STANFORD, Calif. – No. 24/24 took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh Sunday at No. 10/10 Arizona but was unable to hold on for the win, falling to the Wildcats 5-3 in eight innings.
After Stanford (24-14, 1-8 Pac-12) was unable to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation in the top of the eighth, Arizona’s (32-8, 7-5 Pac-12) Katiyana Mauga delivered a walk-off two-run home run to take the victory and sweep the series.
Nothing came easy for the Cardinal this weekend at Arizona and Sunday was no different.
Stanford struggled to find timely hitting throughout the game, leaving a season-high 16 runners on base. The Cardinal left the bases loaded in three innings and stranded a pair of runners in three innings.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for Stanford, including strong pitching by Madi Schreyer (17-7), a clutch home run by Bessie Noll and a solid defensive effort from a variety of players.
Schreyer continued to lead the Cardinal in the circle, going 7.0 innings and allowing four earned runs on 10 hits, while striking out five and not permitting a walk. She holds a 2.83 ERA with 129 strikeouts in 166.0 innings pitched on the season.
Bessie Noll went 1-for-4 with a walk, delivering her hit at the most opportune time – a solo home run to deep center in the top of the seventh to give Stanford a 3-2 lead. Noll contributed on defense in the bottom half of the inning after Arizona tied the score 3-3, throwing out a Wildcats runner at the plate from right field. The play ended the seventh inning and sent the game into extras.
Kylie Sorenson led the team with three walks in the game. She finished the weekend 4-for-9 (.444) with four walks, six RBI and a home run. Erin Ashby led the Cardinal offensively during the three-game set, batting 3-for-5 (.600) with two home runs, three RBI and five walks.
Arizona jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning but had its rally halted by a great defensive play by White in left field who threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning.
The Cardinal responded immediately in the top of the second when White delivered an RBI-single and Tylyn Wells scored on an error by the Arizona shortstop to knot the game at 2-2.
The score remained tied through the next four innings. Stanford had opportunities to break the game open but left two runners on in the fourth and sixth innings, and left one runner on in the fifth.
Stanford finally broke through in the seventh when Bessie Noll delivered a booming home run to center to put the Cardinal up 3-2.
The lead did not last long, however, as Arizona responded with a run of its own in the seventh to tie the game at three-all. Stanford prevented the Wildcats from scoring the winning run in the inning by throwing out two Arizona base runners at the plate. Sorenson contributed the first assist and Noll provided the second.
Stanford continued to pressure in the eighth, loading the bases, but failed to bring them around.
The Cardinal returns home next week to play host to No. 9 Washington for a three-game series beginning on Thursday at 8 p.m. Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPNU and Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN2.