March 4, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- No. 9 Stanford fell to No. 5 Oklahoma in five innings, beat UMass 7-0 in the completion of a suspended game, then beat No. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette 2-1 Saturday at the South Commons at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Stanford is now 18-3 on the season. The Sooners improve to 22-3, the Minutewomen fall to 0-8 and the Lady Cajuns are 11-3. The Cardinal will play in the silver division semifinals Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EST.
The Cardinal opened with a strong Oklahoma team, suffering its third loss of the season, and second of the tournament. The Sooners had a two-run home run in the third, added five unearned runs in the fourth and scored one more in the bottom of the fifth to end the game under the eight-run rule. It was the first time Stanford lost in regulation this season, as the team's first two losses came in eight and nine innings, under the international tiebreaker rule.
At 2:30, Stanford and UMass resumed their game started Friday night, but halted after four innings due to rain and lightning. Friday night Stanford got four in the first inning. Senior Kellie Wiginton (Fresno, CA/Bullard HS) led off with a walk, and sophomore Robin Walker (La Palma, CA/Mater Dei HS) advanced her to second on a groundout. Sophomore Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA/Camarillo HS) then doubled to shallow left-center, but Wiginton only advanced to third as it appeared the ball might be caught. Sophomore Sarah Beeson (Tucson, AZ/Canyon del Oro HS) hit an RBI single up the middle, taking second on the throw to the plate. Junior Jenni Shideler (San Jose, CA/Leland HS) then hit a two-run double that kicked up chalk down the first-base line. Freshman Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA/Arroyo HS) singled through the left side to make it 4-0.
Junior Ramona Shelburne (West Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) bunted for a single with one down in the second. Wiginton singled to center and Walker singled to right to make the score 5-0 through two. Stanford added two more in the fourth. Shelburne reached when the first baseman dropped a throw on a what would have been a groundout. Wiginton then hit a ball hard to third to reach on an error. Shelburne was thrown out at third on Walker's fielder's choice, then Mendoza was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Beeson grounded into a fielder's choice, with Wiginton being thrown out at the plate, but Shideler hit a two-out, two-run single to right to make it 7-0 through four complete innings, and then the storm hit.
The teams resumed play Saturday, but no runs were scored in two and a half innings. Freshman Jaime Forman-Lau (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) improved to 6-0, allowing four hits and striking out six in her second complete game of the year.
Stanford then met the Lady Cajuns at 8:30 p.m. to begin elimination play in the silver bracket. Sorensen battled with Melissa Coronado, the 1999 NFCA Leadoff Classic MVP, in the circle, and both pitchers put up a string of zeros to start the game. The Lady Cajuns finally got on the board in the top of the sixth when Tiffany Clark hit a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall to lead off the inning, her fourth home run of the year. But the Cardinal responded in the bottom of the inning. Mendoza hit a two-out single into shallow left-center to start the rally. Beeson followed her by blasting a 2-2 pitch well over the wall in right for her second home run of the season. Sorensen retired the side in the top of the seventh to get the win, scattering five hits to improve to 9-3 on the season.
Stanford concludes play at the NFCA Leadoff Classic Sunday, with a silver division semifinal game at 11:30 a.m. EST against the winner of Saturday night's Florida State-Mississippi State game.