Chinn Keeps `Cats At Bay In 4-3 Comeback Win
May 2, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - With first place in the Pac-10 on the line, the third-ranked Stanford softball team (43-6, 12-5 Pac-10) pulled out a spectacular comeback to best No. 7/8 Arizona today at Smith Family Stadium, 4-3. Ashley Chinn stifled the nation's top offense and the team rallied behind her in the bottom of the sixth to give the sophomore pitcher the biggest win of her career.
With four regular-season games remaining, Stanford (43-6) takes over first place the in the Pac-10 with a 12-5 conference record. The team is now just one win away from matching its highest Pac-10 win total since the league went to a 21-game schedule in 2000.
The win was just the sixth in program history over Arizona and the first since the Cardinal upended the eventual national champ in 2007. Stanford will play the Wildcats again tomorrow, looking to take the series for the first time in school history.
Arizona drops to 39-12 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-10. Senior Jennifer Martinez gave up the winning run in one inning of relief and falls to 9-4.
Chinn (13-2) went all seven innings, struck out five Wildcats and picked up her first career win over a ranked opponent. She allowed nine hits, but forced outs in key situations and held an offense which averages nearly nine runs a game to just three.
Stanford was outhit 9-8, and stranded six runners to Arizona's eight. The Cardinal was led by Shannon Koplitz' 2-for-3 outing, while the Wildcats got two hits from Lini Koria, Victoria Kemp and Karissa Buchanan.
Stanford hit four doubles in the game, including Alissa Haber's 20th of the season. The junior, who ranks third in program history with 51 career doubles, is just the fourth Stanford player to hit 20 or more in a season (Jessica Allister `04, Jessica Mendoza '02 and Sarah Beeson '02 are the others).
Senior second baseman Maddy Coon recorded her 279th career assist in the second inning to become one of the school's top-10 defensive players of all-time.
Chinn was solid from the get-go, allowing just one Wildcat base runner through the first two innings. In the third, Buchanan beat out an infield single with one out, moved to second on Chinn's only walk of the game and scored on a double by Jenae Leles.
In the next inning, the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead on a two-run home run by Kemp. Chinn buckled down however, stranding six Wildcat runners and keeping them off the board after Kemp's long ball.
The Cardinal offense put runners on in four of the first five innings, but couldn't get the key hits to bring anyone in until the sixth. Backed against a wall, Stanford began to scratch out runs, posting four hits and capitalizing on Arizona miscues to take over the lead.
The decisive inning began with a double by freshman Ashley Hansen, who clocked a ball off the center field wall to give Stanford some energy. Shannon Koplitz followed by putting a ball into right field, staging a pair at the corners for Maddy Coon. The senior crushed a double to the gap in left field, but quick Wildcat defense allowed only one run to score. Arizona got its first out on an ensuing pop-up, and Neill hit a sky ball to shallow center on the next at bat. The ball was dropped however, and Koplitz raced in from third to make it 3-2. A ground ball to shortstop was thrown off target on an attempt to get Coon at third on the next play and, with bases loaded, rookie Jenna Becerra came up with a clutch hit to right field. The single scored Coon to knot the score at three and loaded the bases back up for the Cardinal. Arizona got a key second out, but on the next at bat, a wild pitch was thrown to Alissa Haber and pinch runner Autumn Albers hurried across to score what proved to be the game-winning run.
With the biggest win of her career three outs away, Chinn faced the most dangerous part of Arizona's order. After allowing a leadoff single to K'Lee Arredondo however, the sophomore struck out Leles and coaxed pop-ups from two of the nation's most dangerous home run hitters.