Senior Gem: Penna Tosses A One-Hitter To Take First Arizona Series In School History
May 3, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - In her final regular-season appearance at Smith Family Stadium, Missy Penna made sure her last impression would be one to remember. The senior ace put on a show for the packed home crowd, throwing a one-hitter against the nation's top offense, striking out 13 batters and leading Stanford to its first series win in school history over the Arizona Wildcats.
The 2-1 victory allowed Stanford to hang onto a share of the Pac-10 lead heading into the final conference weekend. With three games remaining, the Cardinal is tied with UCLA for first place and will square off with the Bruins for the title next weekend.
Stanford (44-6, 13-5 Pac-10) has won just one conference title in school history, when it earned a co-championship in 2005. The 2009 team has already matched that 2005 squad with 13 Pac-10 wins, the most the program has ever posted since the league went to a 21-game schedule in 2000.
Stanford claimed its seventh win in school history over Arizona and its second in two days. The Cardinal took the series with Arizona for the first time in the 53-game history between the two schools and, combined with its victory over Arizona State on Friday night, swept a weekend series with the Arizona schools for the first time ever.
Arizona falls to 39-13 overall with the loss and 11-6 in the conference. Wildcat sophomore Lindsey Sisk gave up both Stanford runs in 1.1 innings of work and fell to 12-4.
Penna's 13 K's marked the 51st time in her career that she has fanned 10 or more. She became the first active pitcher in the country to reach the 1,200-K mark on Friday and now has a program best 1,213 career strikeouts. That total now ranks among the 20 best in NCAA history and sixth all-time in the Pac-10.
Stanford recorded eight hits off the Arizona pitching combination of Sisk and reliever Jennifer Martinez. Freshman Maya Burns was 3-for-3 on the afternoon and scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the second inning. Junior Alissa Haber was 2-for-3 with the hit that drove in that game-winner.
Arizona's only hit was a solo home run by senior Jenae Leles in the fourth inning.
Stanford jumped on Sisk right away, capitalizing on two free passes to score the game's first run in the opening inning. Alissa Haber was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, and with two outs, senior Maddy Coon kept the inning alive by drawing a walk. With runners at the corners, sophomore Melisa Koutz stepped to the plate and drove a crucial single to right field, sending Haber across to make it 1-0.
The Cardinal pushed its lead to 2-0 in the second inning. Burns led off with her first of three singles and advanced on Jenna Becerra's full-count walk. Haber crushed a Sisk pitch into center field one batter later, and Burns cruised around to score.
Leles connected on a Penna pitch to make it 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, and the Wildcats capitalized on a two hit batters a Cardinal error to load the bases with one out. Penna worked herself out of a critical jam however, striking out back-to-back Arizona batters to end the inning.
After scoring its second run in the second inning, Stanford continued to put runners on but couldn't manage to score them. Stanford put runners on in all six innings, but left none of them aboard.
The Cardinal will play for the Pac-10 title at Washington and UCLA this week, needing two wins to clinch at least a share of the title. Action begins on Thursday in Seattle with a game set for 1 p.m. against the Washington Huskies.