Stanford (24-14, 1-8 Pac-12)
No. 10/10 Washington (22-10, 2-6 Pac-12)
Thur. – 8 p.m. (PT) • Fri. – 7 p.m. • Sat. – 7 p.m.
Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium • Stanford, Calif.
Television • Thursday - ESPNU • Saturday - ESPN2
Live Stats • Statistics will be provided via GoStanford.com
Radio • All three games will be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU and at kzsulive.stanford.edu.
Promotions • Friday – Autograph Night • Saturday – Bacon Night
Social • Facebook.com/StanfordSBall • Twitter.com/StanfordSBall • Instagram.com/StanfordSoftball
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford returns home after three weeks on the road to play host to No. 10/10 Washington.
The series begins Thursday at 8 p.m. (PT), continues Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 7 p.m. Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPNU and Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Cardinal dropped three games last week at No. 10/10 Arizona. The Cardinal fell 18-12 in a thrilling game Friday to open the series, lost 12-3 on Saturday and dropped a difficult 5-3 decision in eight innings on Sunday.
Erin Ashby paced Stanford offensively, hitting .600 (3-for-5) with two home runs, three RBI, five walks and a 1.800 slugging percentage. Kylie Sorenson also had a good weekend at the plate, going 4-for-9 (.444) with a team-best six RBI, three walks and a home run.
Game times, live statistics and results are available via GoStanford.com.
• Washington enters the weekend 22-10 overall and 2-6 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies went 1-0 last week, defeating Seattle 11-0.
• Washington has been balanced offensively with eight players hitting .300 or higher on the season. Victoria Hayward leads the team with a .439 batting average, followed by Ali Aguilar (.372), Marki Creger-Zier (.360) and Kelli Suguro (.352). Kylee Lahners has provided a majority of the power for the Huskies with a team-high 10 home runs and .713 slugging percentage.
• Washington boasts an experienced pitching staff with seniors Bryana Walker (14-6) and Kaitlin Inglesby (6-3), and junior Kasey Stanchek (2-1). Walker has seen the majority of innings in the circle with 100.2, and holds a 1.32 ERA with 112 strikeouts and 34 walks. Inglesby holds a 2.09 ERA in 80.1 innings, while Stanchek has notched a 1.84 ERA in 19.0 innings pitched. As a staff, the Huskies have held opponents to a .225 batting average.
THE WASHINGTON SERIES
• Stanford is 27-37 all-time against Washington and went 1-2 against the Huskies in last year’s series. The Cardinal dropped the first game last year 6-5, but responded with a 6-4 victory in the second matchup. Stanford fell 7-1 in the final game of the series. Stanford swept the series in 2012 – the Huskies most recent trip to The Farm – and went 2-1 in 2011.
• Stanford heads back on the road for a three-game series at Utah on April 17-19. The games on Thursday and Friday will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
•Stanford is 1-2 in series-openers against Pac-12 opponents this season, defeating California 14-13, falling at Arizona State 16-15 in nine innings and dropping an 18-12 decision at Arizona.
• The Cardinal scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the comeback victory against California (March 14). Trailing by six runs entering the top of the seventh at Arizona State, Stanford scored eight runs to take the lead. The Sun Devils scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning to send the game into extras, where it eventually earned the win (March 28).
• Six Cardinal players combined for 11 hits and Stanford held the lead through the middle portion of the game, but Arizona capitalized on two grand slams to earn the victory (April 4).
• Stanford has taken leads into the bottom of the seventh inning but been unable to hold on for the victory in each of its past two series finales. The Cardinal led the first six-and-a-half innings at Arizona State and took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh before the Sun Devils rallied for five runs – including a walk-off three-run home run – to claim a comeback victory.
• Bessie Noll delivered a solo home run in the top of the seventh to put Stanford up 3-2 at Arizona, but the Wildcats responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to send the game to extras. After Stanford was unable to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation in the top of the eighth, Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga delivered a walk-off two-run home run to take the victory and sweep the series.
IN THE POLLS
• The Cardinal has received votes in every regular-season poll for more than a decade. Stanford is receiving votes in both polls this week.
• Stanford’s five-member freshman class has made significant contributions throughout the season:
• Madi Schreyer (17-7) has been strong in the circle, holding a 2.83 ERA with 129 strikeouts and just 67 earned runs in 166.0 innings pitched. She has held opponents to a .238 batting average, and of the 156 hits she has allowed, only 30 have gone for extra bases.
• Kylie Sorenson has been outstanding at shortstop and leads the team in batting average (.387), doubles (14), walks (30), slugging percentage (.642) and on-base percentage (.525) on the season. She ranks second on the team in RBI (32) and third in hits (41). She has become Stanford’s second pitcher due to injuries and has pitched 36.0 innings, notching a 2-3 record with one save and a 6.22 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 .327 with 21 RBI, 31 runs, 7 doubles and three 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 positions during a weekend. Despite the regular shifting, the Cardinal has produced some outstanding defensive plays and holds a .956 fielding percentage.
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
• Leah White has been one of Stanford’s most consistent players in all areas this season. The junior is second on the team with a .373 batting average, leads the team with 13 stolen bases and is second in hits (44) and on-base percentage (.464). She has been terrific defensively, starting every game in left field and recording a .967 fielding percentage.
• In conference play, White leads Stanford in batting (.433), hits (13), doubles (4), triples (1) and total bases (19). She is second on the team in RBI (10) and walks (8). She boasts a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage against Pac-12 competition.
RIGHT SIDE, STRONG SIDE
• Erin Ashby and Kayla Bonstrom have played a majority of the time at second base and first base, respectively, and heated 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.
• In conference play, Ashby is second on the team with a .409 batting average. Ashby leads the team with 12 walks, a .629 on-base percentage and a .818 slugging percentage.
• Bonstrom is tied for third on the team with seven RBI. She is the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
• Stanford has been electric on the base paths this year, stealing 48 bases in 53 attempts (91 percent). Leah White has swiped 13 bags in 14 tries, while Hanna Winter has taken 12 bases in 14 attempts. Tylyn Wells has been successful in 11 of 12 stolen base attempts.
ON A ROLL
• Cassandra Roulund – or “Boo” as she’s known by teammates, coaches and fans – is third on the team in RBI (28), doubles (8) and home runs (3), and fourth in total bases (55).
WINTER’S HOT CORNER
• Hanna Winter has been outstanding defensively this season, leading the team with 95 assists and holding a .952 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 744-348-3 (.682) 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).