Penna Sweeps National Weekly Awards, Haber Honored By Pac-10

May 5, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - Last weekend, senior pitcher Missy Penna kept two of the nation's top three offenses at bay and junior outfielder Alissa Haber took charge at the plate, helping the 2009 Cardinal accomplish two things that no other Stanford team has done - sweep a weekend series with the Arizona schools and take the season series from the Arizona Wildcats. For their efforts, the pair was honored with a number of national and conference weekly awards.

Penna was named the USA Softball National Player of the Week and the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week for her efforts, the second time this season that she has swept both national weekly awards. When she did so in late March, she became the first player in school history to sweep both awards in the same week.

Haber was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career, joining teammates Rosey Neill and Ashley Hansen as the Stanford recipients of the award this year.

Penna completed the home season on a high note, beating two top-10 teams and allowing two of the nation's top-three offenses just one combined run and three combined hits in 14 innings of work.

On Friday night, she became the first pitcher to hold No. 6/7 Arizona State scoreless in more than two months (since Feb. 22). She threw a two-hitter, struck out 11 and became the first pitcher in the country to reach 1,200 career K's. On Sunday, she one-hit the nation's best offense, holding the No. 7/8 Arizona Wildcats (who average nearly nine runs a game) to just one run on one hit. She also struck out 13 batters in the game and helped Stanford take the series from the Wildcats for the first time in school history.

For the weekend, Penna posted an 0.50 ERA with 24 K's in 14 innings and an .065 opposing average while facing two of the best offensive teams in the country.

Haber hit .667 (6-for-9) over the three games, registered a hit in every single one, doubled twice and slugged .889 from the leadoff spot.

On Friday night against Arizona State, Haber was 3-for-3, reached on all four plate appearances and was involved in the scoring drives for all four Stanford runs. On Saturday against Arizona, she reached twice and posted her second double of the weekend. On Sunday, Haber once again was critical to both Stanford runs, scoring the first one, stealing two bases and sending a single to center field to drive in the game-winner. She also made a pair of critical defensive plays on the afternoon to keep Stanford in front.

For the weekend, Haber reached on 75 percent of her plate appearances, helping Stanford vault into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 standings.

For Penna, it the third time in her career that she has earned a national weekly honor. She was the first Stanford player ever recognized with USA Softball's award following the opening weekend of the 2008 season and received it again after beating Washington twice in late March. Her award from the NFCA was the 10th handed out to a Stanford player all-time, with the most recent going to rookie Hansen in February and Penna a month later.

Stanford has now won five national weekly honors this season, over three different weeks. In 2001, Stanford won three NFCA National Player of the Week awards before posting a school-record 54 wins and finishing third nationally.

Stanford (44-6, 13-5 Pac-10) is in the driver's seat to win the Pac-10 title this weekend, needing just two wins to clinch a share. The Cardinal plays Washington on Thursday afternoon in Seattle, then squares off with co-conference leader UCLA Friday and Saturday.

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