Stanford Tops Sacramento State In First Game Of Stanford Nike Invitational

Feb. 20, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford softball team (9-1) crushed two solo home runs and cruised to a 6-1 victory over Sacramento State (2-2) today in the team's first game of the Stanford Nike Invitational.

Stanford was led by sophomore first baseman Melisa Koutz, who went 2-for-3 on the afternoon. Juniors Shannon Koplitz and Alissa Haber hit Stanford's home runs and tallied two RBI apiece.

Senior pitcher Missy Penna (7-1) picked up her seventh win of the year after striking out seven batters. The Cardinal ace allowed one earned run and four hits.

Stanford outhit Sacramento State, 6-4. Junior Brittani Clifford (1-1) took the loss for Sacramento State.

The Hornets swiftly retired Stanford's first two batters of the game, Koplitz stepped in and single-handedly put the Cardinal on the board. Koplitz pounded a deep shot to left field and became the first player to hit a home run over Smith Stadium's new outfield wall. The home run was the Cardinal infielder's third of the season.

In the second inning, the Cardinal added another run. Freshman Maya Burns slammed a double off the top of the left field wall, and scored on single up the middle by Koutz.

Stanford tacked one more on in the third. Haber connected on the first offering from relief pitcher Shelby Voelz, knocking a leadoff home run to right center field.

Sacramento State broke up Penna's shutout in the fourth inning, when a leadoff double by senior Izmena Cabrera allowed the Hornets to eke out a run. A ground out pushed Cabrera to third, and the quick left fielder scored on a squeeze play initiated by Desiree Beltran.

The Cardinal rallied for their last three runs in the fourth inning. Brittany Minder walked to lead off the inning and was replaced at first base by Penna. Another single by Koutz and a Hornet fielding error loaded the bases, and Haber was hit by a pitch to push Stanford's fourth run across. Freshman Ashley Hansen came up with an RBI single to score Koutz, and Koplitz drove a sacrifice fly to center to round out the scoring at 6-1.

The Cardinal will meet Notre Dame in the second game of its Friday doubleheader, beginning at approximately 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.

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