SALT LAKE CITY – Stanford recorded 16 hits and erased a seven-run deficit Saturday to earn a thrilling 12-11 victory at Utah in the series finale.
The Cardinal (26-18, 3-12 Pac-12) traded leads through the first three innings with the Utes (20-20, 5-12 Pac-12) but found itself in a 10-3 hole after the third.
Stanford rallied for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to knot the game at 10-10 and added two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 12-10 lead. The Utes would not go down easy, however, and pushed the Cardinal to the brink in the bottom half of the inning.
Utah began the seventh with its two leadoff hitters singling to start the inning. Bridget Castro singled to right center to bring in a run, cutting the Cardinal’s lead to 12-11. With runners on second and third, Madi Schreyer (18-10) got the next Utes batter to ground out to third for the second out of the inning. However, Schreyer walked the following Utah hitter to load the bases.
Shelby Pacheco stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Schreyer was able to get Pacheco to hit a grounder back up the middle, where Schreyer fielded it and threw home for the final out of the game.
Stanford utilized a balanced offensive approach with nine players recording a hit, including home runs by Kayla Bonstrom and Kylie Sorenson. Bonstrom and Leah White notched three hits apiece, while Tylyn Wells, Cassandra Roulund and Bessie Noll tallied two hits each.
Schreyer picked up the win in the circle, entering the game as relief in the third inning. She allowed one earned run on eight hits, permitted three walks and struck out one in 5.0 innings.
The high-scoring affair got going right away with Bonstrom getting the Cardinal on the board in the top of the first inning with a solo home run to right field. It was Bonstrom’s third homer on the year.
The lead would not last long though, as Utah responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.
Bessie Noll kept the offense rolling with a leadoff single in the second inning. She advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and was brought home on a double down the left field line by Wells. White followed with a single to bring Wells around from second and give the Cardinal a 3-2 advantage.
The lead changed again in the bottom of the third when Utah put together a four-run two-out rally. With two runs allowed and two runners on, Sorenson, who started as Stanford’s pitcher, was relieved by Wells who walked the next batter to load the bases.
Utah’s Kristen Stewart hit a ground ball to shortstop that Stanford was unable to handle, allowing two additional runs to score and extending the Utes’ lead to 6-3.
The Utes extended its lead to 10-3 in the third inning. After walking the first two batters, Wells was relieved by Madi Schreyer. Schreyer recorded two outs in the next two at-bats but then permitted four consecutive singles, scoring four runs.
After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Stanford scored seven runs in the sixth inning to tie the game. With the bases loaded, Jessica Plaza brought home the first run of the inning with a fielder’s choice. Wells followed with a two-RBI triple to right-center field, cutting the Utes’ lead to 10-6.
White singled up the middle to score Wells from third and make the score 10-7. Bonstrom followed White with a single up the middle.
With two runners on, Kylie Sorenson delivered a three run homer to left-center to knot the game at 10-10.
White followed with a two-RBI double to bring in both runners and give Stanford a 12-10 lead.
Though Utah added a run and had a bases-loaded situation with one out, Schreyer and the Cardinal defense was able to get out of the jam and secure the victory.
The Cardinal returns home next week for a midweek game against Santa Clara on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (PT), before playing host to No. 1 Oregon for a three-game set beginning Friday at 7 p.m.