March 25, 1998
Stanford, Calif. - The 14th-ranked Stanford softball team continued its impressive run with a 4-0, 4-3 (10 inn.) sweep of Kansas today at the Cardinal Softball Complex. The Cardinal extended its win streak to 11 games, improving to 21-4 on the season. Off to the best start in school history, the '98 Cardinal edition, still with 34 games remaining on the regular season schedule, is already just 10 wins shy of last year's school record 31 wins. With the pair of losses, Kansas fell to 14-19.
Fresh off the second no-hitter of her career yesterday against Harvard, junior Becky Blevins (Scottsdale, AZ/Horizon HS) took the mound in game one and proceeded to scatter four hits over seven innings while striking out six en route to her fourth shutout of the season. Blevins received all of the support she would need as the Cardinal ended a pitcher's duel in the fourth with all four of its runs. Junior shortstop Michelle Schneider got the action started in the fourth with a one-out walk. Junior Marcy Crouch followed with a single that sent Schneider to third. Crouch advanced to second on the throw. The Jayhawks nearly got out of the inning after getting Stanford's leading hitter Michele Acosta (Tucson, AZ/University HS) to ground out to third for the second out. Freshman first baseman Jenni Shideler (San Jose, CA/Leland HS) next loaded the bases with a walk before consecutive Jayhawk errors - one a Shane Anderson grounder and another on a routine fly by Dawn Kobata, each costing Kansas two runs - put the game out of reach.
The Cardinal offense began to click in the second game but hard liners hit directly at defenders and the arm of Kansas centerfielder Julie True prevented the Cardinal from breaking the game open early. Stanford put the first run across in the second on an rbi single to center by Anderson that drove in Crouch. Acosta attempted score from second on the play before getting cut down out the plate on a throw by True. In the third, True again prevented Stanford from going up 2-0 by catching Cardinal Kellie Wiginton at the plate attempting to score from second on a Jenny Foyle single. In the next inning, Jayhawk shortstop Michelle Hubler knotted the game at one apiece with her fourth home run of the season, a towering shot that cleared the fence in left center. After trading runs, the teams went into extra-innings tied 3-3. Each team was unable to break the tie before the tiebreak rule went into effect in the 10th. The Jayhawks went up 4-3 on a Sara Holland single to left which brought in Katie Malone. With one out and a runner on second, the Cardinal began to rally. Foyle walked on a 3-2 pitch, bringing on Stanford's potent 3-4-5 in the order.
The No.3 batter, Schneider, drove in Kelly Yablonski while an intentional walk to Crouch loaded the bases. Acosta, the No. 5 hitter, ended the game with a single to right to drive in Foyle and keep Stanford's winning streak alive. Blevins, who entered the game in the ninth in relief of Crouch, picked up her third win in the last four games to improve to 13-1 on the season.
Game 1 -
R H E
Kansas 0 4 2
Stanford 4 3 0
Stanford: Blevins and Wiginton. Kansas: McPhail and Johnson.
WP: Blevins (12-1). LP: McPhail (8-9).
2B: Stanford (Shideler), Kansas 2 (Stanwix, McPhail)
Game 2 -
R H E
Kansas 3 7 2
Stanford 4 12 0
Stanford: Crouch, Blevins (9) and Wiginton. Kansas: Wilson, Kowal (3) and Johnson.
WP: Blevins (13-1). LP: Kowal (6-10).
2B: Stanford 2 (Wiginton, Schneider).
HR: Kansas (Hubler).