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Softball seeks a win in season finale against Washington

Seniors Kaitlin Schaberg (above) and Kayla Bonstrom played well last weekend, but softball will need to have its batting and pitching up to speed to get a win against Washington. Sunday's game will celebrate the team's three seniors as they play their final game in a Cardinal uniform. (Karen Ambrose Hickey/stanfordphoto.com)

Stanford softball (13-32, 0-21 Pac-12) is set to close a tumultuous 2016 season this Thursday through Saturday with a three-game home stand against No. 13/14 Washington (33-13, 13-8).

Not much is left to be said about the Cardinal season that hasn’t been said before: Stanford has seen stretches of good hitting and pitching but has yet to put the two together into a complete game.

The Cardinal’s bats appeared to be relatively hot in the team’s recent series against Arizona State, with seniors Kayla Bonstrom and Kaitlin Schaberg each hitting .500 on the weekend. It’s unclear whether Stanford will be able to keep this up against the Huskies’ pitching, however. Washington has held its opponents to 6 runs or fewer in 12 consecutive games, while Stanford has only done so twice in its last 10.

The team will likely have to rely on its pitchers, freshman Carolyn Lee and sophomore Haley Snyder, if it wishes to give its offense a chance to to steal a victory. Washington ranks second in the Pac-12 in most batting efficiency stats and sixth in the country in team slugging percentage (.555), so any errors on the mound may quickly cause things to get out of hand.

The series should hit a more emotional note on Saturday, as the Cardinal say goodbye to three of their players during the team’s Senior Day. Bonstrom, Schaberg and Jessica Plaza will be honored at the event, and the team will hope to send them out on a high note by turning in a strong performance.

The Cardinal start their final series against the Huskies on Thursday at 5 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

 

Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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