No. 3 Softball Takes Pair At Speedline Invitational

March 7, 2002

PLANT CITY, Fla. - No. 3 Stanford softball recorded back-to-back victories on the first day of competition at the Speedline Invitational Thursday afternoon in Plant City, Fla. The Cardinal trounced Western Michigan 14-1 in the opener and then defeated Illinois-Chicago 2-1.

The Cardinal easily dispatched of Western Michigan in its first tournament contest, routing the Broncos 14-1 in just five innings of play. The squad produced its second highest run total of the season and recorded 15 hits in its ninth consecutive win.

Jessica Draemel (Omaha, Neb.) chipped in with three extra-base hits and four RBI, while Meghan Sickler (Houston, Texas) was 3-4 at the plate with three runs scored and two RBI to lead the charge.

Stanford (20-2) jumped out to an early lead against the Broncos (2-6), erupting for nine runs in the top of the first inning. With one out in the inning, Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) got things started with a solo home run to center for a 1-0 Cardinal lead. Four batters later, Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) laced a bases loaded single up the middle to score Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ari.), who got on with a double. After Leah Nelson (Oakland, Calif.) was walked with the bases loaded, Sickler drove in Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills) with a single, making the score 4-0. Draemel followed with a two-run double to center putting the Cardinal up 6-0, before Sickler came around to score on Robin Walker's (La Palma, Calif.) fielder's choice. Beeson then drove in the eighth Cardinal run with a single, her second hit of the inning. LeCocq drew a bases loaded walk in her second at-bat to score Mendoza and give Stanford a 9-0 advantage before the Broncos would come to bat.

Western Michigan's Marie McCarthy drove in Heather Frederick with a single in the bottom of the first for the Broncos' only run of the contest.

Stanford would tack another run on the scoreboard in the second, when Sickler doubled and came around to score on Mendoza's RBI single for a 10-1 lead.

Two additional runs would come across in the third inning for the Cardinal, which recorded its fourth five-inning victory of the season. Sickler plated Brangham with an RBI single, and Draemel drove in Nelson with her second double of the evening for a 12-1 lead.The Cardinal completed its scoring with two more runs in the fifth. Draemel's RBI triple to right field scored Sickler to make it 13-1, and Walker's infield single brought home Draemel for the final run of the game.

LeCocq picked up her seventh win of the year on the mound, scattering five hits and striking out three.

In the second game, the Cardinal (21-2) hung on for a 2-1 triumph despite managing only two hits against Illinois-Chicago (13-6) to complete a sweep on the first day of pool play.In the bottom of the first, Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) walked, stole second and came around to score the first run of the game when Sarah Beeson (Tuscon, Ari.) reached base safely on an error by the second baseman.

The same combination worked again for Stanford in the bottom of the third when Beeson roped a single to left field to plate Mendoza, who singled with one out for a 2-0 edge.

Ilinois-Chicago (13-6) would tally its only run of the game in the top of the sixth, asJennifer Tiffany came around following an error by Cardinal pitcher Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.).

Nyberg improves to 13-1 overall on the season, as the junior pitched her 10th complete game in a four-hit, seven-strikeout effort.

The Cardinal will face Hofstra at 4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. PST and Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST in Friday's action.

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