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Softball’s struggles continue as Card get swept by UCLA

STANFORD, CA - February 20, 2016: Nike Invitational, Stanford Softball vs Long Beach State at Boyd and Jill Smyth Family Stadium on the campus of Stanford University.

Despite two strong performances from freshman pitcher Carolyn Lee, Stanford softball (13-20, 0-9 Pac-12) was held back by inconsistent play and was unable to best the No. 15 Bruins (22-11-1, 4-3-1) in a three-game series at UCLA this weekend, falling 13-9, 8-0 (in six innings) and 2-1.

STANFORD, CA - February 20, 2016: Nike Invitational, Stanford Softball vs Long Beach State at Boyd and Jill Smyth Family Stadium on the campus of Stanford University.
Freshman Carolyn Lee (above) built on a recent streak of strong performances with two solid starts against No. 15 UCLA, but the Stanford offense and relief pitching couldn’t capitalize. (SHIRLEY PEFLEY/stanfordphoto.com)

A win seemed all but guaranteed for Stanford in the first game of the series on Saturday, but the Cardinal could not answer a late offensive explosion from the Bruins. After falling to a quick 5-0 deficit in the first two innings, Stanford scored three runs in three straight innings, leading 9-5 going into the bottom of the sixth. The Stanford bats were hot, and sophomore catcher Victoria Molina went 2-for-4 with a three-run moonshot in the fourth inning and two RBIs in the fifth. UCLA scored eight runs in the sixth off relief pitcher sophomore Hayley Snyder, however, and the Cardinal could not answer as the Bruins came away with the victory.

The offense stagnated on Sunday, and despite generating five hits, the Cardinal were shut out by UCLA pitcher Johanna Grauer. The team held the Bruins to three runs in the first three innings, but three Stanford errors in the fourth led to a 6-0 UCLA lead. UCLA put two more runs on the board to end the game in a run-rule decision in the sixth inning.

On Monday, Lee pitched 6.0 innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. While the Cardinal defense made some key plays to keep Stanford in the game, the offense could not respond, managing just a single run on five hits. Junior Kylie Sorenson continued her strong season, going two-for-three with a walk, but she was unable to cross the plate.

Up next, Stanford will host No. 18 Arizona (28-12, 5-4) for a three-game series as the team searches for its first conference win. The Wildcats have been playing well recently, owning a five-game win streak as they come off of a series sweep over Houston.

The games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

 

Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Olivia Hummer

Olivia Hummer

Olivia Hummer '17 is a managing editor of The Daily's sports section and writes about volleyball, football and baseball. When she's not filling in as an emergency copy editor, she can be found curled up in a ball bemoaning the misfortunes of her beloved Seattle Mariners or cursing the misuse of the Stanford Athletics logo. Olivia is a senior majoring in history from Covina, California, and can be reached at ohummer 'at' stanford.edu.