March 8, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford head coach John Rittman captured his 700th career win, Friday, as the No. 18/19 Stanford softball team topped Minnesota, 2-1 in eight innings and Florida Gulf Coast, 2-1, on the first day of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic in Stanford, Calif. The Cardinal improves to 19-5 overall, while the Golden Gophers fell to 11-8 and the Eagles dropped to 14-7.
Rittman is now 700-318-3 (.687) in his career, earning all 700 victories with the Cardinal. His winning percentage ranks in the top-20 in the nation among active coaches.
Senior pitcher Teagan Gerhart tallied a win and a save for the Cardinal in the circle. She went the distance against Minnesota, racking up a season-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just one unearned run on four hits with no walks. She entered the FGCU game in the top of the seventh with two outs and got the strikeout to notch her third save of the year.
Freshman pitcher Kelsey Stevens earned the start against FGCU, fanning five batters and giving up one run on three hits in 2.1 innings of work. Sophomore Nyree White tallied her first win of the season, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Against Minnesota, which is coached by former Cardinal All-American Jessica Allister, neither team was able score any runs during the first seven innings of action, forcing an eighth. With the international tiebreaker rule in effect (placing a runner at second base to start the inning), the Golden Gophers scored one run on a triple by second baseman Erika Smyth.
The Cardinal responded in the bottom of the eighth, with sophomore Hanna Winter out to run at second base. Sophomore Leah White led off with a single to left field. Senior Jenna Rich then reached on an error by Minnesota third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson. Winter then scored as sophomore Cassandra Roulund reached on an error by Smyth. Leah White scored the winning run as first baseman Erin Ashby reached on a walk-off fielder's choice.
Against Florida Gulf Coast, the Cardinal took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Leah White singled to right field to start a rally. Rich then singled up the middle and freshman designated player Kayla Bonstrom drew a walk to load the bases. Ashby was hit by a pitch to score Leah White, while freshman catcher Jessica Plaza tallied an RBI walk to score Rich.
The Eagles cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third inning, but was unable to generate any more runs. Right fielder Tori Williams drew a bases-loaded walk to score designated player Emily Lanier, who walked to lead-off the inning.
The Cardinal will face Minnesota and FGCU on Saturday, March 9 at Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal will take on the Golden Gophers at 2:30 p.m. and the Eagles at 4:45 p.m.