Although Stanford softball (19-29, 2-19 Pac-12) lost the series against No. 7 Washington (40-11, 14-7), two games to one, the weekend was punctuated by flashes of brilliance. Freshman pitcher Kiana Pancino was near-flawless on Saturday as the Cardinal held No. 7 Washington scoreless to win their second conference game in as many seasons, and sophomore Carolyn Lee faced another tough-luck loss in the circle on Friday as Stanford fell 1-0.
The series opened with a pitchers’ battle.
With the game still scoreless in the seventh, Huskies’ first baseman Kirstyn Thomas hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the frame to give Washington the win. After giving up consecutive singles to lead off the first, Lee settled down, holding the Huskies runless for six innings. Stanford struggled to produce the run support Lee needed, reaching base in all seven innings but never coming around to score. Senior Kylie Sorenson extended her hitting streak to 10 games going 1-for-3 with a walk.
After Lee’s outstanding outing, the Cardinal could not have imagined that an even better pitching performance was just around the corner.
But the next afternoon, Pancino took the circle for her seventh start of the season and held a no-hitter into the fifth inning. In her complete-game effort, Pancino allowed just one hit and no walks, keeping the base paths clear on the way to Stanford’s first top-10 win since Feb. 14, 2015.
Defense ruled the day, but the Cardinal offense also picked up on Saturday, scoring six runs on 10 hits. Freshman Kristina Inouye went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while junior Whitney Burks went 2-for-4 with four RBI to carry the Stanford bats.
Stanford slumped on Sunday, as the Washington hitters heated up. Lee could not contain the Husky offense and was pulled for Pancino in the first inning. Washington had claimed a 5-1 lead by the end of the first, and although the Huskies’ scoring was more limited for the remainder of the game, it was enough for Washington to secure a 10-2 run rule victory and the series win.
Sorenson extended her hitting streak to 12 games with a solo home run in the first. Stanford’s other run came off the bat of Lauren Bertoy, as she hit her fourth moonshot of the season over the left-centerfield wall.
The Cardinal will head back to the Farm for their final home series as they host No. 2 Oregon from Thursday to Saturday. First pitch of the series opener is at 4 p.m. and all three games will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.