No. 3/4 Stanford Faces Arizona Schools In Final Home Weekend
April 28, 2009
With its Pac-10 title chances back in its own hands, the No. 3/4 Stanford softball team (41-6, 10-5 Pac-10) plays a critical conference series with the Arizona schools this weekend. The Cardinal will play the rubber game in the series with No. 6/7 Arizona State (37-11, 7-6 Pac-10) on Friday night at 7 p.m., hoping to take the series from the Sun Devils for the first time since 2005. On Saturday and Sunday, the Cardinal meets the No. 7/8 Wildcats (37-11, 9-4 Pac-10), looking to a avenge a disappointing April 17 loss in Tucson. Games are set for 1 p.m. and noon on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Sunday will mark the final regular-season home game for Cardinal seniors Missy Penna and Maddy Coon.
LAST TIME OUT
Stanford completed season sweeps of both Oregon schools last week, marking just the second time in school history (and the second year in a row) that the Cardinal has swept both teams in the same year. Junior Shannon Koplitz hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Stanford to a 2-0 win over Oregon on Friday, and freshman Ashley Hansen paced the Cardinal as it claimed its 40th win of the year against Oregon State on Saturday. On Sunday, Missy Penna broke her own school record with her 16th shutout of the year, leading the team to its third victory of the weekend. For her efforts, Penna was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season.
Sunday's game marks the last regular-season home contest for Stanford seniors Missy Penna and Maddy Coon. Penna will finish her career on The Farm as arguably the best pitcher to don a Stanford uniform, owning every one of the school's career and single-season records for strikeouts, wins, shutouts and innings. Coon is on pace to be the sixth player to finish her career with a batting average over .300, owns every walk record in the Stanford books and has etched her name on five of the school's career top-10 charts.
Stanford's game this Friday is its third of four televised games during the Pac-10 season. The game will air live at 7 p.m. (PT) on Friday night, then be reshown Saturday at 12:30 a.m., 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., Sunday at 3 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 13 more times throughout next week. Check out http://onair.cstv.com/ for details.
With Stanford's win over Oregon State on Saturday, the team secured its 11th 40-win season in 13 seasons under head coach John Rittman. Since 1998, Rittman and the Cardinal have hit the milestone 11 times in 12 years. Stanford was the first team in the Pac-10 to get its 40th win this year and is one of seven teams to have done so nationally. Notably, the Cardinal hit No. 40 before the month of May for just the third time in school history. Last year's squad and the 2001 WCWS team that won a school-record 54 games were the only other Stanford teams to do so.
Stanford enters the sixth week of conference play in third place in the conference, just a half game behind conference leader UCLA. Stanford continues to control it own Pac-10 fate, with the ability to hand other conference teams enough losses to take home its second Pac-10 crown. The Cardinal won its only Pac-10 title in 2005, tying for the conference crown with a 13-8 record. Since going to a 21-game schedule in 2000, 13-win conference seasons in 2004 and 2005 have been the team's best. The team needs just one more win to ensure a winning record in conference play for the sixth time in school history. Stanford finished fourth in the Pac-10 last year with an 11-10 conference record.
SCALING THE POLLS
After sweeping the Oregon schools, Stanford climbed up one spot to No. 3/4 in the major collegiate softball polls. The squad held a program-best No. 2 rank in both polls for three consecutive weeks earlier this year, matching the highest rank in school history. The Cardinal, which has appeared in every regular-season NFCA poll for more than a decade, has now been in the NFCA top five for 11 straight weeks, the longest streak since 2001 when the Cardinal reached its first Women's College World Series and finished third nationally. Six of the eight Pac-10 schools appear in both polls, with five appearing in the top 10 and three appearing in the top five.
THE BIG STREAK
With Stanford's loss to UCLA on March 27, one of the longest winning streaks in NCAA history, and the longest by the Cardinal program, came to an end. Going into its Pac-10 opener, Stanford had won 28 straight games, tying for the 17th-longest winning streak of all-time. It was the longest single-season run by a Pac-10 team since Arizona (31 games) and Cal (32 games) posted similar streaks early in 2001. Prior to this year, Stanford's longest win streak was 16 games (2002). The team swept five tournaments and went 47 days, 188 innings and 28 games without suffering a loss.
Stanford has scored first in 38 of its 47 games, and only let one of those 38 leads slip away. Of the nine times that opponents have gotten on the board first, Stanford has come back and won four times. In the first inning, Stanford has scored more times than any other inning (54), while holding opponents to just eight runs in the opening frame.
Stanford freshman Ashley Hansen, who was the only high school player invited to USA Softball's Olympic Selection Camp in 2007, is having the best rookie season since Stanford's most famous Olympian, Jessica Mendoza, stepped on The Farm exactly a decade ago. Mendoza went on to become a four-time first-team All-American and key player on the USA Team that won a gold medal in Athens in 2004 and a silver medal in Beijing last summer. Here's a look at how Hansen's 2009 season is lining up with Mendoza's 1999 season, when she earned the program's only Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award:
Mendoza has been the only Stanford rookie to hit over .400 (.415). Hansen is currently hitting .408. Mendoza had 81 hits in 62 games in 1999 (1.31 per game). Hansen has 69 hits in 47 games already (1.47 per game).
Mendoza had 13 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and slugged .641 during her rookie season. Hansen already has 16 doubles, five triples and three home runs and is slugging .615.
Mendoza struck out just 22 times in 195 at bats as a freshman (once every 8.9 AB's). Hansen has struck out just 10 times this year in 169 at bats (once every 16.9 AB's).
Mendoza earned Stanford's first national player of the week honor as a freshman on March 8, 1999, after just four weeks of collegiate play. Hansen followed in her footsteps on Feb. 17, 2009, becoming the second Stanford freshman to earn the award (after just her second weekend of collegiate play).
Mendoza was one of 18 first-team All-Americans as a freshman in 1999. On April 1, Hansen was the only freshman among the 25 players named to USA Softball's 2009 Player of the Year Watch List.
THE Missy Penna FILE
LATELY: Penna threw every inning of the Oregon series last week, posting a perfect 3-0 record with two shutouts to break Stanford's single-season shutout record. She began the weekend by striking out 12 in nine shutout innings against Oregon, then bested Oregon State to secure the series win on Saturday. Already 16 innings into the weekend, Penna tossed a one-hitter and shut down the Beavers on Sunday, allowing just two baserunners in seven innings of work. For the weekend, she posted a .091 ERA with 24 K's. In 23 innings, she gave up only 10 hits. The senior earned her fifth Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award of the season for her efforts.
POTW DOMINATION: Penna has won five Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards this year and boasts nine for her career, tying Washington's Danielle Lawrie for the most of any active player in the conference. She won for sweeping the Oregon schools again last weekend, nabbing her fifth award of the season to tie Lawrie, Keira Goerl and Alicia Hollowell for the Pac-10 record for player of the week awards in a single season. After recording two wins over then-No. 2 Washington in late March, Penna became the first player in school history to sweep both the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week awards.
IN THE NATION: Penna ranks among the top 10 pitchers in the country in three major pitching categories. She leads the nation with 16 shutouts, ranks third with 29 wins and is seventh with 286 strikeouts.
IN THE PAC-10: Penna leads the league in wins (29) and innings pitched (230.1) and ranks second to Washington's Danielle Lawrie with 286 strikeouts. She ranks third in the conference behind Lawrie and UCLA's Megan Langenfeld with a 1.40 ERA and .176 opposing average.
STRIKEOUT RECORD, CHECK: Penna broke her fourth Stanford career pitching record against Arizona State on April 18, striking out her 1,155th career batter to break Dana Sorensen's strikeout record. Penna now has 1,189 career strikeouts and is currently the nation's active career K leader (20 ahead of Washington's Danielle Lawrie). In the last two weeks, Penna has recorded K's that have put her were in sole possession of seventh place in the Pac-10 record books and among the NCAA's 25 all-time strikeout leaders. Among the greats Penna has passed on the strikeout list along the way? Two-time Olympian Jennie Finch (1,028).
SHUTOUT RECORD, CHECK: Penna shut out Notre Dame on Feb. 20, nabbing the 36th shutout of her career. With the win, Penna set a new school record, topping the previous top mark set by Becky Blevins a decade ago (35, 1996-99). Since then, Penna has continued to dominate. Her two shutouts against Oregon and Oregon State built her ongoing school shutout record to 48.
WIN RECORD, CHECK: With her win over Oregon State on April 3, Penna recorded her 106th career victory and passed three-time All-American Dana Sorensen as the winningest pitcher in Stanford history. With 113 career wins to date, she is the seventh-winningest pitcher in Pac-10 history and the 23rd winningest of all-time.
INNINGS PITCHED RECORD, CHECK: With her win over Washington on March 29, Penna broke Sorensen's school record for innings pitched. Penna has now thrown 1022.1 innings in her four years on The Farm. That total ranks fourth in Pac-10 history, 56 innings short of third-place Katie Burkhart (Arizona State `08). Last Friday, she became the first pitcher at Stanford and the sixth in conference history to throw 1,000 innings.
SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS: Penna shattered her own single-season shutout record on Sunday against Oregon State, blanking the Beavers to nab her 16th of the year. Penna's 29 wins rank third on the Stanford single-season chart and her 286 K's rank sixth.
SINGLE-GAME STRIKEOUT RECORD: On March 23, Penna shattered the school's single-game strikeout record with 19 K's in a 10-inning win over Cal Poly. The performance bested the school record she set last May - 17 K's at Arizona State.
1,000 AND COUNTING: On March 1, Penna posted her 1,000th career strikeout and joined 10 of the most elite pitchers in Pac-10 history. Penna was the first active player in the country to reach the notable landmark and the 11th player in Pac-10 history to do so. Dana Sorensen is the only other Stanford player to hit 1,000, with 1,154 K's in her impressive career between 2000 and 2004.
RACE TO 1,200: Only 23 players in NCAA history have ever reached 1,200 career K's. Penna is 11 strikeouts short of adding her name to that elite list.
THE .300 CLUB
Only five Stanford players have ever finished their careers with a batting average over .300, but senior Maddy Coon is attempting to make it six. Coon currently boasts a .302 career average and could join Jessica Mendoza `02, Sarah Beeson `02, Jackie Rinehart `07, Lauren Lappin `06 and Catalina Morris `06 in the .300 club at the end of her career.
THE .400 CLUB
Two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza is the only Stanford player who has ever hit .400 or better in a season, doing so three times during her career. Junior Alissa Haber (.438) and freshman Ashley Hansen (.408) are both attempting to match her feat this season.
Stanford's lineup is anchored by the power-hitting class of 2010. The three Cardinal juniors - Alissa Haber, Rosey Neill and Shannon Koplitz - are the the team's three home run leaders, having accounted for 25 of the team's 38 long balls this year (66 percent). They are slugging well over .600 as a class (.625), more than 200 points higher than the rest of the team combined, and have driven in 95 runs. Career-wise, Haber, Neill and Koplitz are three of the top 11 home run hitters in school history and are all carrying career slugging percentages which would rank among the school's all-time top 10.
HARD TO HANDLE
Two-time All-American Alissa Haber is one of the toughest outs in the Pac-10 right now, as her batting average (.438) stands fourth in the conference and among the top 15 nationally. Her current season average is second only to the figure that Jessica Mendoza posted when she became Stanford's only Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2000 (.475).
Alissa Haber posted a career-long 18-game hitting streak between Feb. 7 and March 6, racking up 33 hits in the month-long span ... Ashley Hansen has had the team's only other double-digit streak at 10 games (Feb. 7-21) ... Hansen has also posted two separate seven-game multi-hit streaks ... Hansen, Haber Maddy Coon and Shannon Koplitz have all hit in 10 of the 15 Pac-10 games, and Hansen has eight multi-hit games in conference play ... Haber heads into the weekend on the longest active streak on the team, having hit in each of the last five games.
CRACKING THE TOP-10
Alissa Haber cracked the school's all-time top-10 in hits in March, became the program's ninth player to get her 200th career hit on April 14 and now has 213 for her career. Just a junior, she has already etched her name on seven of Stanford's career top-10 charts (hits, walks, doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored and stolen bases).
Stanford's freshmen have all lived up to their billing so far. Five freshmen have made at least one start, four have become regular members of the lineup and two (Ashley Hansen and Sarah Hassman) have gotten the starting nod in all 47 games. Hansen, who was the only high school player selected to attend USA Softball's Olympic Selection Camp in 2007, has headlined the rookie crew. In her first collegiate season, she already ranks among the top-10 offensive players in the conference with a .408 batting average, 69 hits, 16 doubles and 44 RBI. She is also the conference's leader in triples (5), and just one short of Stanford's single-season record.
Since being shut out by Oklahoma State on the first day of the season, Stanford has scored in 45 consecutive games and posted one of the nation's top 30 scoring averages. The Cardinal has scored five or more runs 26 times this year, averages 5.55 runs per game and has accumulated more than three times the runs of its opponents (261-82). The team is carrying the best batting average in program history (.298).
Stanford's fielding percentage is the third best in school history (.975) and best since the 2005 and 2006 squads set the bar at .979. The team's current season average ranks second in the conference, behind only UCLA.
Junior Alissa Haber hit her 49th career double last Wednesday, and is now just one short of joining Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson as the only Stanford players to hit 50 or more in their careers. As a matter of fact, only nine Stanford players, including Haber and teammate Maddy Coon, have ever hit 40 or more. Haber, who needs just four more doubles to join the Pac-10's career top-10, ranks fifth nationally in doubles per game (0.38). She has hit a career-best 18 doubles this season, tying for fifth place with Robin Walker on the school's single-season list. Not to be overlooked, freshman Ashley Hansen has 16 doubles this year, the most of any freshman in school history. That total ties for ninth in the Stanford season record books and ranks 16th nationally.
The Cardinal has been racking up tons of triples this season and set a new school record on April 14 with 15 on the year. The 2009 team, which is currently carrying the best batting average (.298) in school history, has topped the previous-best 14-triple efforts of the 2005 and 2006 teams. Ashley Hansen leads the way with five triples this year, and is just one short of Stanford's single-season record.
13 STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS
Head Coach John Rittman has already ensured that his team will record its 13th straight winning season this year. With a 41-6 record and the second-best winning percentage in the country (.872), Stanford has been guaranteed to finish over .500 since late March. Rittman took over the program in 1997 and led it to its first winning season ever that year. He has now kept the team over .500 in each of his 13 seasons.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON
Of the 25 players still in contention for the 2009 USA Softball National Player of the Year award, three belong to Stanford. Junior outfielder Alissa Haber, senior pitcher Missy Penna and freshman shortstop Ashley Hansen were deemed three of the nation's best players when the 25 finalists were announced on April 1. Stanford's three selections matched the most of any school, as Arizona and Alabama also had three players chosen. Hansen was the only rookie to make the list.
Stanford was selected to finish fifth in the Pac-10 this season in the annual poll of the league's coaches. UCLA, the 2008 Pac-10 runner-up, edged defending national champion Arizona State for the top spot, while Washington and Arizona finished just ahead of the Cardinal. The Pac-10 has claimed 20 of the 27 all-time NCAA softball titles, and landed a team in the national title game 25 times. The league has sent at least seven of its eight teams to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 years.
Sophomore pitcher Ashley Chinn threw her third career no-hitter last week against San Jose State. She threw two no-hitters, including the school's seventh perfect game, as a rookie last season and tied for third place on the school's career no-hitter chart with the program's 19th all-time no-no this week. Senior pitcher Missy Penna threw her first no-hitter of the year against Kansas on Feb. 7. The no-hitter was the fifth of her career, tying Dana Sorensen's school record. Penna has now thrown five of the school's 19 all-time no-hitters.
FLOOD OF FREE PASSES
Just two weeks into her senior year, infielder Maddy Coon shattered the school's career walk record, passing Sarah Beeson's former mark of 115. Coon now holds every walk record in the Stanford books, with 136 career walks, 47 single-season walks (2008) and four single-game walks (2/29/08). Her 136 walks rank among the 10 best career totals in Pac-10 history as well (10th). Junior Rosey Neill is making a run at her teammate's single-season record, however. Neill is currently in third place on the school's single-season list with 34 free passes this year.
COON ON THE CLIMB
Maddy Coon has also established herself on a number of the school's other top-10 lists. Currently, Coon ranks sixth in career doubles (45), seventh in home runs (27), sixth in runs (138) and sixth in RBI (135). Also with 175 hits to her name, Coon is just the second player in school history to register triple digits in four different offensive categories (Sarah Beeson `02 is the other).
Alissa Haber is one of the most versatile hitters in school history. Recently, Haber joined three of the best hitters in school history - Jessica Mendoza `02, Kira Ching `03 and Catalina Morris `06 - as the only players to be among the school's 10 career leaders in doubles, triples and home runs.
IN THE CLUTCH
Juniors Alissa Haber and Shannon Koplitz have proved to work the best under pressure for the Cardinal. Haber is Stanford's best hitter with runners on base (.459) and runners in scoring position (.421). Koplitz is the team's best bet with two outs (.366), is 4-for-5 with bases loaded and leads the team with 17 two-out RBI. Another clutch hitter? Ashley Hansen is 6-for-13 with bases loaded, and has driven in a run 17 of the 24 times she has come up with a runner on third and less than two outs (.708).
Fresh off matching a school record and ranking 10th nationally with 19 home runs in 2008, junior catcher Rosey Neill is again Stanford's best home run bet this year with nine on the season. Just past the midpoint of her career, Neill has 35 home runs, joining four of Stanford's greatest sluggers - Jessica Mendoza `02, Jessica Allister `04, Catalina Morris `06 and Michelle Smith `08 - as the only players to have hit 30 or more career homers. Neill is currently in third place on Stanford's career home run chart behind Mendoza and Smith.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
The Stanford team has already combined for 75 doubles, 15 triples and 38 home runs this season. With a total of 128 extra-base hits, the Cardinal is averaging nearly three per game! How does that stack up? With a two weeks left in the regular season, Stanford has already broken the school triple record, hit more doubles than all but five other teams and is two short of becoming the fifth team in school history to hit 40 homers. Stanford has recorded at least one extra-base hit in 42 out of its 47 contests so far.
CHASING DOWN THE RECORDS
As juniors, Rosey Neill and Alissa Haber have their eyes on some of the school records set by the best player in Stanford history, two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza. Neill entered her junior year with 26 home runs (and now has 35). By comparison, Mendoza hit 36 of her 50 bombs by the end of her junior season. Midway through her junior year, Haber has 49 doubles to her name. Mendoza had 53 of her school-record 70 doubles by the end of her junior year.
HABER AMONG THE ELITE
All-American outfielder Alissa Haber currently owns a .390 career batting average, a clip which stands only behind that of two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza in the Cardinal record books. After leading Stanford in nearly every offensive category the last two years, Haber has twice earned All-America accolades. She is just the third player in school history to enter her junior year as a two-time All-American, matching the accomplishments of eventual four-time All-American Mendoza and eventual three-time All-American Dana Sorensen. Five players on the Cardinal squad are currently carrying career batting averages that would rank in the school's top-10.
Stanford pitchers Missy Penna and Ashley Chinn have combined to post some of the best numbers in the nation. With two of the top four ERA's in the Pac-10, the pair leads the conference and ranks 12th nationally in ERA (1.52). Currently, the duo has the most strikeouts (377) and wins (41) in the Pac-10 and has allowed the league's fewest runs (82) and earned runs (69).
1,000 AND COUNTING
Junior catcher Rosey Neill recorded her 1,000th career putout on Feb. 21, joining former greats Sarah Beeson `02, Kellie Wiginton `00 and Jessica Allister `04 as the only Cardinal players to reach the milestone. Battery counterpart Missy Penna reached the 1,000-K mark on March 1.
Stanford has played four extra-inning games this year, against Cal Poly on March 23, against Washington on March 28, against Arizona State on April 18 and against Oregon last Friday. Stanford is 4-0 in those games, outscoring opponents 5-0 in extra frames. Stanford is 5-0 when tied entering the final inning of play.
...AND SHORT OF IT
Stanford has won six games by run-rule so far, with its most recent coming against Penn State on March 6.
Senior pitcher Missy Penna is among 10 collegiate softball players chosen as finalists for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Each year, the award is presented to student-athletes who excel not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and in their community. Fans can vote for Missy through May 7 at http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/softball_2009/.
TEAM USA PICKSFreshman shortstop Ashley Hansen and sophomore outfielder Alissa Haber are among the 27 initial athletes invited to attend the 2009 USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Camp in Chula Vista, Calif., June 8-12. The list includes a number of current and former college standouts, as well as eight 2008 Olympians. Stanford alum Lauren Lappin `06, who won a silver medal with Team USA at the Beijing Olympics last summer, will also be attending the camp. Hansen, just 18 and a college freshman, is the youngest player on the invitee list.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE
Series Record: Stanford trails Arizona State 21-28 all-time.
Last Meeting: Stanford was upset by the Sun Devils in Tempe on April 19, 10-1. Alissa Haber hit a lead-off home run, but the team couldn't overcome ASU's eight-run second inning.
Last Stanford Victory: On April 18, Missy Penna posted 12 K's to break Stanford's career strikeout record and rookie Jenna Becerra came up with the winning hit in the eighth inning, carrying Stanford to a 7-6 victory over the Sun Devils.
Series Wins: Arizona State took two of three last year to win the series. The Sun Devils last swept the Cardinal in 2007. Stanford most recently won the series in 2005 and last swept the Sun Devils in 2004.
Current Streak: Arizona State won the last time the two teams played.
Scouting Report: The Sun Devils (37-11, 7-6 Pac-10) are ranked among the nation's top-10 teams in both major softball polls, and currently stand fifth in the Pac-10 standings. Leading the way offensively for ASU is two-time defending Pac-10 Player Kaitlin Cochran, who has hit home runs on 19 of her 112 at-bats, driven in 53 runs and been walked 48 times. She reaches base (.637) and slugs (1.054) better than any player in the country. Jessica Mapes (.372), Kaylyn Castillo (.370) and Katelyn Boyd (.369) are also hitting well for the offensively-powerful Sun Devils, who rank among the nation's top three in batting average, scoring and slugging percentage. In the circle, rookie Hillary Bach has taken over as the team's top pitcher. The freshman owns a 3.01 ERA with 117 K's and a 22-5 record.
Series Record: Stanford is 5-45-1 (.108) against the Wildcats all-time.
Last Meeting: On April 17, the Wildcats hit three home runs and posted 13 hits to upset Stanford, 12-4, in the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
Last Stanford Victory: The Cardinal stunned the then-No. 4 Wildcats on April 28, 2007, 3-2. After Stanford fell behind early, Tricia Aggabao ripped the game-winning two-RBI single down the right line in the fifth inning and Stanford held on for the win.
Series Wins: Arizona swept the series with the Cardinal last season. Stanford has never taken the series between the two schools.
Current Streak: Arizona has won the last four in a row against Stanford.
Scouting Report: The Wildcats (37-11, 9-4 Pac-10) currently sit second in the Pac-10, having won nine of their 13 conference games. Arizona is arguably the best offensive team in the nation, leading the country in batting average (.346), scoring (8.56), home runs per game (2.31) and slugging percentage (.665). Junior catcher Stacie Chambers leads the team in power numbers, pacing the nation with 26 home runs and 80 RBI. Sophomores Brittany Lastrapes (.467) and Lauren Schutzler (.430) both carry .400 or better batting averages, while seven starters are over .300. In the circle, new faces are getting some time after the departure of All-American Taryne Mowatt. Junior Sarah Akamine carries the best ERA (2.52) in the team's trio of pitchers, while senior transfer Jennifer Martinez has fanned 85 batters in 82.1 innngs and carries a team-low .256 opposing average.
IT COULD HAPPEN THIS WEEKEND...
TEAM, 1 WIN - Stanford is one win away from ensuring a winning record in Pac-10 play for the sixth time in school history. If Stanford sweeps this weekend, it will match its highest Pac-10 win total since the league went to a 21-game schedule in 2000.
PENNA, 1 WIN - Missy Penna is one win away from becoming the 21st-winningest pitcher in NCAA history and posting the third 30-win season in Stanford history. Two wins would put her among the top 20 winningest pitchers of all-time.
PENNA, 2 SHUTOUTS - Penna needs two shutouts to become the first pitcher in school history to post 50 for her career.
PENNA, 11 K's - Penna needs 11 K's to reach 1,200 for her career and would be the 24th player to do so all-time. She is 14 K's away from the fifth 300-K season in school history and 16 K's away from becoming one of the NCAA's 20 all-time strikeout leaders.
HABER, 1 DOUBLE - Alissa Haber needs one double to reach 50 for her career. She would be the third player in school history to do so.
HABER, 1 RUN - If Haber scores once more this year, she will have scored more times in a single year than anyone at Stanford but Jessica Mendoza.
COON, 4 ASSISTS - Maddy Coon is four assists away from becoming one of the top 10 defensive players in school history.
HANSEN, 1 HIT - Ashley Hansen's next hit will be her 70th of the season. It will mark the 12th 70-hit season in school history and the third by a Stanford freshman (Jessica Mendoza and Jackie Rinehart posted the others).
HANSEN OR KOPLITZ, 1 RBI - Hansen and Shannon Koplitz are both one RBI short of a spot on the school's single-season RBI top-10 list.
With just five upperclassmen, the Cardinal is, for the most part, a very young team. Yet, the squad is armed with some of the Pac-10's most talented veterans at key positions. All five upperclassmen - Missy Penna, Maddy Coon, Shannon Koplitz, Alissa Haber and Rosey Neill - have been starters since the day they arrived on The Farm. The group has also been well decorated, accumulating 10 All-Pac-10 awards, six all-region honors and three All-America nods. Before the 2009 season even began, the fivesome has already combined to score 329 Cardinal runs, notch 531 hits and belt 73 home runs.
2008 IN REVIEW
Stanford is coming off a strong 2008 season in which it went 49-15 and finished fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference. The program posted its 10th 40-win season, recorded the second-most wins in school history, made its 11th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and made a postseason run to its third NCAA Super Regional in four years. At the end of the year, eight players were honored with All-Pac-10 awards, four received all-region recognition and two - pitcher Missy Penna and outfielder Alissa Haber - were named All-Americans.
TEAM USA TIES
Head Coach John Rittman spent last summer on the coaching staff for the USA Team at the Beijing Olympic Games, marking his second appearance on the Olympic coaching staff. Two former Cardinal standouts, Jessica Mendoza `02 and Lauren Lappin `06, were on the squad that outscored opponents 58-5 over nine games and captured the silver medal. Current players Rosey Neill, Alissa Haber and Ashley Hansen are all veterans of the USA Junior National Team, and Hansen was the only high school player selected to participate in Team USA's Olympic Selection Camp in 2007.
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