Cardinal Travels To Oregon For Final Regular Season Games

May 7, 2003

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Regular Season Coming To A Close ...
After a sweep of visiting San Jose State on Tuesday night, the 17th-ranked Stanford softball team will travel to Oregon for its final weekend of regular season and Pac-10 games of 2003. The Cardinal will face Oregon State for a single game on Friday at 2 p.m. and continue their trip with a doubleheader against the Ducks on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. The NCAA softball committee will then make their selections for regionals on Sunday, May 11 on ESPNews. Stanford will find out its seeding and which regional site they will be sent to on Sunday night at 7 p.m. (PT).

Scouting The Opponents ...
Oregon State stands at 31-27 overall (4-14 Pac-10) with an upset win at Washington last Friday and a doubleheader loss at UCLA (10-2, 9-1). The win secured a .500 or better winning percentage and perhaps a fifth straight NCAA berth. The Beavers have two players batting over .300 in Brynnen Guthrie (.382) and Shelly Prochaska (.308). Prochaska became OSU's all-time single season RBI leader last weekend with 45 thus far on the year, while Guthrie has 18 multi-hit games including 10 three-hit outings. Monica Hoffman holds a team-low 2.05 ERA with a 21-14 record and has 155 strikeouts in 201 innings of work.

Oregon will battle Cal on Friday afternoon before facing the Cardinal on Saturday. To date, the Ducks hold a 30-16 overall mark and stand at 8-10 in the conference after a sweep at Washington last weekend (6-5, 6-5). Oregon's 10 wins in the Pac-10 is the most since the 1999 season. Andrea Vidlund heads the Duck offense, hitting .351 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI. Alyssa Laux has chipped in five doubles and 24 RBI for Oregon. Amy Harris has 35 appearances in the circle for a 14-12 record, tallying 152 strikeouts in 161 innings for a 1.69 ERA.

Earlier In The Season ...
Alyssa Laux delivered a two-out single in the 10th inning as Oregon defeated Stanford 3-2 on April 4. Stanford jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the first inning when Catalina Morris walked and scored on Lauren Lappin's double to left center. With two outs in the second, Oregon took a 2-1 lead on a two-run homer run by Jenn Poore. Stanford came right back and tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the inning when Elizabeth Bendig hit her first career home run over the left field fence. For the second straight night Stanford fell in extra innings, this time Oregon State erupted for 10 runs in the top of the ninth to record a 15-5 win over the Cardinal. Bendig led the way offensively for Stanford with three hits, while Morris, Lappin, Cassi Brangham and Jessica Allister each collected two. Stanford used 11 hits in just five innings to defeat the visiting Beavers 10-1 the following day. The Cardinal finished with 11 hits by seven different players. Morris, Lappin, Kira Ching and Michelle Thiry all had two hits, while Lappin and Brangham each finished with three RBI.

National Rankings ...
The Cardinal fell two spots from last week's rankings and stand at No. 17 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released May 6. Oregon State dropped out of the poll but the rest of the Pac-10 teams are featured in the rankings, including the top two teams, led by top-ranked Arizona. UCLA stands at No. 2, Washington No. 8 and defending national champion California is ranked 9th. No. 15 Arizona State Stanford is followed by 17th-ranked Stanford and No. 18 Oregon.

Recapping Tuesday's Game ...
Jessica Allister's three-run home run in the fifth inning of the nightcap led Stanford to a doubleheader sweep over the visiting San Jose State Spartans on Tuesday night. The Cardinal took the first game 1-0 and the second contest 4-2 to improve to 38-23 overall. Stanford struck first in the opening contest, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in after the first inning of play. Allister delivered a single to right field, plating Katherine Hoffman for the Cardinal's first and game-winning run of the night. Dana Sorensen picked up her 18th win of the season to improve to 18-10, finishing with eight strikeouts in six innings of work. Laura Severson also tallied her second save of the year. In the nightcap, San Jose State scored two runs in the top of the second, but Stanford cut the lead by one in the bottom of the fourth when Kira Ching hit in Cassi Brangham from second. Elizabeth Bendig and Hoffman recorded back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning for the Cardinal. Allister then connected on a Forbes pitch for a three-run home run scoring Hoffman and Brangham to give Stanford a 4-2 lead. The home run marked Allister's tenth of the season. Tori Nyberg improved her record to 15-9 on her final game at Smith Family Stadium. She went six innings, scattering three hits and struck out three Spartan batters. Severson picked up her second save of the night and third of the year.

'LL' Making Her Mark ...
Freshman Lauren Lappin has had a huge impact in her first 56 games as a collegiate softball player. Lappin leads the team with a .345 batting average, recording her first hit as a Cardinal against Massachusetts on Feb. 7. Stanford's hitter has also tallied 29 runs, eight doubles, 15 RBI and holds a .419 on-base percentage. Lappin hit her first career home run against North Carolina at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, a solo shot over the left field fence and since has two on the year. She had a 12-game hitting streak from March 29 vs. Washington to April 13 and has tallied 18 multiple hit games. In conference play, Lappin is also hitting a team-high .340 with three doubles.

Look Who's Back ...
After missing last season due to a knee injury, junior two-time All-American Dana Sorensen saw her first action in more than a year at the ASU Fiesta Bowl Tournament. Sorensen pitched the final inning against UNLV, striking out two batters in her first appearance in 2003. On Feb. 14, Sorensen recorded her first start since Feb. 2, 2002 against Penn State. The San Diego, Calif., native went the distance, striking out eight and allowing only three hits in Stanford's 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions. At the Stanford Classic, she threw her first career no-hitter against No. 12 Georgia (2/28) and fanned 15 batters. She also had a huge weekend at the Speedline Invitational, striking out 55 in 29 innings, including a one-hit 14 k's in the team's upset of Washington (3-1) and earned the tournament's Most Valuable Pitcher honor. Against the Huskies (3/30) she recorded her second no-hitter of the year, finishing with 11 strikeouts. Sorensen is now 17-8 on the year, holding a team-low 1.12 ERA, and has struck out 299 batters in 193.1 innings of work. Thus far in the season, Sorensen has 14 double-digit strikeout performances, which leads the Pac-10 and holds a conference-best 10.9 strikeouts per game average. Nationally she ranks fourth with her strikeouts per seven innings average. With her 18 victories thus far on the year, Sorensen is two away from tying Stanford's career win mark (70) with 68 to date.

Upperclassmen Stepping It Up ...
Stanford's senior and junior class of Jessica Allister, Cassi Brangham, Kira Ching and Maureen LeCocq are the heart of the team's lineup. All together, they have recorded 111 of the squad's 202 RBI this season. They also have 19 of the team's 32 home runs and 36 of the 72 doubles. Allister leads the team with 38 RBI, followed by Ching's 35 and Brangham's 31. Allister also has 10 home runs and Ching has a team-leading 13 doubles to her name.

Morris On A Tear ...
Freshman Catalina Morris has quietly become one of Stanford's leading hitters this season. The Sonoita, Ariz., native is second on the team with a .335 average and has 10 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI to her credit. She also has two game-winning hits thus far in her young career and leads the team with 11 stolen bases. Earlier in the season she posted a seven-game hitting streak in February, and recently hit two home runs at Arizona and one vs. Arizona State. Morris has also hit safely in 36 of 57 games.

The Rittman File ...
John Rittman begins his seventh season at the helm of the Stanford women's softball program after being named head coach on July 12, 1996. Rittman's 2002 squad finished 44-20 overall and earned a sixth place finish in the Pac-10 at 7-14. The 2001 season was the most impressive campaign under Rittman's tenure, as the Cardinal finished with its best single-season overall record at 56-16-1. Rittman, the 2001 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year, picked up his 250th career victory in Stanford's 9-1 win over Arizona State on May 3, 2002 and has accumulated a 254-120-1 overall mark while with the Cardinal. Prior to being named head coach at Stanford, Rittman spent four seasons as the assistant coach at Washington.

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