May 12, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - The 15th-ranked Stanford softball team closed out the regular season with a 12-9 win at Utah, Saturday, at Ute Field in Salt Lake City. The Cardinal improves to 38-17 overall and 11-13 in the Pac-12, while the Utes drop to 28-28 overall and to 2-22 in the conference.
Junior pitcher Teagan Gerhart earned the start in the circle. She threw 4.2 innings allowing four hits and six runs, however only one run was earned. Gerhart re-entered the game in the sixth inning and recorded her second save of the year. Freshman Nyree White entered the game in the fifth inning and picked up the win, moving to 8-6. Utah senior Generra Nielson took the loss, falling to 21-17.
Offensively, Stanford was led by senior Ashley Hansen and junior Jenna Rich. Hansen was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, three runs scored and two RBI. Rich was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, a double and an RBI single. Freshman Leah White added a two-run double, an RBI triple and scored two runs for the Cardinal.
Utah took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With runners on second and third, a passed ball by Stanford catcher Maya Burns allowed Utah shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina to cross the plate.
Hansen tied it up for the Cardinal in the top of the fourth with a solo shot to right field. It was the fifth home run of the season for the shortstop.
Still in the fourth, Rich doubled to left centerfield to get into scoring position for Stanford. Burns then singled to centerfield, and advanced to second on the throw, to bring home Rich and put the Cardinal up 2-1.
The Utes answered in the bottom half of the inning as senior third baseman Whitney Holm hit a solo home run over the centerfield fence to tie the score at 2-2.
Stanford loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth as freshmen Tylyn Wells
and Leah White
each tallied infield singles and Hansen drew a walk. An RBI single by Rich scored Wells, and then a sacrifice fly by freshman Cassandra Roulund
scored White to give the Cardinal the 4-2 advantage.
Still in the fifth, with the bases loaded and two outs, first baseman Jenna Becerra singled up the middle to score Hansen and Rich. It marked the 36th and 37th RBI of the season for the senior.
The Utes rallied back in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull ahead 8-6. With two outs and a runner on first, a dropped ball by Wells in right field, scored Utah pinch runner Chalese Frankhauser. Left fielder Katelyn Elliott then singled through the left side to score Hoopiiaina. After a pitching change brought in Nyree White, Holm cleared the bases with a three-run shot to left field and then second baseman Jackie Sweet hit a solo homer to left centerfield.
Stanford answered back in the top of the sixth inning, recapturing the lead 10-8. Wells drew a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Hanna Winter. A triple by Leah White brought home Wells. Hansen then drove in Leah White with a double to left centerfield. Rich then cleared the bases with her 10th home run of the season.
The Cardinal tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh for the 12-8 edge. Leah White hit a double to left centerfield, scoring Becerra and Winter.
Stanford will learn its postseason fate on Sunday, May 13. The NCAA selection show will air on ESPNU at 7 p.m. PT.