Penna Mows Down 19 In 28th Straight Cardinal Win
March 23, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - With the start of conference play just four days away, senior Missy Penna gave opponents a 19-strikeout preview of what she hopes to bring to her final go-around of Pac-10 play. Penna went 10 innings and shattered the school's single-game strikeout record, as the Cardinal won a thriller over Cal Poly, 2-1.
Stanford extended the nation's longest active winning streak to 28 games, having not lost since the opening day of the season. The streak ties for the 17th-longest in NCAA history, and is the longest by a Pac-10 team since 2001.
Penna's 19 strikeouts broke her own school record (17 at Arizona State last season). Improving to 19-1, she threw her 19th complete game and give up just five hits in 10 innings. The win, the 103rd of her career, made her one of the 10 winningest pitchers in Pac-10 history.
Anna Cahn (12-4) took the loss for Cal Poly.
Freshman Ashley Hansen, junior Shannon Koplitz and senior Maddy Coon were responsible for the bulk of the Stanford offense, each recording three hits on the day. Coon reached on four of her five plate appearances and drove in both Cardinal runs.
The Mustangs were led by senior shortstop Melissa Pura, who recorded three of their five hits and ripped the game-tying home run in the top of the seventh. Stanford outhit Cal Poly, 12-5.
The Cardinal only managed to get three runners aboard in the first five innings, and all three were left stranded in scoring position. In the first inning, back-to-back hits by Hansen and Koplitz put two in scoring position with one out, but the Cardinal couldn't capitalize. In the fourth, Coon reached third with two outs, but the Cardinal once again couldn't plate her.
A two-out rally in the sixth put Stanford in position to win. Koplitz drove a double down the left line and Coon came right behind her with another one to deep left field that gave the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.
Stanford needed just three outs in the top of the seventh, but Mustang shortstop Melissa Pura refused to let her team lose. Leading off, Pura ripped a home run off the left field foul pole and tied the game at 1-1. The home run was the first given up by Penna this year.
Stanford put runners in scoring position in two of the next three innings, but couldn't get the game-winning run across. Meanwhile, Penna continued to mow down the Mustang lineup, allowing Cal Poly just one hit in the extra frames.
In the bottom of the 10th, Stanford started at the top of its lineup and finally strung together some hits. Alissa Haber led off with her first hit of the day and Hansen followed with a knock up the middle. Koplitz beat out an infield single to left side to load the bases, giving Coon a chance to win the game. The senior came through sending a sharp drive off the hand of Cahn, which allowed Haber to score.
Stanford begins the Pac-10 season at home on Friday, hosting No. 5/5 UCLA in its conference opener at 7 p.m. The Cardinal continues the weekend with games against No. 3/3 Washington Saturday and Sunday, which begin at 1 p.m. and noon, respectively.