By Sally Egan
Starting tonight at 5 p.m., the Stanford softball team (4-1, 0-0 Pac-12) will look to build off of a strong start to the season by hosting the DeMarini Invitational. The Cardinal take on University of the Pacific (2-3, 0-0 WCC) before facing Iowa State (1-4, 0-0 Big-12) on Friday and finishing Saturday against Portland State (2-4, 0-0 Big Sky) and Colorado State (3-1, 0-0 Mountain West).
Last weekend, Stanford posted a strong showing at the Kajikawa Classic, winning their first four games before losing the last game in extra innings to Weber State. Offensively, the team was led by juniors Kristina Inouye and Teaghan Cowles, who had seven and six hits, respectively. Senior Whitney Burks led with two home runs while Inouye, Cowles, and freshmen Emily Young and Emily Klingaman each had one. 10 different players had at least one hit last weekend, showcasing the team’s depth. On the other side, Stanford’s three pitchers allowed an average 2.10 ERA, led by senior Carolyn Lee who posted an astounding 1.09 ERA over 19.1 innings pitched.
Stanford last played Pacific in 2017 and won the game 8-1, with Cowles leading the team with two hits while Inouye and Burks both contributed one. Pacific saw its record decline from the 2017 season to last season while Stanford improved from 19-32 to 24-31 over the same two seasons.
Stanford’s toughest opponent could come in their final game against Colorado State, the only other team with a winning record besides the Cardinal. Last weekend at the Bobcat Classic, the Rams started out with a 3-7 loss to Texas State before rattling off three confidence-building wins.
Colorado State’s greatest weapon is likely their ace pitcher Jessica Jarecki, who allowed only four hits over 14 innings last weekend for a .50 ERA. However, behind her, the Rams lack depth as Bridgette Hutton, their second most-used pitcher, allowed 12 hits in just 10 innings pitched. Since this will be the final game of the weekend for both teams, Colorado State’s lack of a second competent pitcher will be an advantage for Stanford.
Don’t sleep on this Cardinal team; softball could be back to its 2013 and 2014 heights and is certainly a team worth watching at home this weekend. Stanford plays at 5 p.m. on Thursday, 4:45 p.m. on Friday, and 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Contact Sally Egan at egansj18 ‘at’ stanford.edu.