No. 3 Softball Sweeps Doubleheader With No. 11 Fresno State

April 2, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - After losing three of its previous four contests, No. 3 Stanford softball was hoping to get back to its winning ways on Tuesday night at home against Fresno State. Cardinal starters Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.) and Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, Calif.) did their best to make sure that would happen.

The Cardinal (30-5, 1-2 Pac-10) swept Tuesday night's doubleheader with No. 11 Fresno State, blanking the Bulldogs 5-0 in the opener and 1-0 in the nightcap. Nyberg picked up the win in the first game, allowing just four hits over seven innings while striking out four to improve to 18-3. LeCocq (11-2) scattered seven hits in a complete-game effort in the nightcap, as the junior recorded her second consecutive shutout.

After Nyberg and Fresno State starter Jamie Southern traded scoreless frames through three innings in the opener, the Cardinal erupted for three runs in the fourth. Robin Walker (La Palma), Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) and Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ariz.) strung together three straight singles to open the inning. Kira Ching's (San Lorenzo, Calif.) sacrifice fly plated Walker for the first run of the game, and Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, Texas) followed with another sacrifice fly to bring home Mendoza and make it 2-0. Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) then roped a single to left field that brought home Beeson for a 3-0 advantage.

The Cardinal tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Mendoza led off with her third single of the game, Beeson drew a walk and then was lifted for pinch runner Heather Shook (Whittier, Calif.). One batter later, Mendoza was able to score the fourth Cardinal run after Fresno State catcher Pam West's errant throw back to third base sailed into left field. Brangham would close out the Stanford scoring with her second RBI single of the night, driving home Shook.

Nyberg snapped a personal two-game losing streak with the win.

In the second game, LeCocq kept the Bulldog bats silent once again as the Cardinal escaped with the 1-0 triumph.

The only scoring of the game took place in the third inning, when Mendoza's double to center brought home Walker, who led off the inning by scorching a single through the infield. Beeson, Ching and Allister registered the other three Stanford hits in the victory, as Fresno State managed to outhit the Card 7-5.

The Bulldogs would mount their most serious scoring threat in the top of the sixth, when LeCocq's walk to Lori Hoffman loaded the bases with two out. However, LeCocq was able to strike out the Bulldog's Lashme Gomez to end the inning and secure the lead.

LeCocq outdueled Fresno State starter Leslie Poole, who allowed just five hits, one earned run and struck out five over six innings.

Stanford had also defeated Fresno State 1-0 in eight innings back on Feb. 24 in the consolation championship game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.

The Cardinal will square off against Oregon in Eugene on Friday at 2 p.m., before taking on Oregon State in Corvallis on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

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