Stanford softball went 4-1 at the Kajikawa Classic in Arizona last weekend, the only loss coming at the hands of Nebraska in extra innings. Now the Card is back on the road for this weekend’s UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, where the competition promises to be even stiffer with the likes of No. 23 BYU, No. 9 Hawaii and No. 3 Tennessee all on the slate for Stanford.
The Cardinal required just five innings to dispatch Nevada and CS-Northridge in Tucson last week, thanks in part to an offensive attack that produced 38 runs in five games. Junior shortstop Ashley Hansen and sophomore second baseman Jenna Rich both have matched high preseason expectations early in the season.
Hansen led the team with a .611 batting average that included two triples, and Rich hit two doubles, smashed four home runs and tallied 13 RBI on the opening weekend.
The season opener also featured the return of sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart from an arm injury that sidelined her for the latter part of last year. Early returns were very promising as Gerhart went 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 16 strikeouts on the weekend. Senior counterpart Ashley Chinn was 3-0 with 16 strikeouts.
Coach John Rittman was pleased with the debuts of his two freshmen starters, designated player Danielle Miller and left fielder Corey Hanewich Miller hit two home runs and had five total hits and five RBI, while Hanewich hit a home run in her first collegiate at bat and finished the weekend with two bombs.
Stanford kicks off the Desert Classic with a doubleheader today against Utah State and Portland State. The first pitch is scheduled for 11:15 a.m.