March 22, 2000
STOCKTON, Calif. -- No. 8 Stanford allowed only six hits in two games to sweep a doubleheader from Pacific 6-0 and 2-1 Wednesday afternoon at Bill Simoni Field. The Cardinal improves to 26-3 while the Tigers fall to 12-13.
Stanford and Pacific renewed their rivalry after meeting three times in 1999. Pacific posted a 3-1 win over the Cardinal in 11 innings last February, then Stanford earned a 4-1 win in March. The Tigers won the rubber match, 6-5 in eight innings, to open the NCAA regional. Wednesday's first game saw Stanford freshman Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) go against senior Liz Nianda. Nianda stranded two Cardinal runners on base in both the first and the second, while Sorensen allowed only a walk through two frames.
The Cardinal bats got started in the top of the third. Sophomore Robin Walker (La Palma, CA/Mater Dei HS) led off with a walk, and sophomore Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA/Camarillo HS) singled to center, advancing to second when the Tigers attempted a play at third on Walker. Sophomore Sarah Beeson (Tucson, AZ/Canyon del Oro HS) drove Walker home with a groundout to second base. Freshman Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA/Arroyo HS) hit an RBI single to center to score Mendoza, but later made the second out when she was thrown out trying to steal second base. Freshman Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, CA/Chaminade Prep) lined a double to left-center to put a runner back on base. Junior Jenni Shideler (San Jose, CA/Leland HS) beat out a bunt single, then freshman Cassi Brangham (Clovis, CA/Clovis HS) ripped a two-run single to center to make it 4-0.
Stanford added two more in the sixth. Junior Ramona Shelburne (West Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) reached on an error by the third baseman, then senior Kellie Wiginton (Fresno, CA/Bullard HS) walked. Walker missed an extra-base hit by inches when her line drive down the right-field line was called just foul. A pitch later, however, she singled through the right side to bring home Shelburne. Mendoza ripped a single through the same spot to score Wiginton for the final margin of 6-0.
Sorensen (13-3) allowed two hits in five innings, striking out three. The freshman lowered her ERA to 0.89. LeCocq retired the side in the sixth and seventh, allowing only a hit batsman, to close out the victory. Nianda fell to 4-7 by giving up four runs in three innings of work.
In the nightcap, Stanford threatened in the top of the second inning when Ching led off with a fly to right. The right fielder lost the ball in the sun, allowing Ching a leadoff triple, but pitcher Cindy Ball escaped from the inning. Ball escaped again in the fourth. Mendoza bunted for a single and Beeson hit one through the left side with none out. But Ball got a popup, a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning.
The Tigers got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth. Adrienne Ratajczak reached on an error and was sacrificed to second. After a second out, Kelly Lowry walked. Barbara Moody ripped a line drive down the left-field line, but it was inches foul. Seconds later, Moody pulled the ball just past the second baseman to score Ratajczak from second. Lowry was thrown out trying to advannce to third on the play to end the inning, but not before the run scored.
Stanford rallied in the top of the sixth. Mendoza, Beeson, Ching and LeCocq strung together four consecutive one-out singles to score a pair of runs. Ching and LeCocq both took an extra base on a throwing error following LeCocq's single, but Ball induced consecutive groundouts to strand the runners on second and third and keep Stanford's lead to only 2-1.
That proved enough however as Stanford freshmen Tori Nyberg (Belmont, CA/Carlmont HS) and LeCocq combined on a four-hitter. Nyberg improved to 4-0 by allowing three hits and one walk over five innings. LeCocq pitched the last two innings for her second save of the year. Ball fell to 7-4 with the loss.
Mendoza tied the single-season Stanford record with her ninth stolen base in the first inning of game one. Amanda Renteria stole nine bases in 1997 and Michelle Schneider equalled that mark in 1998. Mendoza beat out an infield single prior to the stolen base to extend her hitting streak in the first game. She then bunted for a single in the fourth inning of the second game to extend the streak to 19 games. Mendoza finished 5-for-6 with a walk on the day to raise her average to .462.
Stanford returns to action with a doubleheader against Cal Poly Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at the Stanford Softball Complex. The Cardinal then opens Pac-10 play Saturday at No. 4 California at 1:00 p.m. The Tigers host Cal State Northridge in a noon doubleheader Saturday.