STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford softball stuck to a familiar strategy to wrap-up a sweep of Loyola Marymount, Sunday at Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal (17-4) scored both its runs in the first inning and rode a strong outing from Alana Vawter for the 2-0 victory.
Vatwer held the Lions (10-13) to two hits and two walks to improve to 11-1 on the year. She did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and rode a stout Stanford defense behind her to victory.
The Cardinal scored twice in the first inning with the first two batters in the lineup crossing the plate. Teaghan Cowles reached on a bloop single to shallow left field and stole second to put the leadoff hitter in scoring position. Taylor Gindlesperger advanced Cowles to third on an infield single to the pitcher to put runners on the corners.
With one out in the inning, Eleni Spirakis hit into a fielder's choice to third base. The Loyola Marymount third baseman threw home but could not beat the speed of Cowles on the base paths. Gindlesperger was able to advance to third on the throw home, again setting up runners on the corners. Emily Schultz batted Gindlesperger home on a sacrifice fly to center field.
Cowles ended the game 2-for-3 at the plate with a run, while Gindlesperger was 2-for-2 with a run and a walk. The Cardinal combined for six runs in the first inning across the series.
Stanford received strong performances in the infield from Emily Young and Sydnee Huff. The two combined for three putouts and seven assists. Huff made a pair of diving plays on shallow fly balls in the fourth inning.
The Cardinal will play one final nonconference game before opening Pac-12 play at Utah. Stanford will play a midweek game at BYU, Wednesday, and close out the road trip with a four-game series against the Utes, March 26-28. Only three games of the series will count towards the conference standings.