No. 7 Softball Suffers 1-0 Tough-Luck Loss To Washington

April 26, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - No. 7 Stanford (37-11, 4-9 Pac-10) suffered its seventh consecutive Pac-10 defeat Friday night against No. 8 Washington (38-14, 7-6 Pac-10), dropping a 1-0 decision to the Huskies at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Huskies pushed an unearned run across the board in the top of the seventh to notch the victory.

During its current seven-game conference losing streak, Stanford is hitting .142 (23-162) and has scored just six runs overall.

The Cardinal wasted an impressive starting pitching effort from junior Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.), who tossed her 21st complete game and allowed just two hits and one unearned run in the loss. Nyberg (21-7) matched her career-high in strikeouts on the evening with eleven.

Junior Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) went 3-3 to lead the Cardinal offensively, while senior Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) and freshman Leah Nelson (Oakland, Calif.) also recorded hits in the contest.

Nyberg and Washington starter Tia Bollinger were in command throughout the game, as each hurler traded zeroes during the first six frames. However, Stanford would have a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the sixth. After Mendoza flied out to open the inning, Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ariz.) drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on junior Kira Ching's (San Lorenzo, Calif.) groundout. Brangham followed with her third single of the game, but Beeson was gunned down at home by Washington outfielder Rita Roach for the final out of the inning.

The Huskies would ultimately respond in the top of the seventh, scoring the only run of the game on a Stanford error. Kristen Rivera was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and was pinch run for by Nicki Holt. With one out, Kathy Fiske dropped a bunt down the third base line that stayed fair for a hit, moving Holt up to second. Courtney Jeffries followed with a ground ball to the right side of the infield that was misplayed by Stanford's Nelson, and Holt came around to score the winning run as the ball rolled into the outfield. Fiske was cut down at third base on the play for the second out of the inning by senior Robin Walker (La Palma, Calif.), and the next Washington hitter- Megan Owen- was Nyberg's 11th strikeout victim.

Stanford went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

The Cardinal returns to action Saturday evening when it hosts Pac-10 leader and top-ranked UCLA at 7 p.m. at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium.

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