No. 7/10 Stanford Drops Opening Game To No. 4 Alabama, 4-1
May 26, 2006
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - No. 7/10 Stanford Softball (42-17, 10-11) fell to No. 4 Alabama (53-9) tonight, 4-1, in front of a packed crowd at the NCAA Super Regional. The Crimson Tide scored first in the second inning off of an RBI single by Mandy Burford, then added two more runs in the third inning. Stanford scored in the top of the sixth as freshman Missy Penna brought home junior Jackie Rinehart. Burford scored again for Alabama in the bottom of the sixth off of a sacrifice fly by Dani Woods and the Crimson Tide held on to take the first of the three-game series.
Rinehart collected the Cardinal's first hit in the top of the first inning with a single to shortstop and advanced to second on the next at-bat. The inning ended runless for Stanford. In the bottom of the first, senior pitcher Laura Severson struck out one batter with the bases loaded to hold the Crimson Tide scoreless.
In the bottom of the second inning, Dominique Accetturo was walked on base for Alabama and Ashley Holcombe moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Burford followed with a single to right field, scoring Accetturo from second base for the 1-0 Crimson Tide lead.
Woods reached on an error for Alabama in the bottom of the third inning and Michelle Menningmann entered the game to pinch run at first base. Kelley Montalvo and Accetturo were walked to load the bases. Burford then hit a single to left field to bring home Menningmann and Montalvo. After three complete innings, Alabama lead, 3-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Rinehart nabbed another single with a slap hit to shortstop, but was out on the next play. Freshman third baseman Maddy Coon was then walked on base, but the Cardinal hitters couldn't bring her home.
Sophomore catcher Howe opened the top of the fifth with a double to right field, but the inning closed without a run for Stanford.
Rinehart collected her third straight hit of the night in the top of the sixth inning with a single to shortstop. Senior shortstop Lauren Lappin advanced Rinehart to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Coon knocked a single to left field and Rinehart advanced to third base. Penna then hit a single to left field, scoring Rinehart for the first Cardinal run of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Burford hit a single to left field to get on base. Brittany Rogers followed with a base hit to shortstop, and Jordan Praytor advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Staci Ramsey bunted to load the bases and Katie Johnson came in to pinch run at first. Woods then brought home Burford with a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Crimson Tide up, 4-1. Alabama held Stanford off in the seventh inning to seal the win.
In six innings, Severson struck out four batters and allowed nine hits. Alabama's Stephanie VanBrakle struck out six batters, walked one and allowed six hits in seven innings.
At the plate, Rinehart was 3-3 with one run for the Cardinal. Penna was also 1-3 with one RBI.
Stanford is set to play Alabama tomorrow at 1:30 pm CT. If the Cardinal wins the first matchup, a second game will be played at 4:00 pm CT with the winner of the best-of-three series advancing to the Women's College World Series.
A live webcast of tomorrow's games will be available at http://www.crimsontradition.com/Home.aspx and both games will be covered live on KZSU 90.1 FM.
Score by Innings R H E-----------------------------------------Stanford............ 000 001 0 - 1 6 1Alabama............. 012 001 X - 4 9 0-----------------------------------------
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