Feb. 26, 2010
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Led by senior Alissa Haber's pair of home runs, the Stanford softball team defeated No. 21 Tennessee 8-7, Thursday, at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. The Cardinal improve to 9-1 on the year, while the Volunteers drop to 6-4 overall.
Haber was 3-3 with back-to-back home runs in the third and fourth innings to lead the offense. She scored four runs and added four RBI for the Cardinal, while sophomore Ashley Hansen was 3-4 with a home run and two RBI.
Freshman Teagan Gerhart started the game in the circle, pitching 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts. Junior Ashley Chinn entered the game in relief and picked up the win, improving to 5-1 on the season.
Haber singled to lead off the game and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. She scored her first run of the game on a double by Hansen to give the Cardinal the early 1-0 advantage after the top of the first. Gerhart struck out two batters in the bottom of the first inning to maintain the Stanford lead.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second, but the Stanford bats came alive in the third. The Cardinal scored four runs to take a 5-0 lead in the game. Sophomore center fielder Sarah Hassman drew a walk to lead off the inning, which brought up Haber. The senior ripped her first home run of the game to right field for two RBI. Hansen, batting in the number two slot, followed suit, hitting a homer to right center field to put the Cardinal up by four.
The inning continued as freshman Jenna Rich doubled to right center field in her second at-bat. Senior Rosey Neill brought her home with a double of her own for the 5-0 lead.
Tennessee finally got on the board in the bottom of the third, cutting the lead to 5-1. Stanford scored another run in the top of the fourth as Haber hit her second home run of the game to center field.
Stanford led 6-1, but game up six unanswered runs, one in the fourth and five in the fifth, to trail by one going into the top of the sixth. Facing two outs, the Cardinal rallied in the sixth to tie the game at 7-7. Haber was walked and then stole second base, before Hansen was intentionally walked to put two runners on for Stanford. Rich registered her second hit of the game, a single to center field to score Haber.
The Cardinal held the Volunteers scoreless in the bottom of the sixth to keep the score tied. Sophomore Maya Burns led off in the top of the seventh with a double to center field to immediately put a runner in scoring position. After Neill drew her second walk of the game, junior Melisa Koutz moved both runners with a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. That brought up pinch hitter Alix Van Zandt. The freshman reached on a fielder's choice, but Tennessee failed to get another out. With the bases loaded, sophomore Sarah Hassman struck out swinging for the second out of the inning.
After already belting two home runs, the Volunteers were hesitant to pitch to Haber, but with the bases loaded they did not have a choice. Haber walked for a second time and picked up the RBI as Burns scored. The run would be enough as Chinn struck out two batters in the bottom of the seventh and the Cardinal held the Tennessee bats scoreless for the second straight inning.
Stanford continues play at the Cathedral City Classic Friday with a double-header. Stanford takes on No 23 Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. followed by a match-up with Long Beach State at 6 p.m.