Rittman Nabs 500th Win In 10-1 Thrashing Of Oregon State
April 11, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - With 14 hits off the bats of eight different players, two deep homers, 10 runs and its 15th run-rule decision, the No. 8/8 Cardinal softball team all but shouted that its early conference slump is over. The team brought its best to Head Coach John Rittman's 500th win party, a 10-1 rout of Oregon State (24-20, 2-5 Pac-10) that boosted the team's record to 35-7 overall and 2-5 in the Pac-10.
Stanford's 14 hits were the most since Mar. 1, and the Cardinal outhit its 32nd opponent, 14-2. Rosey Neill and Melisa Koutz ripped three hits apiece to lead the Stanford offense. Included in Neill's total was her 17th homerun of the year. The Cardinal catcher is now just two short of matching the program's single-season record (19), which was set by teammate Michelle Smith in 2005. Seniors Erin Howe and Tricia Aggabao also registered multi-hit games, and Howe was responsible for four of the Stanford RBI. Stanford's 35 wins matches last year's total with more than a month left in the regular-season.
Stanford's win by run-rule marked its 13th win this season by eight or more runs, matching a program record reached in 2005 and 1999. Last season, Stanford run-ruled just eight opponents.
Cardinal pitcher Missy Penna threw a two-hitter to earn her 24th win of the year, and struck out seven batters along the way. Beaver starter Kelly Dyer took the loss and drops to 15-15.
The victory marked the 500th career win for Rittman, who is now 500-231-3 (.683) in 12 seasons.
A shaky defensive start by the Cardinal allowed the Beavers to be the first on the board. Penna fanned All-American Cambria Miranda, but the pitch went to the backstop and Miranda jetted to first base. An error on a routine infield play followed, and Miranda ran all the way to third. After two quick outs, the Oregon State second baseman scored when catcher Audrey Roderfeld beat out a chopper to shortstop.
The Cardinal batters went down in order in the bottom of the first, but that was the last time the Beavers would hold them. Stanford proceeded to score 10 unanswered runs, at least one in every inning, and put on one of its best hitting shows of the season.
Neill began by erasing the Stanford deficit. The Pac-10 homerun leader fired her 17th long ball over the left center field fence to kick off the second inning. With the hit, Neill collected her team-best 44th RBI and moved onto the top-10 single-season RBI chart.
The team broke the game open in the next inning, scoring three runs to jump out to a 4-1 lead. Anna Beardman beat out an infield single to start things off, and Alissa Haber belted her team-leading 11th double of the year to left center to put two in scoring position. On Aggabao's at bat, Beardman scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball before the Cardinal left fielder drew a walk. With runners at the corners, Aggabao stole her 14th base, and when the ball sailed into the outfield, Haber scored easily from third. Koutz then came through with a two-out single to right field, and Aggabao scored on the play.
In the fourth inning, Stanford tacked on one more run. Smith led off with a single up the middle, advanced to third on a walk and an infield grounder, and scored when Aggabao drilled a single to right field.
Stanford continued to inch away in the fifth. Neill cracked a lead-off double, advanced to third on Koutz' second of three hits and scored on an infield ground ball off the bat of Howe.
The rampage continued in the Stanford sixth, and this time the Cardinal finished the Beavers off. Aggabao singled through the right side to start the Cardinal rally, moved to second on a single by Neill, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single up the middle by Koutz. With two on, Howe crushed a ball over the right center field fence to put an exclamation point on Rittman's milestone win.
Stanford resumes its series with the Oregon schools tomorrow, meeting the Oregon Ducks in a 1 p.m. contest at Smith Family Stadium. The three-game series will conclude with a meeting between the Ducks and Cardinal Sunday at noon.