Stanford softball (13-8) continued its hot play by taking three of four games in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, CA over the weekend.
Strong pitching again punctuated a successful weekend for the Cardinal as pitchers freshman Maddy Dwyer and sophomore Kiana Pancino combined to give up only six runs in four games.
Dwyer, who now holds a minuscule 0.94 ERA, was once again a standout. She tossed her third complete-game shutout of the season in the tournament opener against Charlotte.
Pancino also delivered, having her best performance against Loyola Marymount. She pitched five innings and shut out the Lions.
The offense wasn’t nearly as effective as the pitching, but it did enough to ensure wins. Sophomores third baseman Teaghan Cowles and catcher Montana Dixon were the main source of offense in the tournament for Stanford.
Cowles batted 5-14 with three runs scored in the four games. Dixon added to her team-high RBI count with three more, increasing her total to 23 on the season.
Game one of the Judi Garman Classic began on a chilly Thursday night with Dwyer on the mound against Charlotte. The cold night couldn’t quell the flames erupting from Dwyer’s right arm. She finished the game allowing only three hits in seven innings, striking out five batters and giving up no runs.
It was the fifth shutout for the Cardinal in the year. They had three all of last season.
The 49ers pitchers also didn’t have an answer for the Stanford offense, as the Cardinal put up two runs in the second inning, which was capped off by senior Lauren Wegner’s RBI single to right field.
They weren’t done, as Cowles would cross home plate in the third and fifth on a single and sacrifice fly, respectively.
Game two on Friday featured more magic from Dwyer and the Cardinal. Pancino got the start against Iowa, and she managed 2.2 innings and allowed one run. Dwyer took over with the bases loaded, but she hit the first batter she saw to knock in a run for the Hawkeyes. She got out of the inning by striking out the next batter.
Dwyer would pitch 6.1 innings as the game went into extra innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 2-2, sophomore left fielder Hannah Howell hit a sacrifice fly to left field, which brought the runner from third base to score for a walk-off win for the Cardinal.
Stanford was slated to play Cal State Fullerton in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday, but the game was cancelled due to rain. The rain-out greatly benefitted the Cardinal, who were probably weary from an extra inning’s affair with Iowa in the early game.
Another doubleheader was scheduled for Saturday. In the early game against Loyola Marymount, Stanford once again shut out its opponents. This time, Pancino took the lead role, pitching five innings and giving up two hits.
It seemed at first that the strong pitching would go to waste as the Cardinal couldn’t score for five innings. But then in the sixth, senior right fielder Whitney Burks hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to open Stanford’s scoring account.
It was Burks’ third home run of the season.
The Cardinal didn’t stop there. An inning later, singles from junior designated player Molly Fawkes and Dixon scored two more runs to give Stanford a 4-0 victory.
The Cardinal’s four-game win streak would come to an end in the late game in the doubleheader against Michigan State. Dwyer got the start, but she only went 3.1 innings and gave up two earned runs.
Pancino took over in the fourth, and she was able to hold down the Spartans until the seventh. Pancino got the first batter to groundout and then walked the next batter. She got the strikeout to get two outs, but the Spartans hit a walk-off home run to defeat the Cardinal 4-2.
The usually clutch Stanford offense failed to generate many runs when it needed to. The team left nine on base and struck out eight times.
The Cardinal will come back to the homely confines of the Farm starting on Friday for the Stanford Easton Classic. They will play six games in three days. All games will be broadcast by Stanford Live Stream.
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.