Softball Faces LSU In Opening Game Of World Series

May 21, 2001

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This Week: The Stanford softball team makes its first trip to the Women's College World Series in the program's eight-year history ... The sixth-seeded Cardinal plays third-seeded LSU on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in a game that will be broadcasted live on ESPN2.

Oklahoma or Bust: For the first time ever, Stanford is headed to Oklahoma City for the World Series ... The Cardinal will be one of eight teams competing for the national championship ... The field, which features four Pac-10 teams, includes Arizona (61-4), UCLA (59-5), LSU (57-9), Michigan (43-15-1), Oklahoma (49-7), Iowa (49-12) and Cal (53-16) ... The double-elimination tournament could have up to 15 games over the five days with the championship game at 10:15 a.m. (PDT) on Monday.

Regional Report: The Cardinal went 4-1 on its way to winning the Stanford Regional ... It was the first time an NCAA Regional had been played on The Farm ... Stanford won its first three games before dropping a tough 2-0 decision to Pacific ... But the Cardinal won the second game of championship Sunday in convincing fashion - 9-1 in five innings - to advance to the Series ... The Cardinal had shutout wins over Hofstra (4-0) and Central Michigan (6-0) and followed with a 5-1 win over Nebraska ... Jessica Mendoza was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Region after hitting .471 (8-for-17) with nine RBI ... Joining Mendoza on the All-Tournament team were second baseman Kira Ching, pitcher Dana Sorensen and first baseman Sarah Beeson ... Sorensen went 3-1 on the weekend and threw both games of Sunday's championship ... Ching hit .353 with seven RBI while Beeson had three hits, including a double and a pair of RBI ... Stanford outscored opponents 24-4 in the five games.

Did You Know: The Cardinal has posted a school record 32 shutouts in 67 games played this season ... This breaks the 1998 mark (25) for shutouts in a single season ... Last year, the Cardinal had 10 shutouts ... Stanford has notched 10 or more hits in a game 17 times this season and scored 10 or more runs on six occasions ... The Cardinal has outscored its opponents 290-104 on the year, including a 67-15 advantage in the first inning ... With 100 doubles on the year, the Cardinal leads the Pac-10 ... The Cardinal's 43 homers on the year is a school record and is already 15 better than the total from last season ... Stanford won its first 12 games of the year for its longest winning streak (12) ... With 52 wins on the year, Stanford is in the midst of its best season in the program's eight-year history ... The previous best for wins was 45 from 2000 ... The Cardinal has two of the top five hitters in the Pac-10 in Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson.

Rankings Review: Stanford was ranked No. 4 in the final NFCA/USA Today Regular Season Poll of the year ... The Caridnal spent five weeks at No. 3, which is the highest ranking in school history ... Stanford has been ranked in the top five since March 7th of this year ... The Cardinal has appeared in the top 25 of every regular-season poll since early in the 1998 season, reaching a then-high of No. 7 during 1999 ... Stanford peaked at No. 8 in 2000 ... Pac-10 teams hold three of the top five spots in the poll, and five of the top 10 ... Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25 and advanced to the postseason ... This year, Stanford is scheduled to play five of the top 10 teams in the poll and 11 of the top 25 ... The Cardinal will play at least 24 games against teams ranked in the top 25 nationally this season.

Series Story: Of the eight teams in the World Series, the Caridnal has played five this season ... In February at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, Stanford took two games from Michigan (2-1, 2-0) ... Later in February at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Stanford defeated LSU 2-0 ... Against the Pac-10 opponents, the Cardinal is 3-6 ... Stanford went 2-1 against Cal with 5-2 and 5-4 wins and a 1-0 loss ... Against UCLA, Stanford snapped the Bruins' 35-game winning streak in the Pac-10 opener with a 1-0 win, but dropped two decisions in Los Angeles (8-0 and 2-0) ... Arizona is the only team in the Pac-10 that the Cardinal has yet to beat ... The Wildcats won the first meeting in Tucson 7-0 and took the next game at Stanford, 8-1 ... The final game between the two went 15 innings with Arizona winning 5-3.

Tiger Talk: LSU enters Thursday night's game with a 57-9 overall record, including a 28-1 mark at home ... The Tigers bring an eight-game winning streak into the World Series ... Five players are hitting over .300, led by Stephanie Hasting (.390, 16 2B, 48 RBI) ... Trena Peel (.350) has nine doubles and nine HRs while Julie Wiese (.260) leads the squad with 11 HRs ... In the circle, Britni Sneed has a 0.67 ERA and a 35-5 record ... She averages 6.6 stikeouts a game ... Ashley Lewis also comes in with a 0.81 ERA and a 20-4 record ... The last time the Cardinal and Tigers met, it was a pitcher's dual between Sorensen and Sneed ... Both allowed just two hits, but both of Stanford's were home runs.

From The Dugout: The Cardinal ERA is 1.17, down from last year's 1.38 mark ... Stanford pitching has only allowed 16 home runs this season ... The Cardinal has posted a 19-5 record at home this year and a 20-2-1 record at neutral sites ... In a 15-inning marathon game with Arizona (5/6/01), Stanford broke the school record for longest game ... Junior Sarah Beeson became the single-season record holder for doubles (23) and RBI (65) ... Junior Jessica Mendoza is currently batting .415 ... If she finishes the season over .400, it would be the third consecutive year Mendoza has accomplished the feat ... Before her, no Cardinal player had even hit the prestigious mark ... Sophomore Dana Sorensen ranks third nationally in strikeouts, averaging just under 11 per seven innings ... Sorensen broke the school record for strikeouts in a game with 16 against New Mexico (2/16/01) ... Both Beeson and Mendoza are ranked in the top 30 nationally for batting average.

Sorensen Sweet In Circle: Sophomore pitcher Dana Sorensen leads the Cardinal pitching staff with her 0.48 ERA and overall record of 25-4 ... With the 9-1 win over Pacific on Sunday, Sorensen became the single-season record holder for wins in a season ... Her 279 strikeouts this year have shattered the single-season record for Ks, which was previously 186 ... Sorensen is among the nation's top in ERA and is second in the Pac-10 ... She leads the conference in batters struck out looking (94), while her 279 Ks and .129 opponent batting average are both second in the Pac-10 ... She has notched 10 or more strikeouts in 14 games this year, and has also registered 17 complete games and 13 shutouts in 33 appearances ... Sorensen was forced to miss three weeks of Pac-10 play with a sore back ... She made her return to the circle in a relief outing against Arizona State ... In last weekend's Regional, Sorensen had 20 strikeouts with just five walks in 25 innings of work ... She was an All-Tournament selection for the Cardinal.

Mendoza Memo: Junior All-American outfielder Jessica Mendoza continues to make her mark in Stanford's all-time career record books ... Earlier this season, she became the Cardinal's all-time hit leader, surpassing Kellie Wiginton's 218 ... Mendoza has 255 hits in her time on The Farm, including 80 this year ... In just her third year, she already holds the school career record for stolen bases (56), home runs (36) and runs scored (165) ... Last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year is among the nation's leaders with her .415 batting average and 14 homers ... She leads the Cardinal with 23 multiple-hit games and also had a 12-game hitting streak earlier this year ... Her .756 slugging percentage and .515 on-base percentage are tops on the team as well ... Mendoza has been a clutch hitter, as proven in her .481 average with the bases loaded and .439 clip with runners on base.

Beeson's Hot Bat: Junior first baseman Sarah Beeson has been clutch for the Cardinal all season ... With her four doubles and six RBI in a twinbill at Sacramento State, Beeson broke the Stanford single-season RBI record and tied the season record for doubles ... She now leads the team with a season-record 23 doubles and 65 RBI ... She is hitting at a .399 clip(fifth in the conference) with 77 hits (second on team) ... She has started all 67 games at first for the Cardinal and is second on the team with a .987 fielding percentage ... She is hitting .438 with runners on base ... Beeson leads the team with 28 two-out RBI ... She is also the top Cardinal with 16 mutliple RBI games and is second with 21 mutliple-hit games ... Beeson was one of four Stanford players selected to the All-Tournament team at the Regional.Cha Ching: Second baseman Kira Ching has put together a solid sophomore campaign ... Her .286 batting average is third on the team as are her seven homers ... She also has 16 doubles, including a two-run double in the Regional championship game to put Stanford ahead 2-0 ... Ching has been clutch with .336 average with runners on base ... In a Regional against Central Michigan, she went 3-for-5 with four RBI ... She ranks third on the all-time career record books with 20 stolen bases, including 14-of-15 this year ... She was 14-of-14 in the regular season ... Her fielding percentage of .962 is second among Cardinal infielders.

Notes From Around the Bullpen: The Cardinal pitching staff, comprised of four sophomores, has an ERA of 1.17 ... It has a conference-best 148 batters struck out looking and is third best with 434 strikeouts ... The staff is holding opponent batters to a .167 clip at the plate ... Maureen LeCocq and Tori Nyberg anchored the Cardinal pitching staff while Dana Sorensen was sidelined ... LeCocq is 17-7 on the year and sports a 1.20 ERA ... She has a career-high 81 strikeouts along with nine complete games and six shutouts ... LeCocq pitched her first perfect game against Long Beach State (2/17/01) ... Nyberg has a 6-2 mark, including a 5-0 Pac-10 win over ASU ... She has fanned 54 in 72.1 innings of work ... Jaime Forman-Lau, who leads the conference in saves (4) and games in relief (20), has been solid from the pen ... She notched her fourth win of the year against Sac State as well as her fourth save against Cal.

Stanford's Stars and Stripes: The Cardinal had three players selected to participate in the USA Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3 in Chula Vista, Calif. ... Dana Sorensen, Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson were among 51 of the nation's finest fast pitch softball players selected for the camp ... USA Softball will select two 16-player teams to represent the U.S. in international competitions such as the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, the Canada Cup in Vancouver and the Pan Am Qualifier in Maracay, Venezuela during the 2001 season ... Fifth-year head coach John Rittman was also selected as one of 12 coaches to form the National Team Coaches Pool through the 2004 Olympic Games ... These 12 coaches will also participate in the camp later this spring and will be eligible for selection to such important coaching assignments as the 2001 U.S. Cup in Hawaii, 2001 Canada Cup in Vancouver the 2002 ISF Women's World Championship in Canada.

All-Pac-10 Honors: The Cardinal landed three players on the All-Pac-10 First Team, while two received Honorable Mention honors ... Head Coach John Rittman was also named Co-Coach of the Year ... For the third straight season, Jessica Mendoza was a First Team selection, while Sarah Beeson and Dana Sorensen earned First Team honors for the fist time in their careers ... Shortstop Robin Walker and second baseman Kira Ching were named Honorable Mention selections ... Walker was a Second Team selection last year, while Ching earns the accolade for the first time ... This is also the first award for Rittman in his five-year tenure on The Farm.

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