Cardinal Open NCAA Action Against Utah On Thursday

May 18, 2004

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Cardinal Open NCAA Regional Play Against Utah: The sixth-ranked Stanford softball team (43-16, 13-8 Pac-10), received an at-large bid to the 2004 NCAA Championships and are one of 64 teams set to compete for a chance at a national title. The Cardinal received a No. 1 seed (seventh overall) at the Stanford Regional to be held May 20-23 at the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on the Cardinal campus.

Joining Stanford are No. 2-seed Auburn, No. 3-seed Fresno State, No. 4-seed Pacific, No. 5-seed Southern Mississippi, No. 6-seed Southern Illinois, No. 7-seed Hofstra and No. 8-seed Utah.

Play will open on Thursday, May 20 with Fresno State taking on Southern Illinois at 10 a.m., followed by Auburn versus Hofstra at 12:30 p.m. Pacific will face Southern Mississippi at 3 p.m. and Stanford will play Utah at 5:30 p.m. There will be an elimination game at 8 p.m. between the loser of game one and game two as well.

Eight teams will participate at each of eight regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Eight teams were seeded and each of the seeded teams was placed at one of the regional sites. The regional winners advance to the Women's College World Series (WCWS), an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. (Note: The championship final is a single-game final.) Regionals will be conducted May 20-23. The WCWS will be conducted May 27-31 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Last Time Out: The Cardinal went 2-1 on the final weekend of conference play, dropping a 1-0 game to Oregon then sweeping a doubleheader with Oregon State (W, 2-0/W, 7-2). Lauren Lappin and Jessica Allister each hit .400 with Allister blasting three homers against OSU. Allister led the team with five RBI and three runs scored ... Meghan Sickler was 2-for-2 in the stolen bases ... Dana Sorensen went 2-1 in the circle with a 0.45 ERA and 20 strikeouts.

About Utah: The Utes (23-31, 8-12 Mountain West) received an automatic bid to the tournament with a 3-0 win over San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference Championship ... They are coached by Mona Stevens ... The squad is led by Glennis Donnelly (.362/64 H/41 R) and Devina Quintero (.340/55 H/42 RBI) ... In the circle, Brianna Gourdin is 18-7 overall with a 2.71 ERA and 126 strikeouts ... Melissa Oakes iis 1-10 with a 3.69 ERA and 52 strikeouts ... They are hitting .257 as a team with a 3.90 ERA ... The Cardinal hold a 3-0 advantage in the overall series with the Utes and last met in 2002 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah ... Stanford won the meeting, 4-2.

Allister Tabbed Pac-10 Player Of The Week: Stanford senior Jessica Allister has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Softball Player of the Week for May 11-17, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced. Allister, from Nacogdoches, Texas, helped Stanford close out the regular season over the weekend with a 2-1 record against the Oregon schools as the Cardinal posted their best Pac-10 finish ever - a tie for second with a 13-8 record. Allister hit .400 for the weekend (4-for-10) with three home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. She posted a 1.300 slugging percentage and was perfect behind the plate with 25 putouts. Allister notched all three homers on May 15 over a doubleheader with No. 19 Oregon State, one in the first game and two in the second game.

Wrapping Up Pac-10 Play: The Stanford softball team finished 13-8 in conference play this season, tying for second behind Arizona (17-3). The second place finish is the best finish in school history while the 13 wins are the most in the modern 21-game league schedule, besting the previous high of 11 wins in 2001.

Sorensen Rewrites Cardinal Record Book: Senior pitcher Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA) continues to leave her mark on the Cardinal record book. Sorensen holds the school record for career victories with 99 and career strikeouts with 1,089. She also holds the top three spots for lowest ERA in a single season. Her 1,089 K's ranks third in the Pac-10 in career strikeouts surpassing Arizona's Jennie Finch who has 1,028. Sorensen became only the fourth pitcher in conference history to reach 1,000 K's. She is 28-9 on the year with a 1.44 ERA and a team-leading 293 strikeouts. Her 28 wins in 2004 breaks the record on the Cardinal single-season list while her 293 K's ranks third. She is one of only 25 NCAA pitchers nationally to surpass 1,000 strikeouts for a career.

Around The Pac-10: Freshman Jackie Rinehart is tied for 10th in stolen bases (12) and tied for sixth in hits (67) ... Sophomore Catalina Morris is first in triples (6), tied for first hit by pitches (8) and tied for fifth in runs scored (45) ... Katherine Hoffman is sixth in sac bunts (9) and sixth in stolen bases (18) ... Leah Nelson is tied for third in sac flies (3) ... Jessica Allister is first in doubles (18), tied for fourth in RBI (47), eighth in slugging percentage (.630) and tied for eighth in HBP (5) ... Lauren Lappin is second in triples (4) and seventh in doubles (13) ... Senior Dana Sorensen is second in strikeouts (293), tied for first in saves (5), second in innings pitched (242.1), second in wins (28), tied for second in appearances (44) and fifth in opponent batting average (.171).

Catch Me If You Can: In 59 games this season, the Cardinal are 59 of 78 in stolen bases with junior outfielder Katherine Hoffman leading the team with 18 on the year. Jackie Rinehart has 12 and Catalina Morris has 11. Nine different players have at least one stolen base on the Stanford team. Hoffman's 18 stolen bases puts her fourth in the Cardinal single season record book while Rinehart's 12 ranks sixth.

This and That: With their 43 wins in 2004, the Cardinal have posted their seventh consecutive 40-win season ... Jessica Allister's 206 career hits ranks fifth in the Cardinal record books ... Jackie Rinehart and Lauren Lappin lead the team with 17 multiple hit games ... Allister tops on the squad with 12 mulitiple RBI games ... Stanford is 10-2 in night games this season ... Rinehart has occupied the lead-off spot in the lineup in all 59 games for the Cardinal ... Sorensen is one of six Pac-10 pitchers this year to record a no-hitter ... Allister's 154 career RBI ranks third on The Farm.

Notes From The Dugout: Jessica Allister's 30 career homers ranks second in the Stanford record book ... Freshman Jackie Rinehart leads the team with 67 hits ... Sophomore Catalina Morris six triples this season breaks the school record for triples in a single season (her career total is now eight, which ties her for third in career triples on The Farm) ... The Cardinal have outscored its opponents 216-117 ... Morris also leads the team in hit by pitches with eight ... The Cardinal have outscored its opponents 40-16 in the first inning ... Senior pitcher Dana Sorensen leads the staff with a 1.44 ERA and is 28-9 in the circle with team-leading five saves ... Stanford has posted 23 shutouts this season ... The Cardinal have played 12 games where they have collected 10 or more hits (season high was 14 vs. CS Northridge) ... Morris leads the team with 45 runs scored.

Head Coach John Rittman: Cardinal head coach John Rittman, now in his eighth year on The Farm, will be an assistant coach for the 2004 USA Softball team, set to compete in the Athens Summer Olympics. Rittman has compiled a 335-161-1 overall record at Stanford. He has led the Cardinal to seven consecutive NCAA postseason appearances during his tenure and seven consecutive 40 win seasons.

Top That...: The Stanford softball squad will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the nation as all eight conference teams are ranked in the preseason top 25. Four Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top five (UCLA, California, Arizona, Washington). In addition, the Cardinal will take on #6 Alabama, #16 CS Fullerton, #21 Fresno State and #22 Oklahoma State.

Lappin Tabbed Alternate For 2004 USA Softball Team: Sophomore Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA) was one of three alternates chosen for the 2004 USA Softball Team set to compete in Athens, Greece this summer at the '04 Summer Olympic Games. The 19-year-old Lappin makes her first appearance among the national team ranks. During the 2003 season, the shortstop/catcher led the USA Softball Elite squad to the gold medal at the Canada Cup and a sweep of Olympic bronze medalist Australia in the Pacific Challenge.

TV Time: The Stanford softball team is slated to appear on CSTV on May 9 as the Cardinal game versus UCLA will be televised. Stanford's May 14 game at Oregon will be shown on a tape-delayed basis on FOX Sports Net.

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