Stanford Blanks Lehigh To Begin NCAA Tournament
May 16, 2008
Amherst, Mass. - Junior pitcher Missy Penna mowed down 14 batters, junior Maddy Coon hit a first-inning homerun to inspire the Stanford offense and the 12th-seeded Cardinal softball team walked away with a 4-0 win in its first game of the NCAA Tournament today in Amherst, Mass.
The Cardinal improves to 47-12 overall with the win, while Penna is now 35-10. Lehigh falls to 35-16-1, with hurler Lisa Sweeney dropping to 25-4.
Penna was on fire from the start, earning eight of her 14 K's the first time through the order. After allowing center fielder Kate Marvel an infield hit to lead off the game, Penna struck out eight Lehigh batters in a row and retired nine of them. She finished the game with a four-hit shutout, and only allowed one ball to leave the infield. The shutout was her 13th of the season and the win was her 35th, giving her sole possession of the school's single-season win record. Sweeney struck out five in just her fourth loss of the year.
On the offensive side, center fielder Alissa Haber went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple to help Stanford outhit Lehigh, 8-4. The Mountain Hawks' four hits came off the bats of four different players.
After Lehigh recorded two quick outs, Coon ensured that Stanford would start its 2008 NCAA Tournament right. Coon watched one Sweeney pitch go by, then accepted her second offering and drilled it just left of the 220 mark in center field. The blast was Coon's ninth of the year, second on the Cardinal squad.
In the third inning, Haber hit ripped her second triple in as many games down the left field line. Fellow sophomore Shannon Koplitz took advantage of the RBI opportunity, and dropped a single into left field that allowed Haber to score easily.
Stanford rallied to score two more runs in the sixth inning. Catcher Rosey Neill pounded a double to the gap in right center field, and Michelle Smith followed with a bunt single that moved pinch runner Michelle Schroeder to third. With one out, freshman designated player Melisa Koutz cracked a clutch RBI single to right field. Two batters later, with pinch runners Jess Zutz and Autumn Albers in scoring position, senior Anna Beardman hit a bloop single to left center than allowed Zutz to score the first run of her collegiate career.
Stanford will take on this afterrnoon's UMass-Princeton winner in a game set for noon tomorrow at the UMass Softball Complex in Amherst.