Six-Run Rally Lifts Stanford Over Arizona
May 21, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - Senior second baseman Maddy Coon pounded a three-run home run to cap a six-run Cardinal fifth inning, leading the Stanford softball team to a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Arizona tonight in NCAA Super Regional action.
Stanford improves to 48-9 on the year, and is now one victory away from its third trip to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Arizona drops to 44-15 on the year with the loss, its third straight against the Cardinal. The two teams will play again tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. with a second game set for 8 p.m., if necessary.
Facing the nation's top offense, senior pitcher Missy Penna (35-6) struck out seven Wildcats and allowed nine hits. She claimed her 35th win of the season and snagged the first Super Regional win of her career. With her 119th career win, she is now tied as the 14th winningest pitcher in NCAA history.
Junior Sarah Akamine took the loss for the Wildcats, allowing four earned runs and falling to 22-7 on the year.
Stanford posted six hits in the game, three of which came in its game-winning rally. Junior Shannon Koplitz registered two of the hits to lead the way, while Coon's home run accounted for three of the Stanford RBI.
Arizona came out hitting right away, using three hits to open up the scoring in the top of the first inning. Brittany Lastrapes singled up the middle in the leadoff spot and K'Lee Arredondo followed with a bunt single. A fielder's choice and a strikeout gave the Cardinal two outs, but an ensuing walk issued to Sam Banister loaded the bases. Freshman Lini Koria then popped a single into left field that scored Lastrapes, but Alissa Haber gunned Jenae Leles down at the plate when she tried to score on the play as well.
From there Penna held the Wildcats hitless for four consecutive innings, allowing Stanford to go into the bottom of the fifth still just one run back. Freshman Jenna Becerra reached second on a throwing error by Akamine to start the inning and Sarah Hassman dove into first to beat out a single to the Wildcat first baseman on the next play. After Hassman stole second, Arizona intentionally walked Haber to load the bases for Ashley Hansen. The rookie came through, slamming a hard shot off of Banister at first base that allowed both Becerra and Hassman to score. With the lead and still no outs, Shannon Koplitz sent a single up the middle to score Haber and make it 3-1. Coon then crushed her fifth home run of the year over the left center field fence to push the Stanford advantage up to 6-1.
The Wildcats battled however, coming up with four hits in the sixth inning to push two runs across. Arredondo singled to start the inning and another by Leles coupled with a walk loaded the bases for Koria again. The freshman once again came through with a single to left, scoring Arredondo. Victoria Kemp singled on the next at bat to score another run, but Penna came up with back-to-back K's to get out of the jam.
In the seventh, the Wildcats tried again, but Penna and the Stanford defense held tight. A single and an error put two on with no outs, but Penna forced a pop-up and a ground out to come one out short of the win. Banister registered an RBI single to keep the inning alive, by a ground ball to Koplitz was handled successfully and Stanford walked away with the win.
Game time tomorrow is set for 5:30 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium. The if necessary game is set for 8 p.m.