Stanford Clashes With Arizona State In Pac-10 Series This Weekend
April 28, 2010
THIS WEEK: The No. 14 Cardinal (31-12, 4-8 Pac-10) will play host to seventh-ranked Arizona State (37-10, 6-6 Pac-10) at Smith Family Stadium for three games this weekend.
THE SCHEDULE: The series opener versus the Sun Devils is set for 7 p.m., Friday, Apr. 30. Game two is scheduled for Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m., and the series finale will be Sunday, May 2 at Noon.
UP NEXT: Stanford will host Santa Clara, Tuesday, May 4 at 6 p.m., before traveling to the Pacific Northwest to take on the nation’s top-ranked team, the Washington Huskies. The Cardinal and Huskies will play three games at Husky Softball Stadium. Friday night’s game will be tape-delayed by FSN.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior Alissa Haber has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given annually to a student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. Fans have the opportunity to vote on the award’s official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text SOFTBALL to 74567 to vote for the finalists.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON...: Stanford’s Alissa Haber and Teagan Gerhart were among the 25 players named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. The 25 picks represent 20 different schools and seven different conferences. Haber and Gerhart were two of the eight selections from the Pac-10.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: As a team, Stanford ranks in the top-50 in the nation in several statistical categories: Batting Average (.305, 34th), Fielding Percentage (.974, 12th), W-L Percentage (.714, 36th), Doubles Per Game (1.6, 14th), Stolen Bases Per Game (1.5, 40th) and Slugging Percentage (.478, 30th).
IN THE POLLS: After dropping seven in a row, the Cardinal fell four spots in the USA Today/NFCA poll and dropped three spots in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top-25, coming in at No. 14 in both polls this week. The Cardinal has appeared in every regular-season poll for more than a decade. Seven of the eight Pac-10 schools appeared in both polls, with as many as five appearing in the top-10.
TOUGH DEFENSE: Stanford has tallied a shutout in 17 of its 31 wins this season. Seven of those were run-rule victories for the Cardinal. Overall, the team has earned 11 of its 31 wins by the run-rule. Additionally, Stanford’s .979 fielding percentage in conference play ranks second in the Pac-10.
HARD TO HANDLE: All-American outfielder Alissa Haber entered her senior season with a .395 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 three years, Haber is a three-time All-American. She joins Mendoza as the only players in school history to enter their senior year as a three-time All-American. So far in 2010, Haber is hitting .450 with 58 hits on 131 at-bats. She has tallied 42 runs, 13 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 28 RBI.
BEHIND THE PLATE: Rosey Neill returns for her senior season as the two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Her .992 career fielding percentage ranks second in Cardinal history as does her 1,630 putouts. Offensively, she has been looked upon to provide power in the middle of the lineup. On the season, she is hitting .287, with 33 hits, including nine doubles and three home runs, 22 RBI and a .443 slugging percentage. She’s also second on the team with 23 walks.
SENSATIONAL SOPHOMORE: Ashley Hansen returns to the infield for the Cardinal this season after posting one of the most decorated rookie seasons on The Farm. Hansen became the school’s second Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after recording an astonishing .400 batting average, which included a team-leading 55 RBI and five triples, as well as, 84 hits, 26 doubles and four homers. She was the only freshman named to the All-Pac-10 team and garnered Second Team All-America honors. This season, Hansen has scored 36 runs, while hitting .370 with 50 hits, including a Pac-10 leading 15 doubles, a triple, two home runs, and 28 RBI.
IN THE CIRCLE: Freshman Teagan Gerhart has earned the majority of the time in the circle for the Cardinal this season. In fact, she is third in the conference with 188.1 innings pitched. The rookie is 22-6 with a 1.67 ERA on the year. Her 22 victories is third in the Pac-10 and 18th nationally. She pitched her first complete-game shut out versus McNeese State in a 9-0 run-rule victory, and now has 11 on the season. Gerhart has also amassed 171 strikeouts for the Cardinal this season, ranking fifth in the Pac-10. She has also moved into the top-10 on Stanford’s single season strikeout list.
TAKING NOTICE: Gerhart swept the player of the week honors for the Cardinal on Mar. 23. The freshman was first named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, and then garnered both the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week honors after throwing three straight no-hitters, which began with a perfect game against Santa Clara on Mar. 19. Gerhart threw 26.0 scoreless innings while registering 34 strikeouts last weekend at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. She allowed just three hits and one walk as she led the Cardinal to a perfect 5-0 tournament record. Senior Alissa Haber became the Cardinal’s second honoree of the season, picking up Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades on Apr. 5.
VETERAN PITCHING: Junior Ashley Chinn returns to the squad as an upperclassman that carries a 31-9 overall record with a 3.41 ERA this season. She has thrown 29 complete games, including 10 shutouts. This season she has thrown 61.2 innings, tallying 67 strikeouts.
ROOKIE DEBUT: Freshman Jenna Rich has produced solid numbers in her first season on The Farm. Rich is hitting .321, tallying 45 hits, including a team-best 11 home runs, and eight doubles, two triples, 39 RBI and 90 total bases. Her first career home run came in the season opener against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the short stop belted a two-run walk-off homer to end the game in the fifth inning. Two days later, also against the Islanders, Rich hit a pair of long balls on consecutive at-bats to lead Stanford to a 5-2 win. Rich earned her first collegiate start in the circle versus Saint Mary’s on 3/21. She threw 5.0 innings, striking out three batters for her first career win.
CAREER THEFTS: Sophomore outfielder Sarah Hassman has already penciled her name in the Cardinal record book for stolen bases. Hassman, who led the team last season with 19 stolen bases, has matched that mark in 2010 and once again leads the squad. Her 38 career thefts is fifth all-time in program history. Former Cardinal-great Jessica Mendoza tops the Stanford list with 86 career stolen bases, senior Alissa Haber is second with 49.
SOLID VETERANS: With six upperclassmen on its roster of 19, the Cardinal is still a fairly young team. However, the team’s veterans look to continue their production and success at several key positions. Seniors Alissa Haber, Shannon Koplitz, and Rosey Neill have been starters since their first year on The Farm, and enter their senior season with experience and leadership. Along with juniors Autumn Albers, Ashley Chinn and Melisa Koutz these veterans look to improve upon their two straight NCAA Super Regional appearances in 2010. Together the juniors and seniors combined to produce 360 runs, 583 hits and 72 homeruns entering this season. Along with Haber’s three All-America nods, this group of veterans has garnered seven All-Pac-10 awards, five all-region honors and various team awards.
PRESEASON PICKS: Stanford was selected to finish in a tie for fourth with Arizona State in the Pac-10 this season in the annual poll of the league’s coaches. Washington, the 2009 National Champion, was chosen in the top spot, while Arizona and UCLA finished ahead of the Cardinal.
2009 IN REVIEW: Stanford is coming off a strong 2009 season, in which it went 48-11 and finished fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference. The program posted its 11th 40-win season, recorded the best winning percentage (.814) in school history, made its 12th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and made a postseason run to its fourth NCAA Super Regional in five years. At the end of the year, eight players were honored with All-Pac-10 awards, four received all-region recognition and three - pitcher Missy Penna, outfielder Alissa Haber and infielder Ashley Hansen - were named All-Americans.
TEAM USA TIES: Head Coach John Rittman was a member of the United States National Team coaching staff from 2001-08. During the summer of 2009, current Stanford players Alissa Haber and Ashley Hansen competed for the red, white and blue in the Canada Cup and the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City. Haber also helped the team win gold at the Japan Cup, while Hansen was a part of the team that won gold in the Pan Am Qualifier in Venezuela. Both Haber and Hansen will join former Cardinal standouts Lauren Lappin and Jessica Mendoza on the U.S. National Team in 2010.
HEAD COACH John Rittman: In his 14th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Rittman is one of the winningest coaches in collegiate softball, boasting a 593-262-3 (.693) career record. Since stepping onto the Farm in July 1996, he has coached the team to 13 consecutive winning seasons, 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and 11 40-win seasons. Under Rittman, Stanford has claimed a share of its first conference championship and made two appearances in the Women’s College World Series.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils are coming off a 2-1 series win over No. 20 Oregon. Overall, ASU is fifth in the Pac-10 with a 6-6 conference record and 37-10 on the season. Sophomore Katelyn Boyd leads the way offensively for the Sun Devils, hitting .439 and slugging .864. The infielder has a team-best 58 hits, nine doubles, 15 home runs, 45 RBI and 41 walks. She is 25-26 in stolen bases and has a .580 on-base percentage. ASU is the nation’s fourth highest scoring offense, plating 7.3 runs per contest. The Sun Devils are also solid defensively, turning in 0.49 double plays per game, which also ranks fourth nationally. Sophomore Hillary Bach holds a team-leading 2.10 ERA this season. She has thrown 147.0 innings, tallying 103 strikeouts while giving up 131 hits and 44 earned runs. Bach has totaled 18 complete games, including seven shutouts, and has registered a 19-4 overall record.
SERIES RECORD: Stanford is 22-28 all-time versus Arizona State. Last season, the Cardinal won the series with the Sun Devils, 2-1. Stanford is 9-11 against ASU at Smith Family Stadium under head coach John Rittman.