Penna Silences ASU Bats, Nabs Strikeout No. 1,200
May 1, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - Beginning her last Pac-10 series on home turf, Missy Penna brought her best. The senior All-American fanned 11 batters, threw a two-hitter and shutdown one of the nation's top-three offenses in the sixth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils, 4-0. Along the way, the nation's active strikeout leader sat down her 1,200th career batter, secured her second consecutive 30-win season and set the bar higher on four school records.
Penna's win pushed her to 30-4 on the year, marking the third 30-win season in school history and the second by Penna. She held one of the nation's top offenses scoreless to build her career shutout record to 49 and the single-season school record to 17. It was the first time the Sun Devils had been shutout in more than two months (Feb. 22 vs. UMass).
The Cardinal senior fanned Ashley Muenz for the final out of the game to record her 1,200th career K. She is the first active player in the country to reach the milestone, the 24th of all-time and the seventh in Pac-10 history.
Freshman Hillary Bach (22-8) took the loss for Arizona State after allowing nine hits and four earned runs.
Offensively, junior Alissa Haber paced Stanford with three hits, but it was rookie Ashley Hansen who stepped up and drove in all four Stanford runs. The rookie hit her fourth home run of the season in the first inning and went 2-for-4 on the evening.
Hansen's four RBI moved her up to a team-high 48 on the year, pushing her onto the school's single-season RBI chart. Her RBI total is the third highest ever posted by a Stanford rookie.
Arizona State senior Jessica Mapes was the only player who could hit Penna, getting each of the two hits allowed by the senior ace.
Haber and Hansen put Stanford off to an efficient start, putting two runs on the board before the Cardinal's third batter stepped to the plate. Haber started things with her 50th career double and Hansen sliced her fourth home run of the year over the left field fence to make it 2-0.
Stanford kept hitting and added onto its lead in the second inning. Freshman Jenna Becerra reached on a bunt single and cruised into second on a Sun Devil throwing error. Haber moved her to third with another bunt single, and Becerra beat the throw to the plate on a ground ball to the right side by Hansen.
In the fourth inning, Stanford came up with its final run. Sarah Hassman punched a single to left field, then stole second base. Haber moved her to third with her third hit of the night and Hansen brought her in with a chop single to the left side of the infield.
Stanford plays No. 7/8 Arizona tomorrow, looking to avenge last month's loss in the desert. Action begins at 1 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium.