No. 7 Cardinal Routs No. 4 Arizona State 9-1 In Six Innings
May 3, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - No. 8 Stanford (40-14, 5-11 Pac-10) snapped a nine-game conference losing streak Friday night in Tempe, as its offense exploded for four runs in the first inning en route to an 9-1, six-inning victory over No. 4 Arizona State (38-15, 8-8 Pac-10). Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, Calif.) went 4-4 with four RBI and Jessica Allister (Nacogodches, Texas) added a three-run homer in the win.
The Cardinal, which had entered Friday's contest having scored just eight runs in its last nine conference games, erupted with a four-run first inning. After Robin Walker (La Palma, Calif.) and Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) recorded back-to-back singles to open the game, senior Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ariz.) doubled to left center to bring home Walker for a 1-0 lead. Ching followed with a double of her own, plating Mendoza and Heather Shook (Whittier, Calif.), who pinch ran for Beeson. The Cardinal increased its lead to 4-0 when Ching raced home on a two-out wild pitch from Arizona starter Erica Beach. Stanford's four run outburst was the most since a five-run sixth inning in an 8-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Apr. 16.
Ching's one-out RBI single in the top of the third gave the Cardinal a 5-0 advantage, as Mendoza came around to score after reaching base safely with a walk.
The Sun Devils, who committed three errors, scraped back a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Phelan Wright scored on an RBI single by Kristin Farber to make it 5-1.
Stanford was able to widen its lead to 8-1 in the top of the fifth, courtesy of Allister's three-run homer. Beeson walked to open the inning and Ching roped a single to right to put runners at first and second. After Cassi Brangham's (Clovis, Calif.) groundout moved both runners up one base, Allister uncorked a home run over the scoreboard in left field to ultimately put the game out of reach.
The Cardinal would add another run in the sixth, as Ching's RBI single plated Mendoza- who reached on an error by ASU outfielder Jennifer Forner- to up the lead to 9-1.
Stanford starter Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.) picked up the win in the circle, working three shutout innings to improve to 23-8 on the year.
Friday night's victory also marked the 250th of Stanford head coach John Rittman's career.
The Cardinal continues its seven-game road stretch tomorrow in Tucson, when it battles No. 2 Arizona at 7 p.m.