Softball Travels To Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 21, 2006

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COMING UP: No. 6 Stanford Softball hits the road for the Palm Springs Classic this weekend in Palm Springs, CA. The Cardinal opens up the tournament against Texas Tech on Thursday, February 23 (8:30 pm). Stanford matches up against Maryland at 3:30 pm and No. 4 Texas at 6:00 pm on Friday. On Saturday, the Cardinal will face UIC at 10:30 and No. 18 Baylor at 1:00 pm. Stanford will close out the weekend against No. 19 LSU on Sunday at 9:00 am.

CARDINAL WINS SIX STRAIGHT AT HOME: Stanford travels to Palm Springs after a successful weekend at home in the Stanford Invitational I. The Cardinal won all six games at the Invite, over Santa Clara, Drake, Birmingham Southern and Sacramento State. Freshman Missy Penna pitched three wins in the circle, including Drake in which she struck out 11 batters. Penna is now 5-1 on the season. Senior Catalina Morris hit .381 for the weekend, including two home runs and seven RBI.

RECORD-BREAKING 2005: Stanford is looking to build off of a strong postseason finish in 2005, in which the Cardinal hosted the NCAA Super Regional versus Tennessee. The season proved to be record-breaking as Stanford claimed a share of the Pac-10 regular season championship for the first time in school history. Shortstop Lauren Lappin, outfielder Catalina Morris and rookie infielder Michelle Smith all earned NFCA All-American honors. In addition to being named First-Team All-Conference, Lappin was designated Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in the first year of the award's existence. The Cardinal returns 13 letterwinners and seven starters in 2006, including seniors Lappin, Morris, Megan Bordelon, Shoney Hixson and Laura Severson. Stanford will also enjoy the presense of talented newcomers Maddy Coon (Chappaqua, NY) and Missy Penna (Miami, FL).

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS: Texas Tech enters the Palm Springs Classic with a 3-8 record. The Red Raiders competed at the University of Arizona Tournament last weekend, finishing the tournament 1-4, including a loss to No. 3 Arizona. Sophomore infielder Jennifer Corkin leads the team in hitting with a .333 average.

MARYLAND TERRAPINS: The Terrapins are 3-2 to start the season, following wins over Troy State and Charleston Southern at the Georgia Southern Invitational last weekend. Pitcher Crystal Crews pitched each of the wins for the Terrapins, tallying a 0.77 ERA and striking out 24 batters.

NO. 4 TEXAS LONGHORNS: No. 4 Texas enters the Palm Springs Classic on an eight-game win streak. Senior pitcher Cat Osterman has thrown three no hitters for the Longhorns, boasting a 0.00 ERA and striking out 90 batters in six games in the circle.

CHICAGO-ILLINOIS FLAMES: The UIC Flames are 1-4 after their first weekend, grabbing a win over Southern Utah at the Las Vegas Classic. Senior shortstop Joyce Cathey collected two home runs on the weekend.

NO. 18 BAYLOR BEARS: No. 18 Baylor won their last two games over Samford and Northwestern State to improve to 6-3 on the season. Junior pitcher Lisa Ferguson is 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA, striking out 19 batters. Freshman infielder Brette Reagan leads the team in hitting with a .571 batting average, three home runs and 13 RBI.

NO. 19 LOUISIANA STATE TIGERS: No. 19 LSU enters the weekend undefeated with a 12-0 record. Emily Turner is 4-0 in the circle for the Tigers, striking out 28 batters and walking only six. Leslie Klein leads the team with a .559 batting average, tallying 13 runs, 11 RBI and one home run.

NATIONAL POLL: Defending Women's College World Series Champion Michigan fell from the top ranking to the fifth position this week in the Softball Top 25 poll. Undefeated Arizona now sits atop the poll with 497 points and 17 first-place votes. Tennessee is now ranked second with 469 points and UCLA rounds out the top three teams with 467 points. The Stanford women moved up to the sixth ranking this week, garnering 400 points.

CONFERENCE RANKINGS: Stanford has been selected by conference coaches in the preseason poll to finish third in the Pac-10 this season. UCLA earned seven first-place votes to take the top spot, followed by Arizona in second with one first-place vote. Bay Area rival California is ranked fourth in the conference. UCLA, Arizona and California all advanced to the WCWS in 2005, with UCLA losing to Michigan in the championship series. 2005 marked the 19th-straight season in which a Pac-10 team played in the WCWS championship game.

HEAD COACH John Rittman: Now in his 10th season on The Farm, head coach John Rittman has tallied a 388-181-1 overall record and coached his team to the school's first-ever conference championship last season. In 2004, Rittman was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and went on to help coach Team USA to a gold medal at the Athens Summer Olympics.

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