March 2, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. - The No. 10/11 Stanford softball team opened the DeMarini Invitational, Friday, with an eight-inning win over Indiana (7-3) and a 1-0 win against Northwestern in Fullerton, Calif. The Cardinal improves to 15-3 overall, while the Hoosiers dropped to 7-8 and Wildcats fell to 5-9.
Junior pitcher Teagan Gerhart started both games in the circle, improving to 15-1. She combined for 12 strikeouts, while allowing just two earned runs and two walks. Indiana's Lora Olson took the loss in the first game, falling to 5-6, while Northwestern's Meghan Lamberth fell to 2-3.
Against Indiana, freshman Hanna Winter led off with an infield single and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by rookie Leah White. Senior Ashley Hansen brought Winter home for the first score with a single to shallow right field. Stanford then took advantage of some Indiana miscues, loading the bases with one out. However, the Cardinal was unable to capitalize as Hansen was out at the plate as first baseman Tegan Schmidt reached on a fielder's choice and then senior Jenna Becerra flew out to right field to end the inning.
Indiana tied the score in the bottom of the second as freshman Shannon Cawley hit a solo home run to centerfield to lead off the inning. With two outs in the second, the Hoosiers loaded the bases, but Gerhart caught the lead-off batter Breanna Saucedo looking to end the inning without any more damage done to the scoreboard.
Stanford broke the tie in the top of the fourth to take the 2-1 lead. With one out, White ripped a single down the left line. She then advanced all the way to third as Cawley, the left fielder, misplayed the ball. Indiana centerfielder Samantha Heyman then made a bad throw, allowing White to cross the plate on the same play.
The Hoosiers answered in the fifth, scoring two runs to take the lead. With two outs and a runner on second, right fielder Jenna Abraham hit an RBI single to center field. She then scored on the next play in which Cawley singled to right field and a throwing error by Stanford sophomore Corey Hanewich advanced the runners another base.
The Cardinal tied it up in the sixth as junior Jenna Rich hit an RBI double to left centerfield to score White from first.
Playing with the international tiebreaker rule, Winter started the eighth inning on second base. White, the lead-off batter, blasted a two-run home run to right centerfield to get things going in the extra inning for the Cardinal. A sacrifice fly by Becerra scored Rich and then a single to centerfield by catcher Maya Burns scored Hanewich.
Gerhart shut down the Hoosiers in the bottom of the eighth to propel the Cardinal to victory.
Versus Northwestern, Stanford scored its only run of the game in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, Schmidt grounded out to third base to score Hansen.
Gerhart shut the Wildcats down for the remainder of the contest, finishing with seven strikeouts and allowing just four hits.
Stanford will continue the DeMarini Invitational on Saturday, March 3 against Florida International. First pitch for the Cardinal and Golden Panthers is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. PT.