koutz recorded another Cardinal hit to put runners at the corners. Denny struck out her sixth batter in 2.2 innings of work, however, handing Stanford its first loss of 2008.
Stanford will play a midweek game against Providence College later this week, battling the Friars on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal will compete at the Worth Classic in Fullerton, Calif. over the weekend, where the team is scheduled to face St. John's, Louisville, Texas Tech, Purdue and Florida.