Stanford Softball Announces 2009 Schedule
Sept. 24, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford head softball coach John Rittman has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2009 season. The Cardinal squad, which posted the second-most wins in school history last season and advanced to its third NCAA Super Regional in four years, is set to take on another challenging slate of opponents. Stanford will play 29 games against teams that competed in last year's NCAA Championship, and 15 against teams that finished last season ranked in the top-25.
Stanford kicks of the year at a familiar tournament, the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinal meets McNeese State in its season opener on Feb. 6 and continues play against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas and 2008 NCAA Tournament participant Central Florida over the opening weekend.
The team will be on the road for the second weekend of the season as well, heading south to San Diego to make an appearance at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, Feb. 12-15. The weekend will be highlighted by a Friday doubleheader that puts the Cardinal up against No. 22/23 Long Beach State and No. 24/24 San Diego State.
After hosting Sacramento State, Notre Dame and Western Kentucky in its first of three home tournaments, Stanford will head to the DeMarini Invitational at Cal State Fullerton. Stanford will face Indiana, UC Riverside, Minnesota and Cal Poly before squaring off with 2008 NCAA Tournament participant Cal State Fullerton on the Titans home field to conclude the event.
The Cardinal hosts back-to-back home tournaments in March before jumping into the competitive Pac-10 season. Among the challengers in Stanford's 11-game preseason home streak are two teams coming off NCAA appearances, Princeton and Winthrop, as well as a second showdown with San Diego State.
The squad begins the conference season at home, meeting 2008 Pac-10 runner-up UCLA at Smith Family Stadium on Mar. 27. The Pac-10 will again provide a challenging agenda, as seven of the eight conference teams return from NCAA appearances, five are coming off NCAA Super Regional trips and three are back from runs to the Women's College World Series. Five of the eight conference teams, including Stanford, finished 2008 ranked in the NFCA poll. Highlighting the 2008 home season for the Cardinal will be a home match-up against Bay Area rival California on Apr. 9, a showdown with defending national champion Arizona State on May 1, and a pair of contests against traditional power Arizona, May 2-3.
NCAA Regional action begins May 15, and leads up to the 28th annual Women's College World Series, May 28-June 3 in Oklahoma City.
Stanford finished 2008 with a 49-15 record, marking its 10th 40-win season and its second highest win total in school history. The team made its 11th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, advanced to the College Station Super Regional and took fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference. Eleven letterwinners return for 2009, including All-American pitcher Missy Penna, All-American outfielder Alissa Haber and reigning Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Rosey Neill.
Rittman and his staff have also landed one of the nation's top recruiting classes this season, which includes Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.), Jenna Becerra (Camarillo, Calif.), Christina Goswiller (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Maya Burns (San Mateo, Calif.), Sarah Hassman (Cupertino, Calif.) and Mary Kate Smith (Tampa, Fla.).
The complete 2008 Stanford softball schedule is available here