After easily dispatching San Jose State last week, No. 15 Stanford (28-12, 5-7 Pac-12) returns to action Wednesday night to face off against the Saint Mary’s Gaels (16-26, 8-8 PCSC). The Cardinal enters Wednesday’s contest in fine form, having won its last Pac-12 game against No. 3 Arizona State a week and a half ago before routing the Spartans last Wednesday. The Card will also be well rested against Saint Mary’s, as the team enjoyed a bye from conference play this past weekend.
On paper, Wednesday’s game figures to be a mismatch in favor of the Cardinal. In the history of the program, Stanford owns a 29-6 record, or a .829 winning percentage, against its local rivals from Moraga. The Gaels have also struggled mightily on the road this season, posting a 2-9 record away from home this season. Saint Mary’s lone road wins have come against Santa Clara and lowly Sacramento State.
In particular, Saint Mary’s has had major problems generating any offense. The Gaels are hitting only .194 on the season, with only one player batting above .240. Saint Mary’s offensive output has been entirely dependent upon senior Megan Smith; the Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. native has driven in over 25 percent of the Gaels runs while hitting a team-best .315 at the plate. Smith also leads the team in slugging and on-base percentages.
Outside of Smith, sophomore Sarah Lira has provided the Gaels with a bit of power, as the Gilroy product paces her team with five home runs; her 19 RBI are second behind Smith. However, in PCSC play, neither Lira nor the rest of her Saint Mary’s teammates have faced as dominant of a pitcher as Stanford’s Teagan Gerhart. The Gaels’ offensive woes could continue against the Norco, Calif. native, who has posted a paltry 1.92 ERA this season.
In the circle, Saint Mary’s will likely turn to freshman Lujane Mussadi to face off against the Card. Mussadi has had a fairly strong opening campaign for the Gaels; while she is only 10-9 on the season, Mussadi has yielded only an 2.00 earned run average.
In matching up against Mussadi, the Cardinal lineup will look to build on its offensive firepower that was on display against SJSU. Sophomore Cassandra Roulund has been particularly productive at the plate for Stanford recently, driving in five runs over the last four games. A Pac-12 Freshman Team Honorable Mention selection from last year, Roulund is second on the team in RBI with 27 runs batted in while leading the way in slugging percentage with a .591 mark.
Stanford and Saint Mary’s will square off at 6 p.m. from Smith Family Stadium. The game can be followed using the CBS Sports tracker on GoStanford.com. After its matchup against the Gaels, the Cardinal will travel to Seattle for a three-game set against No. 14 Washington (32-12, 10-5 Pac-12) over the weekend.
Contact David Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.