Coon's Homerun Fuels 7-3 Win Over San Jose State
April 22, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - Junior Maddy Coon belted her sixth homerun of the year over the left center field fence in the third inning, helping the Cardinal come from behind to take down the San Jose State Spartans tonight at Smith Family Stadium, 7-3.
The Cardinal claimed its 41st win of the year, and is now 41-8 overall. San Jose State falls to 23-29 with the loss.
Stanford's eight hits came off the bats of eight different players and the Cardinal outhit its 39th opponent by an 8-4 margin. Coon's three RBI led Stanford, while center fielder Sarah Taylor went 2-for-3 with an RBI to pace San Jose State.
Sloppy defense allowed the Spartans to get on the board before the Cardinal even knew what happened. With one out, Taylor singled up the middle and a walk and a hit batter by Stanford starter Ashley Chinn quickly loaded the bases. Spartan right fielder Kayla Hayes hit a grounder to shortstop, but the ball was thrown in the dirt and two runs came around to score.
Stanford got one back in the bottom half of the first, as the Spartans faced the same pitching and defensive woes that plagued the Cardinal in their part of the opening inning. Alissa Haber walked and was bunted to second by Tricia Aggabao. On the next play, Melisa Koutz reached on an error, and Rosey Neill was issued a walk to load the bases. Erin Howe followed with her 16th RBI of the year, driving a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Haber to score easily.
San Jose State built its lead in the next frame, however, scoring another run without even registering a hit. Nicole Wells was walked to lead off the inning, and Kasey Igarta replaced her at first on a fielder's choice. Elizabeth Perez reached on another Cardinal error, and after a wild pitch from Chinn, Igarta scored on a sacrifice fly by Taylor.
After the Spartans scored the third run on Chinn, Head Coach John Rittman called in his ace. From there, the Cardinal defense was flawless, and junior Missy Penna was even better. Over the next 5.1 innings, the Miami, Fla. native struck out eight batters, including four of the first five she saw, allowed just four baserunners, and most importantly, never let the Spartans score again.
Penna improves to 29-7 on the year, and is now just five victories short of the school's single-season win record. Her second K of the night was her 300th of the season, marking the second straight year that Penna has recorded 300 or more.
In the bottom of the third, Coon jumpstarted the Stanford offense, putting the team in front with her sixth homerun of the year. Neill started a two-out rally with an infield single behind third base and Howe walked to put a second runner on. Coon then nailed Mauer's 2-2 pitch over the left center field fence to put Stanford up 4-3. The three RBI lifted Coon over 100 for her career. She joins Sarah Beeson as the only two players in school history to hit 100 in four different offensive categories (runs, hits, RBI and walks).
Shannon Koplitz extended the lead in the fourth, hitting a solo homerun to lead off the inning. Her blast to left was her fourth homer of the year and gave Stanford a 5-3 advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Cardinal added one more. Neill led off with a walk and Howe pushed her to second with a bloop single. An infield grounder by Coon allowed Neill to take third, and Michelle Smith hit an RBI single to drive the run in.
In the sixth, Stanford put one more finishing touch on the win. Haber singled up the middle, stole second and scored on a single to the right side by Koutz.
The Cardinal will resume play on Friday, taking on Washington at 6 p.m. to begin its last home weekend. The Cardinal will wrap up regular-season home games with meetings with UCLA at 1 p.m. and noon, respectively on Saturday and Sunday.