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Softball faces tough task against No. 4/3 Arizona
Freshman utility Teaghan Cowles slides into base, gaining grounds for the Cardinal. Cowles is one of the two leading runners on the team. (MIKE RASAY/isiphotos.com)

Softball faces tough task against No. 4/3 Arizona

Stanford softball (16-16, 0-6 Pac-12) will face a strong opponent over the weekend in No. 4/3 Arizona (37-1, 9-0 Pac-12) as the two teams match up in a three-game series at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. This will be only the second time that Stanford has faced a top-five national opponent this season, the first being a 2-8 loss to No. 1 Florida State in February.

This series will prove to be a true test for the Cardinal, who are still looking for their first conference victory this season. The team is looking to improve from last season, where they went 0-24 in conference play. Stanford has an all-time record of 10-66-1 against Arizona, and was 0-3 against them last season. The Cardinal most recently scored a victory over the Wildcats on May 10, 2013, when Stanford earned a 2-0 win.

While Stanford experienced disappointment in Utah’s series sweep last weekend, the team on the whole has improved from last season. Freshman Teaghan Cowles and senior Kylie Sorenson are currently tied for most runs on the team with 27, and Alyssa Horeczko tops the team with a .400 batting average.

All three players have been key to Stanford’s offense. Sophomore pitcher Carolyn Lee has continued to shoulder much of the pitching load this season, pitching 13.1 innings in the series against the Utes. She is currently 7-10 this season.

Arizona currently tops the Pac-12 conference rankings, and is a national contender. Their 37-1 record is the team’s best since 2004. A key to their success has been their pitching duo of sophomore Taylor McQuillin and fifth-year senior Danielle O’Toole. They are currently fourth and fifth in ERA for the NCAA. Arizona currently posts the nation’s second lowest ERA with 0.84.  Their offense is led by senior Katiyana Mauga, who is the only player in NCAA history to hit 20-or-more home runs in each of her first three seasons.

The Cardinals bats will need to be at peak performance to put up the numbers necessary to beat a top team like the Wildcats. Friday’s match can be watched via live stream at gostanford.com, while Saturday and Sunday’s matches will be broadcast on the Pac-12 network. Live stats for the series will be available at gostanford.com.

 

Contact Amanda McLean at ammclean ‘at’ stanford.edu.