Koplitz' Walk-Off Blast Secures Eighth Pac-10 Win
April 24, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - Junior Shannon Koplitz ended a pitcher's duel in the ninth inning tonight, hitting a walk-off home run to lift Stanford to a 2-0 win over Oregon. Senior pitcher Missy Penna tied her own school record with her 15th shutout of the year and Stanford built its 2009 win total to 39.
The fourth-ranked Cardinal is now 39-6 on the year, with an 8-5 Pac-10 record. Oregon dropped its fifth consecutive conference game and is now 15-27 overall and 2-11 in Pac-10 play.
Penna (27-4) fanned 12 ducks in the game, including six of the first eight to come to the plate. She kept the Ducks off the board for nine innings to earn her 47th career shutout, building up her ongoing school record. The win, her 27th of the season and the 111th of her career, moved her into a tied for 23rd on the NCAA's all-time win list and into a tie for third on Stanford's single-season list.
Freshman Samantha Skillingstad (11-11) struck out 10 and took the loss for Oregon.
The pitchers gave up a combined eight hits in the game, with the Ducks getting three off of Penna and the Cardinal squeezing five off of Skillingstad. Koplitz was the only player on either side to get more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with the game-winning home run.
The Ducks put just six runners on in the nine innings and only got one past first base in the fourth. With two outs, Penna hit a batter and allowed her only two walks in succession, but struck out Kaitlin Vitek with bases loaded to end the inning.
Stanford, on the other hand, put runners on in seven of the nine innings but left 11 on before finally plating one in the ninth. The Cardinal had at least two base runners six times, and left seven runners in scoring position.
After squandering a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinal finally came through to win in the bottom of the ninth. Haber slapped an infield single with one out, and Koplitz connected on Skillingstad's 1-1 pitch two batters later to end the game. The home run was the eighth for the junior this season.
Stanford is back at Smith Family Stadium tomorrow for a 1 p.m. game against Oregon State. The Cardinal and the Beavers conclude the series on Sunday at noon.