No. 3 Softball Takes Pair From No. 19 Pacific

Feb. 9, 2002

STOCKTON, Calif. - No. 3 Stanford softball swept its second doubleheader in as many weeks Saturday afternoon, taking both games from No. 19 Pacific in Stockton to improve to 4-0 overall on the season. Stanford, which defeated Pacific three of the four times the schools met last year, topped the Tigers 2-1 in nine innings in the first game and logged an 8-2 victory in the nightcap.

With three of the four meetings decided by four runs or less in 2001, both games figured to be close calls. Game one proved that theory correct, with the Cardinal coming out on top in a 2-1 victory in nine innings over the Tigers (1-2). Stanford got on the board first in the top of the fourth when senior Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) scored on a fielder's choice by Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, Texas). Starting pitcher Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.) continued to keep the Tigers at bay until the bottom the seventh. With no outs in the home half, Pacific loaded the bases only to find themselves down to their last out two batters later. The Tigers' Krista Allen then drove in the tying run with two outs to force extra frames.

The Cardinal would secure the win in the top of the ninth, when Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) plated Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, Calif.) with an RBI double. Pacific doomed themselves on the bases, leaving 13 runners while the Cardinal stranded seven. Nyberg went nine innings for her second win of the year, and limited the Tigers to just five hits along with a career-high eight strikeouts.

The second game was less dramatic, with the Cardinal claiming an 8-2 verdict over their geographical rivals. Ching's 2-run double in the top of the first gave Stanford a 2-0 lead and set the tone for what would be an offensive display for the Red and White. Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, Calif.) homered to left field to leadoff the second inning and put the Cardinal up 3-0. Stanford tallied three additional runs in its half of the third, highlighted by RBI singles by LeCocq and Brangham. Pacific would strike back for two scores in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Cardinal advantage to 6-2, but Stanford wasn't finished. Freshman Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, Calif.) roped a single to score Ching and make the score 7-2 in the top of the fifth, and senior Robin Walker (La Palma, Calif.) put the finishing touches on the doubleheader sweep by blasting a home run over the left field fence one inning later.

LeCocq was stellar on the mound in the second game, going the route and scattering seven hits for her first victory of the 2002 season.

One full month of tournament play awaits the Cardinal, as Stanford will begin its road stretch next Thursday with a doubleheader against UC Riverside at 12 p.m.

GAME ONE: Stanford 2, Pacific 1 (9)
GAME TWO: Stanford 8, Pacific 2

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