No. 24/23 Stanford (23-8, 1-2 Pac-12)
No. 11/8 Arizona State (27-5, 1-2 Pac-12)
Saturday – 7 p.m. (PT) • Sunday – 7 p.m. • Monday – 4 p.m.
Alberta B. Farrington Stadium • Tempe, Ariz.
Polls • Stanford (24th – USA Today/NFCA, 23rd – ESPN.com/USA Softball) • Arizona State (11th – USA Today/NFCA, 8th – ESPN.com/USA Softball)
Television • The games on Sunday and Monday will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. There will be a live stream available for the game on Saturday via GoStanford.com.
Live Stats • Live in-game statistics will be provided via GoStanford.com
Social • Facebook.com/StanfordSBall • Twitter.com/StanfordSBall – Instagram.com/StanfordSoftball
STANFORD, Calif. – No. 24/23 Stanford continues conference play this weekend with a three-game series at No. 11/8 Arizona State. It is the second of three trips the Cardinal will make to the state of Arizona this season, after opening the year at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe and a series scheduled at Arizona in two weeks.
The series opens Saturday at 7 p.m. (PT), continues Sunday at 7 p.m. and concludes Monday at 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday’s games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network and a live stream will be available for Saturday’s contest.
The Cardinal went 1-2 last weekend when it opened conference play against California. Stanford prevailed in the series opener Friday with a thrilling seventh-inning comeback to win 14-13, but dropped both games of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Hanna Winter led Stanford offensively, going 7-for-10 (.700) with two RBI, two walks and a triple. Leah White also had a strong weekend at the plate, batting 6-for-10 (.600) with eight RBI, three runs, two walks, a double and triple.
Madi Schreyer (16-5) continued to carry a majority of the load in the circle, posting a 4.61 ERA with six strikeouts and seven walks in 13.2 innings pitched. On the season, Schreyer boasts a 1.89 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 137.0 innings. She has held opponents to a .203 batting average and of the 105 hits she has allowed, just 15 have gone for extra bases.
Game times, live statistics and results are available via GoStanford.com.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE
• Arizona State enters the weekend 27-5 overall and is 1-2 in the Pac-12 after last weekend’s series against Oregon State.
• The Sun Devils are balanced offensively with nine players hitting .311 or higher. Amber Freeman leads the team with a .429 batting average and accounting for 24 RBI, four home runs, four doubles and a .500 on-base percentage. Bailey Wigness and Elizabeth Caporuscio have also been strong at the plate, batting .371 and .369, respectively.
• Dallas Escobedo has logged a majority of the time in the circle with 100.0 innings pitched. Escobedo holds a 0.98 ERA with 163 strikeouts, allowing 14 earned runs and 14 walks on the season. She dropped two decisions last weekend against Oregon State despite recording 25 strikeouts and limiting the Beavers to four earned runs.
THE ARIZONA STATE SERIES
• Stanford is 25-37 all-time against Arizona State and went 1-2 against the Sun Devils in last year’s series. Arizona State has won nine of the past 12 meetings. The Cardinal last won the series against the Sun Devils in 2009, winning 7-6 in extra-innings (April 18) and losing 10-1 (April 19) on the road, and posting a 4-0 victory at Stanford (May 1).
• Stanford will play one game next week against Pacific on March 28. The Cardinal will then embark on a stretch in which it will play seven games in 12 days. Opponents during that span include at San Jose State (April 1), at Arizona (April 4-6) and Washington (April 10-12).
IN THE POLLS
• The Cardinal, which has appeared in every regular-season poll for more than a decade, checked in this week at 24th in the USA Today/NFCA poll and 23rd in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
• Stanford’s five-member freshman class has made significant contributions throughout the early portion of the season:
• Madi Schreyer (16-5) has been dominant in the circle, holding a 1.89 ERA with 111 strikeouts and just 37 earned runs in 137.0 innings pitched. She has held opponents to a .203 batting average, and of the 105 hits she has allowed, only 15 have gone for extra bases.
• Kylie Sorenson has been outstanding at shortstop and leads the team in batting average (.398), doubles (12), walks (23), slugging percentage (.627) and on-base percentage (.532) on the season. She has pitched 30.0 innings and holds a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.50 ERA.
• Bessie Noll joined the team from Tokyo, Japan, with three summers of softball experience and an elite background in baseball. Noll has transitioned nicely on The Farm, batting .341 with 17 RBI, 24 runs, five doubles and two home runs.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
• While Madi Schreyer has been carrying a majority of the load in the circle, Stanford’s pitching options have been limited due to injuries. This has led to a “pitching by committee” situation in which four Cardinal players that typically do not pitch, have spent time in the circle. Infielder Kylie Sorenson, utility player Kayla Bonstrom, designated player Tylyn Wells and infielder Erin Ashby have each seen innings at pitcher.
• The pitching situation has caused lineup changes in the infield with each starting infielder logging time at two or three different positions during a weekend. Despite the regular shifting, the Cardinal has produced some outstanding defensive plays and holds a .956 fielding percentage.
RIGHT SIDE, STRONG SIDE
• Erin Ashby and Kayla Bonstrom have played a majority of the time at second base and first base, respectively, and have been heating up offensively just in time for conference play. In the final preseason tournament before Pac-12 competition, Ashby went 9-for-17 (.529) with six RBI, two doubles and a triple over six games. Ashby’s triple was a walk-off, giving Stanford a 3-2 victory over UC Davis.
• Bonstrom hit 8-for-16 (.500) with six RBI, three walks, and recorded team highs in doubles (4) and runs (8) during the tournament. She is the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
ON A ROLL
• Cassandra Roulund – or “Boo” as she’s known by teammates, coaches and fans – leads the team in total bases (53) and ranks second on the squad in RBI (27), in doubles (8) and home runs (3).
WINTER’S HOT CORNER
• Hanna Winter has been outstanding defensively this season, leading the team with 87 assists and holding a .961 fielding percentage. While Winter has spent a majority of time at third base, she has made multiple appearances at shortstop. She has started every game of her collegiate career at second base, third base or shortstop.
USA, USA, USA
• Jessica Plaza was one of 24 players selected to participate at the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp on June 9-12. The sophomore catcher will compete for a spot on the 17-player USA Softball Women’s World Championship roster that will compete for the International Softball Federation World Championship in Haarlem, Netherlands, this August. The final selection for the 17-player roster will be announced June 22.
• Plaza earned a silver medal with the U.S. Junior National Team at the 2013 International Softball Federation Junior Women’s World Championship.
IN THE TOP 50
• Sophomore Kayla Bonstrom was one of 50 players in the nation named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award watch list. She was one of six sophomores included on the list that consists of players from 36 NCAA Division I schools and 12 athletic conferences. Bonstrom is one of 12 Pac-12 players included on the list.
• Stanford had eight players selected to all-conference teams in 2013. Five of those players return for the 2014 campaign, including Kayla Bonstrom, Hanna Winter, Cassandra Roulund, Leah White and Jessica Plaza.
• Stanford was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll. Arizona State and Washington tied for the top spot, while Oregon was picked third and UCLA fourth. Arizona was selected to place sixth, followed by California at seventh, and Oregon State and Utah tying for eighth.
2013 IN REVIEW
• The Cardinal finished the 2013 season with a 39-21 overall record – the 17th consecutive winning season under head coach John Rittman. Stanford finished fourth in the Pac-12 with a 13-11 mark, and was 26-10 against nonconference opponents. The Cardinal competed in its 16th straight NCAA Tournament, concluding its season with a 2-2 result at the Lincoln Regional.
HEAD COACH JOHN RITTMAN
• In his 18th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Rittman is one of the winningest coaches in collegiate softball, boasting a 743-342-3 (.684) career record. Since stepping onto The Farm in July 1996, he has coached the team to 17 consecutive winning seasons, 16 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and 13 40-win seasons. Under Rittman, Stanford claimed a share of its first conference championship and made two appearances in the Women’s College World Series (2001, 2004).