TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 22/20 Stanford exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to earn a 9-1 season-opening victory against NC State.
After Leah White walked to start the fifth inning, Kayla Bonstrom got the scoring going with a two-run home run to right center. After batting through the lineup, Bonstrom ended the game with a single to right, scoring Hanna Winter from second base and giving the Cardinal (1-0) an eight-run advantage.
Carley Hoover (1-0) had a terrific collegiate debut in the circle, giving up one run on four hits and recording nine strikeouts over five innings.
Freshmen Kylie Sorenson and Bessie Noll also delivered strong collegiate debuts, collecting a pair of hits apiece.
Prior to the Cardinal posting eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, the game was highlighted by strong pitching and stellar defensive plays. Hoover and NC State’s Courtney Mirabella (0-1) both retired four of the first five batters they faced.
After allowing a homerun by NC State’s (0-2) Molly Hutchison in the second inning, Hoover became nearly unhittable, retiring the next six batters – including four strikeouts. Hoover faced a first and third situation with one out in the fifth, but struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam.
Stanford had baserunners in each inning but had trouble finding the hit to break the game open until the fifth. The Cardinal got on the board in the third inning after Leah White reached base on an error, followed by a single from Bonstrom and a single from Kylie Sorenson.
Stanford returns to action Friday with back-to-back games against San Diego State and Northwestern at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.