After inclement weather led to the cancellation of Friday’s games, Stanford softball (7-3) opened its home slate by hosting the Nike Invitational this Saturday and Sunday, facing off against Omaha (3-5), UC Santa Barbara (3-5) and Pacific (3-5). The Cardinal got off to a slow start, dropping their first game against Omaha 2-3. Despite the early loss, the Stanford squad bounced back quickly, routing UC Santa Barbara 16-2 later that night and beating Pacific 8-1 the following morning.
Stanford’s loss in the first match of Saturday’s doubleheader was not for lack of effort — the Cardinal got on base but could not capitalize, stranding 11 runners over the course of the game. Sophomore ace Carolyn Lee was the hard-luck loser in the one-run tilt. Despite a solid complete-game effort, allowing only five hits and two walks, Lee gave up a crushing two-out three-run home run in the first inning to junior outfielder Kelly Pattison, which was all the scoring the Mavericks needed to best Stanford.
The Cardinal quickly corrected their mistakes and defeated UC Santa Barbara in five innings via run rule in their second game on Saturday. Stanford had a total of nine players who recorded both a hit and an RBI in the matchup as the Cardinal finished with 16 runs behind an incredible 12-run second inning that effectively put victory out of reach for the visiting Gauchos. Freshman Nikki Bauer got the start in the circle, allowing just three hits and no runs in 3.0 innings. Senior Kylie Sorenson powered the Cardinal’s offensive explosion, going three for three with five RBI and a walk.
On Sunday, Lee stepped back on the mound and delivered another lights-out complete-game showing against Pacific, and this time, she got the run support she had lacked the day before. Lee tallied a career-high seven strikeouts and limited the Tigers to just one run on six hits. The Cardinal extended its offensive dominance, tallying 10 hits and eight runs to end the weekend on a high note. Junior Whitney Burks had another impressive day at the plate, going two for three with five RBI, while freshman Teaghan Knowles and senior Bessie Noll also recorded multi-hit games.
Up next, the Cardinal will head to Cathedral City, California for the Mary Nutter Classic. From Thursday to Sunday, Stanford will play five games, facing off against Bethune-Cookman, Florida State, St. John’s, San Diego State and Purdue. First pitch against Bethune-Cookman will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Coverage will be available behind a paywall at FloSoftball.com, and live stats will be provided on GoStanford.com.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.