Stanford Softball Prepares For NCAA Postseason Play

May 17, 2005

Cardinal Open Postseason Play Against Robert Morris: The fourth-ranked Stanford softball team (40-14, 13-8 Pac-10), seeded sixth nationally, open postseason action against Robert Morris (29-20-1) on Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. CT in Columbia, Mo. Host #16 Missouri (42-13) will face #21 Southern Illinois (46-12) in their opening game at 2 p.m. CT on Friday.

The Cardinal are making their eighth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance in 2005. Last year, Stanford finished tied for third at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the previous four seasons, the team has been to the WCWS two times.

Tickets for the Columbia, Mo., regional tournament can be purchased by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS. Prices for an all-session pass (six games) are $20 for adults and $12 for children, students and seniors. Single game tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $4 for children, students and seniors.

This year's tournament has a new format with 16 regional sites of four teams instead of eight sites of eight teams. The winners of each regional site will advance to eight Super Regionals where the winners will play a best of a three-game series. The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The Championship final also is different this year, with the two teams playing a best-of-three series.

Pac-10 Champs!: The Stanford women's softball team grabbed a share of the 2005 Pac-10 title. It is the first Pac-10 title for the Cardinal in the history of the program. Stanford ended the regular season with a 40-14 overall record, 13-8 in league play. The 13 wins ties a Cardinal record set last year for most conference wins in a single season. Stanford shares the Pac-10 title with Arizona, California and Oregon State who all ended league play with a 13-8 record.

About Robert Morris: The Colonials (29-20-1), winners of the 2005 Northeast Conference Championship, are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament and are under the direction of 15th year head coach Dr. Craig Coleman ... The Colonials are led by 2005 NEC Player of the Year Keri Meyer (Carnegie, Pa. / Canevin Catholic) and 2005 Pitcher of the Year and Tournament Most Valuable Player Danielle Cohen (Marlton, N.J. / Cherokee) ... Meyer, a junior second basemen, leads the team with a .425 batting average, 13 doubles, two triples, a .634 slugging percentage and a .480 on base percentage ... Cohen owns an overall record of 14-5 and an ERA of 1.37 ... The sophomore left hander has fanned 133 batters in 122.1 innings of work ... This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

About Missouri: The 16th-ranked Tigers (42-13) are coached by Ty Singleton ... The team is making its third consecutive postseason appearance ... The team is led by Keri Meyer (.425, 65 H, 35 RBI) and Jill Spargo (.390, 71 H, 43 R) ... In the circle, Danielle Cohen leads the pitching staff with a 1.37 ERA, 14-5 record and 133 strikeouts ... Missouri is hitting .300 on the year with a 2.74 team ERA and .967 fielding percentage ... Stanford is 5-0 against the Tigers lifetime ... The last meeting between the two teams came in 2004 in the Stanford Tournament as the Cardinal won 5-2.

About Southern Illinois: The 21st-ranked Salukis (46-12) are making their third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament under head coach Kerri Blaylock ... The Salukis have been in the same regional as Stanford in all three of their recent appearances ... SIU is 1-0 all-time versus the Cardinal, winning 6-1 in the 2003 NCAA Regional ... The team is led by Tiffanie Dismore (.346, 56 H, 30 R) and Katie Jordan (.326, 45 H, 39 RBI) ... In the circle, the squad is led by Cassidy SCoggins (0.52 ERA, 20-4, 190 K's) and Amy Harre (1.17 ERA, 22-8, 165 K's) ... The Salukis are hitting .290 as a team with a 0.91 team ERA.

Smith Digs The Long Ball: Freshman Michelle Smith (Agoura Hills, CA) has 18 homeruns on the year, which breaks the previous single-season record of 14 held by former All-American and current USA Softball team member, Jessica Mendoza (2001 and 2002). Smith's 18 homers us second in the Pac-10 (Washington's Kristen Rivera has 19) and she ranks in the top 10 in homeruns per game nationally. Her 50 RBI this season ranks fifth for a single season and needs just three more to move into a tie for fourth (Sarah Beeson, 2000, 53 RBI). Smith has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times during the '05 season - more than any other conference player.

An Eye On '40': With 40 victories in 2005 the Cardinal have notched their eighth consecutive 40-win season. The single-season record for victories on The Farm is 54 in 2001.

Lappin Lights It Up Offensively: Junior shortstop Lauren Lappin (Anahiem, CA), an alternate on the 2004 U.S. Softball team that won a gold medal in Greece, leads the team with 49 runs scored in 2005. She is second in hits with 54 and doubles with nine. She also has seven stolen bases on the year. The 2004 second-team All-American is ranked 17th nationally in runs per game (0.96).

Notes From The Dugout: Catalina Morris leads the team with 19 mulit-hit games ... Michelle Smith leads the squad with 18 multi-RBI contests ... Jackie Rinehart has recorded the longest hitting streak of the season (11 games) ... Stanford recorded a season-high 19 hits against DePaul (2/12) earlier this year ... Cardinal pitchers have thrown six one-hitters in 2005 ... Meghan Sickler is on an three-game hitting streak heading into the Robert Morris game ... Becky McCullough's 18 wins in the circle this season ranks ninth for a single season on The Farm ... Stanford's 271 RBI in 2005 is the second most for a single season (Cardinal had a school record 275 in 2002) ... Their 298 runs in '05 also ranks second all-time (school record is 305 in 2002).

This and That: Stanford's longest winning streak of the season was a 14 game stretch (from 2/12 to 3/5) ... They are currently on a two-game losing streak ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponents, 298-120 this year ... The Cardinal have posted 15 shutouts this year ... Stanford has scored 10 or more runs six times in 2005 ... The Cardinal have outscored their opponent in every inning except extra innings ... Stanford is 30-2 when they outhit their opponents ... Stanford's 62 homeruns this season is a Cardinal single-season record and is second in the conference in 2005 ... Their 14 triples this year is a single season record on The Farm as well (previous high was 13 in 2004).

Catalina Morris Watch: Senior centerfielder Catalina Morris (Senoita, AZ) can be found multiple times on the Cardinal career record lists. Morris' 12 career triples to date is a school record. Her 25 career homeruns ranks fourth and she needs just three more to tie for third (Sarah Beeson, 1999-2002) with 28. Her 13 homeruns this season ranks tied for third for a single season. With 185 career hits, Morris has entered the top 10 on The Farm (7th).

Three Former/Current Stanford Athletes To Participate In USA Softball National Team Selection Camp: The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and USA Softball announced today the 32 initial athletes invited to participate in the 2005 Women's National Team Selection Camp, June 13-17, at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. The Women's Selection Committee will announce the remaining athletes invited to the selection camp on May 18. Former Cardinal athletes Jessica Mendoza and Dana Sorensen along with current junior Lauren Lappin are among the invitees.

All Eight Pac-10 Teams Reach NCAA Tournament: All eight Pac-10 teams to play in the postseason for the fourth time, the last being in 2003. Six teams received No. 1 seeds--Arizona, California, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Washington-- while Oregon and Arizona State were at-large bids. This marks the seventh consecutive year that seven or more teams competed in postseason play.

Head Coach John Rittman: Cardinal head coach John Rittman, now in his ninth year on The Farm, was named the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding Stanford to its best Pac-10 finish in school history in `04 as they tied for second. He was an assistant coach for the 2004 USA Softball team, that brought home a gold medal in the Athens Summer Olympics. Rittman has compiled a 383-176-1 overall record at Stanford. He has led the Cardinal to eight consecutive NCAA postseason appearances (including two CWS stints) during his tenure and eight consecutive 40 win seasons.

Senior Class: Six seniors - Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, CA), Katherine Hoffman (Kansas City, MO), Leah Nelson (Oakland, CA), Meghan Sickler (Houston, TX), Heather Shook (Whittier, CA) and Michelle Thiry (Renton, WA) - have led the team to four consecutive berths in the NCAA tournament during their tenure, including a trip to the Collee World Series in 2004. The team has gone 174-79 over that time with four straight 40-win seasons. They also helped the team to its first-ever Pac-10 Championship in 2005.™

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