Cardinal Falls In Season Finale At Arizona, 6-1
May 10, 2008
Tucson, Ariz. - In a showdown for third place in the Pac-10, the No. 8/8 Cardinal softball team was unable to conquer the defending national champion and ninth-ranked Arizona Wildcats. After jumping out to an early lead, the Cardinal allowed two homeruns and three unearned runs to drop a 6-1 decision.
The Wildcats scored six runs on seven hits, while the Cardinal could only plate one on eight hits. Stanford left seven runners on base, five of which were in scoring position. Sophomore center fielder Alissa Haber went 3-for-4 with a triple to pace the Cardinal offense, while third baseman Jenae Leles matched her effort on the Wildcat side with three hits.
After fanning a school-record 17 against second-ranked Arizona State on Friday, ace Missy Penna (34-10) struck out a season-low two batters in the loss. Arizona All-American Taryne Mowatt struck out ten and improves to 24-12.
On the first at bat of the game, Haber drilled a ball to the gap in left center field and the Cardinal seemed to be on track. The sophomore came in with a stand-up triple, her first three-base knock of the season. Fellow sophomore Shannon Koplitz brought her in soon after, launching a sacrifice fly deep to right field. Haber's run was her team-leading 44th of the year, earning her a place on the school's single-season top-10 list.
The Wildcats brought some offense of their own in the bottom of the first, however, belting two homeruns to take a 3-1 lead. After K'Lee Arredondo reached on a double, Leles pounded a ball over the left field fence. Five pitches later, first baseman Laine Roth took another Penna pitch over the wall in right center.
The Cardinal was near perfect for the next three innings, but a costly error at first base allowed the Wildcats to score three unearned runs in the fifth. Stanford recorded two quick outs, but Penna's first walk, Leles' third hit of the game and an infield single by Roth soon loaded the bases. Designated player Stacie Chambers hit a grounder to Koplitz, but the ball was dropped at first base and two runs came in to score. The next batter, Callista Balko, followed with a double to left center that plated Roth and gave Arizona its 6-1 lead.
Stanford will learn its postseason fate tomorrow night, when the NCAA Selection Show airs on ESPNU at 7 p.m. (PT). NCAA Regional action begins Friday at campus sites TBD.