Penna Blanks Purdue To Earn Stanford's 20th Win

March 1, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. - The Stanford softball team has 20 wins and counting. In its fourth game of the Worth Invitational, pitcher Missy Penna and the Cardinal (20-1) shut out Purdue, 6-0, blanking an opponent for the ninth time this year. Stanford will look to complete a perfect weekend with a win over No. 5/7 Florida tomorrow morning.

Penna (13-1) allowed just one hit in seven innings of work, tallied 13 K's and struck out her 600th career batter in the second inning. The junior is just the second player in school history to reach the 600 K mark, joining three-time All-American Dana Sorensen. Junior Dana Alcocer took the loss for Purdue.

Offensively, Stanford was led by sophomore center fielder Alissa Haber, who recorded three of the nine Stanford hits. Sophomore catcher Rosey Neill went 2-for-2 with three RBI and her eighth homerun of the year, while Michelle Smith went 2-for-2 with two RBI. The Cardinal outhit the Boilermakers, 9-1.

Less than a month into 2008, Stanford is halfway to its 10th 40-win season. This is the earliest date that the program has reached the 20-win milestone.

Stanford struck in the bottom of the first inning, hitting the ball hard from the get-go. Alissa Haber led off with a sharp single up the middle, and advanced to third when a sacrifice bunt by Tricia Aggabao was overthrown by the Boilermaker catcher. The Cardinal center fielder scored on a single by Michelle Smith, and Aggabao scored on the same play when Smith's hit was mishandled by the Purdue outfield.

After two Cardinal runners were thrown out on the base paths in the second inning, Smith single-handedly secured another Stanford run in the third. With two outs, the Stanford senior belted her third homerun of the tournament to dead center field, giving the squad a 3-0 lead. The blast was Smith's seventh of the season, and the 38th of her career. Smith remains second only to Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza in career homeruns, and, less than a month into the season, has already recorded more than a third of the program-record 19 homeruns she cracked as a freshman in 2005.

The two-out rally didn't end with Smith's homer, however. After Melisa Koutz walked and Shannon Koplitz doubled, catcher Rosey Neill ripped her eighth homerun of the year well over the fence in right field. The three-run bomb gave the Cardinal a 6-0 lead.

Stanford will conclude the its five-game stint at the Worth Invitational tomorrow. The Cardinal will square off with the No. 5/7 Florida Gators at 11 a.m. before returning to the Farm for seven home games next week.

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