March 5, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- No. 9 Stanford avenged an earlier loss to Mississippi State with a 5-1 win and beat No. 16 Alabama 5-2 Sunday at the South Commons to win the Silver Division title at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Bulldogs fall to 12-5 and the Crimson Tide fall to 20-5.
Sunday the Cardinal met Mississippi State in a rematch of the Bulldogs' 2-1 nine-inning win Friday night. In that battle of freshman pitchers, MSU's Jennifer Pursell and Stanford's Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) both threw shutouts through seven innings before the international tiebreaker rule came into play. Both teams scored in the eighth, but only Mississippi State scored in the ninth. Sunday morning saw Pursell and Sorensen square off again, but there was a lot more offense in the rematch. Pursell, who threw a no-hitter Saturday against UMass, gave up a one-out single to sophomore Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA/Camarillo HS), before sophomore Sarah Beeson (Tucson, AZ/Canyon del Oro HS) hit into a fielder's choice that retired Walker. Junior Jenni Shideler (San Jose, CA/Leland HS) drew a walk to load the bases, then freshman Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA/Arroyo HS) hit a two-run single to center. Shideler also came around to score on the play as the center fielder threw the ball away in an attempt to get Beeson. Freshman Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, CA/Chaminade Prep) then hit a sharp single off the third baseman to score Ching.
The Bulldogs responded in the top of the second with an unearned run.
The Cardinal got that run back in the bottom of the fifth. Mendoza singled to center with one out and Beeson went with an outside pitch to single between ahort and third. Shideler grounded to the second baseman, who flipped to the shortstop to get Beeson at second. The relay throw for the attemopted double play at first sailed high, giving Mendoza the opportunity to round third and score on an error. The four uns in the first were more than enough for Sorensen, who improved to 10-3 on the year. She scattered three hits while strking out five. LeCocq pitched the seventh in relief. Stanford pounded out six hits off Pursell in four innings, and four more off Jennifer Nelson in the fifth and sixth.
Stanford then squared off with Alabama for the Silver Division title. The Cardinal bats got going early. Walker, the second batter of the game, hit the first pitch she saw over the left-field wall for her first career home run.
The Crimson Tide responded with a run in the bottom of the first, but Stanford got another longball from an unlikely source to regain the lead in the second. LeCocq drew a one-out walk, then senior Kelly Wiginton (Fresno, CA/Bullard HS) hit a two-out, two-run homer, also down the left-field line. It was Wiginton's first of the year, and the senior's fourth career homer in 628 at-bats.
Stanford added to the lead in the top of the fourth. Wiginton singled to right to lead off. Walker put down a sacrifice bunt, but Laird, the pitcher, threw the ball away, putting Wiginton on third and Walker on second. Medoza then laced a line drive past Laird's head to center. Wiginton scored on the play, but Walker was thrown out at the plate. Beeson then lined one past Laird's leg into center to score Mendoza, making it 5-1.
Alabama's Kelley Askew smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to round out the scoring.
LeCocq improved to 2-0, scattering four hits over six innings of work.
Stanford will be off for two weeks for dead week and final exams before returning to action Sunday, March 19, with a doubleheader against Santa Clara at the Stanford Softball Complex. The first game begins at noon.
2000 All-Leadoff Classic Team
Jamie Graves Washington Pitcher Kelly Hauxhurst Washington Outfielder Amanda Scott Fresno State Pitcher Becky Witt Fresno State Outfielder Jessica Mendoza Stanford Outfielder Dana Degen Hawaii Catcher Nichole Thompson Arizona State Outfielder Stephanie Hastings LSU Second Base Ashli Barrett Oklahoma Catcher Marisa Young Michigan Pitcher Teri Rooney Massachusetts Outfielder Kirsten Voak Arizona State Pitcher
Outstanding Player - Jenny Topping, Washington, First Base