By Nate Adams
The No. 18 Stanford softball team got the season off to a solid start last weekend, winning four of five games in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Over the three-day competition, the Cardinal (4-1) prevailed over Cal State Northridge by 9-0 and North Texas by 5-2 on Friday, Portland State by 12-4 Saturday and Nevada by 10-2 on Sunday. The lone loss came to Nebraska in a nine-inning, 3-2 decision on Saturday.
Stanford’s offense came out firing on Friday, with junior shortstop Ashley Hansen going 7-for-7 at the plate with a double, a triple, two RBI and four runs across both games. Sophomore second baseman Jenna Rich added to the outburst, hitting 5-for-6. Against Cal State Northridge, she had two home runs.
Sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart pitched a complete game shutout in the win, striking out six Matadors in the five-inning, mercy-rule victory. Senior Ashley Chinn turned in a solid performance against North Texas, striking out six and walking one in seven innings.
Things took a slight downturn on Saturday, with Stanford losing the extra-inning contest against Nebraska. Hansen recorded an RBI triple in the loss, while Rich tied the game with an RBI single in the seventh. Teagan Gerhart took the loss, pitching 8.1 innings before Cornhusker Megan Southworth knocked in the winning run.
Stanford’s lineup came back strong in the nightcap, outhitting the Vikings, 11-4. Chinn struck out eight batters in 5.1 innings before stepping out for Teagan Gerhart, who sent away four batters on strikes. Freshman DH Danielle Miller led the Cardinal attack with three hits, two home runs and four RBI.
Chinn and Gerhart teamed up again to shut down Nevada on Sunday, holding them to just two runs. Stanford got to Nevada pitcher Karley Hopkins early, sending her to the dugout with a four-run third inning.
Stanford will return to action this Friday, kicking off the five-game UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas against Utah State at 11:15 a.m.