March 28, 2009
Stanford, Calif. -
In a pitcher's duel between two of the nation's best, Washington All-American Danielle Lawrie and Stanford All-American Missy Penna battled through 11 innings, threw more than 150 pitches apiece and struck out a combined 29 batters. In the end, however, Penna and the third-ranked Cardinal outlasted the second-ranked Huskies, as junior catcher Rosey Neill was hit by a pitch with bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th to end the game.
With the 1-0 victory, Stanford improves to 30-2 with a 1-1 mark in Pac-10 play. Washington (28-4, 1-1 Pac-10) meanwhile was beaten with its ace in the circle for just the second time this year. Penna (20-2) struck out 13 in her 104th career win and is now just one victory short of Dana Sorensen's school record. Lawrie, who fanned 16 in the game and took a no-hitter into the ninth, drops to 19-2.
After 10 scoreless innings, Stanford finally started to connect, coming up with two of its four hits in the bottom of the 11th. Freshman Sarah Hassman led off the winning series by chopping a single over the head of the Husky third baseman. With one out, fellow rookie Ashley Hansen sent a chopper to a similar spot and put two on for Shannon Koplitz. A wild toss to the junior put both runners in scoring position with one out, and Koplitz eventually worked Lawrie for an eight-pitch walk. With bases loaded, Neill was pegged by Lawrie's first offering, letting Hassman stroll in to score the game-winning run.
The game was reminiscent of the last time the two teams met back in April. In that game, Neill drew a walk-off walk off of pitcher Aleah Macon in the bottom of the 10th inning to plate Anna Beardman and win the game.
Stanford had four hits to the Huskies' six, marking just the third time this season that Stanford has been outdone in the hitting column. For the second straight game, two of Stanford's four hits came off the bat of Hansen. The rookie has now posted multiple hits in seven consecutive games and hit in each of the last eight. Hassman and Koplitz recorded infield singles for the other two Stanford hits.
On the Husky side, senior second baseman Ashley Charters was 2-for-5 to lead her team.
Stanford's scoring chances were few early on, as Lawrie went eight innings without allowing a Cardinal hit. A walk issued to Neill in the third and a hit batter two innings later led to a pair of runners in scoring position, but Stanford couldn't bring them in. The team's best chance prior to the 11th came in the ninth inning, when Hansen and Koplitz registered Stanford's first two hits and gave the team two on with one out. A pop up and another Lawrie K squelched the threat, however.
Despite Penna's solid effort in the circle, Washington had its chances early. The Huskies put runners on in five of the first six innings but, over the course of the game, left 11 runners stranded, including six in scoring position.
Penna got herself out of first and third situations in the fourth and again in the fifth, and came up with six of her strikeouts with runners on base. In the fifth, pinch runner Marnie Koziol was thrown out at the plate by Melisa Koutz on a ground ball to the right side. In the ninth, Penna worked out of a two-on, no-out jam, striking out two Huskies with runners at second and third.
Stanford became the first Pac-10 team to reach 30 wins in 2009. The Cardinal reached the 30-win mark before the month of April for the fourth time in school history and the second straight year.
Stanford and Washington square off again tomorrow, with the final game of the opening conference weekend set for noon at Smith Family Stadium.