No. 7 Cardinal Sweeps Sacramento State In Non-Conference Twinbill

April 24, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford softball snapped its three-game losing streak Tuesday night, sweeping a non-conference doubleheader from Sacramento State at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal (37-11, 4-8 Pac-10) won the opener 3-0, and registered a 7-1 triumph in the nightcap.

Both teams were unable to get going offensively in the first game, with each trading zeroes on the scoreboard for the first four innings.

Stanford would eventually break through in the bottom of the fifth inning, tallying three runs against the Hornets to break a 21-inning scoring drought. Sophomore Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, Texas) was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and then lifted for pinch runner Meghan Sickler (Houston, Texas). Jessica Draemel (Omaha, Neb.) followed with an infield hit and Stanford would load the bases after Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, Calif.) singled to right. Sickler then came home to score the first run of the game on freshman Leah Nelson's (Oakland, Calif.) sacrifice fly, giving Stanford a 1-0 edge. After Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) walked to load the bases again, senior Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ari.) drove home Draemel and LeCocq with a single to right center for a 3-0 lead.

Cardinal starter Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.) did the rest in the circle, limiting the Hornets to four hits in six shutout innings with four strikeouts. Nyberg improves to 21-6.

In the second game, Stanford raced out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Mendoza, who had gone hitless in her last three games, blasted a two-run home run to centerfield to score Robin Walker (La Palma, Calif.), who led off the frame with a single.

Sacramento State notched a single run in the top of the second following an RBI single by Lori Meixner, but the Cardinal responded with two runs later in the third. With one out, Walker reached base safely on an infielder's error and came around to score the third run of the contest on Mendoza's RBI double. Stanford improved its lead to 4-1 when Beeson delivered an RBI single down the left field line to score Mendoza from second.

The Cardinal tacked on three additional runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, highlighted by Allister's two-run single. Walker led off with a single, advanced to third when Beeson reached on an error, and came around to score when Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, Calif.) reached base on an error. After Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) struck out, Allister lined a single into right to plate Beeson and Ching for a 7-1 advantage.

Stanford junior LeCocq earned her 15th win of the season, working five innings and limiting Sacramento State to three hits with six strikeouts. Freshman Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, Calif.), who earned her second save of the year in game one, tossed the final two frames.

The Cardinal continues its 10-game homestand Friday when it squares off against No. 8 Washington at 7 p.m. Stanford will be looking to salvage the final game of 2002 between the two schools, as the Huskies registered two victories against the Cardinal two weeks ago in Seattle.

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