After dropping the final two games of the weekend’s season-opening tournament, Stanford softball (5-2) rebounded quickly, defeating UC Davis on the road on Wednesday. A four-run sixth inning, bolstered by timely hitting and plate discipline, sealed the deal for the Cardinal, who rallied for their second come-from-behind victory in this young season.
Freshman Nikki Bauer got her fourth career start in the circle, but despite tossing 5.0 innings of three-run ball, it was sophomore Carolyn Lee who registered the win, after coming on in relief at the sixth inning. With the decision, Lee’s record improved to 3-1 on the year.
Defense controlled the game, as each team had its fair share of clutch fielding and costly errors. Freshman backstop Montana Dixon made her presence known early, catching two UC Davis runners stealing in the first two innings, and freshman second baseman Kristina Inouye made defensive highlight reels with an impressive throw to first from her knees to save a hit in the bottom of the fifth.
Stanford opened scoring in the top of the second inning with a home run from senior Lauren Bertroy, her first of the season. Another Cardinal run crossed the plate in the third, as Inouye recorded her first career double, batting in senior Kylie Sorenson who had reached on a single up the middle.
In the bottom of the inning, Stanford struggled defensively. After the leadoff batter singled, Aggies left fielder Taylor Peters reached on a bunt single, advancing Brianna Warner to second. A sacrifice bunt and a groundout sent Warner home, and a two-out error at second base allowed Peters to score as well, leveling the score at two runs apiece.
Another error in the bottom of the fourth would prove costly for the Cardinal, as a second unearned run gave UC Davis the lead.
The Stanford bats remained silent until the top of the sixth, when UC Davis surrendered a leadoff walk to Inouye before allowing the next five batters to reach on catcher’s interference, two singles and two walks, respectively, plating three runners and giving the Cardinal a mounting 5-3 lead. A final run crossed the plate as freshman Teaghan Cowles reached on a fielder’s choice, before a lineout ended the inning.
Although UC Davis was able to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, it couldn’t capitalize, as Lee fielded a comebacker, throwing to first for the final out of the inning. The Aggies advanced a runner to second in the bottom of the seventh, but Inouye made another diving catch on a popup to end the game in the Cardinal’s favor.
Up next, Stanford will compete in the Nike Invitational, playing host to Omaha, Pacifc and UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. First pitch against Omaha will be at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.