Feb. 19, 1998
POWAY, Calif. - The Stanford softball team opened play in the 1998 San Diego State-Campbell/Cartier Classic in impressive fashion, defeating 14th-ranked Long Beach State
3-1 and 17th-ranked UCLA 8-7 in nine innings in its first two games. With the two victories, Stanford improves to 4-0 on the season - all four wins coming against ranked opponents. The Cardinal opened the '98 campaign with a doubleheader sweep of No. 15 Cal State Northridge on The Farm.
Stanford kicked off the four day tourney with Long Beach State in a rematch of last year's meeting at the Campbell/Cartier which decided the tournament champion - won by the 49ers 3-1. Junior third baseman Michele Acosta (Tucson, AZ/University HS) broke a scoreless tie in the third with a single to drive in sophomore catcher Kellie Wiginton (Fresno, CA/Bullard HS). Stanford came through with two insurance runs in the top of the seventh as junior pitcher Marcy Crouch (Huntington Beach, CA/Marina HS) helped her cause with a two-run single. The runs proved crucial as Long beach State rallied in the bottom half of the seventh. The 49ers (2-3) brought one run across and eventually loaded the bases before Crouch induced 49er third baseman Jaclyn Fredrickson into a ground out to second to end the game. Crouch (2-0) pitched a complete-game, five-hitter while striking out seven.
Immediately following its game with Long Beach State, Stanford squared off against Pac-10 rival UCLA. The Bruins jumped on Cardinal starter Becky Blevins (Lake Havasu City, AZ/Horizon HS) early, tallying three run in the top of the first. UCLA added two more in the third to open up a 5-0 lead. After struggling offensively through the first four innings, the Cardinal exploded for five runs in the fifth to tie the game - all with two outs. After the first two batters were retired, Stanford ran off six consecutive hits, including three doubles, highlighted by freshman first baseman Jenni Shidler's (San Jose, CA/Leland HS) two-run double that knotted the game at five apiece. The Bruins' responded quickly, scoring one run in the sixth to take back the lead. Down 6-5 entering the bottom of the seventh, Stanford junior shortstop Michelle Schneider brought the Cardinal back once again with a lead-off home run to right-center. Unable to push another run across, the game went to extra-innings and the tie-break rule came into effect (each team starts its at-bat with a runner at second). UCLA (7-1) scored again in the eighth to force yet another comeback attempt on the part of Stanford. The Cardinal tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the eighth, sending the game into the ninth. This time, Stanford held the Bruins and in the bottom of the ninth, Acosta completed the final comeback with a single to left field to drive in Crouch from second base. Blevins, who settled in after a shaky four innings, went the distance for her second victory of the season (2-0), allowing 10 hits and three walks while striking out six. She gave up just four hits over the last five innings. The loss was the UCLA's (6-1) first of the season.
Stanford will continue tourney play tomorrow with another pair of games. The Cardinal will face Santa Clara at 1:00 p.m. and Louisiana State at 3:30 p.m.
R H E R H E
Stanford 3 8 2 #17 UCLA 7 10 1
#14 Long Beach St. 1 5 2 Stanford 8 14 1
Winner - M. Crouch (2-0) Winner - B. Blevins (2-0)
Loser - K. Fox (1-2) Loser - S. Swenson (3-1)