By Andrew Tan
Stanford softball (6-2, 0-0 Pac-12) won two out of three games played at the Demarini Invitational hosted at Stanford from Thursday to Sunday with wins over Pacific University and Iowa State and a loss to Colorado State.
The Cardinal opened the tournament on Thursday evening with a 6-1 victory over Pacific in a game that featured two short rain delays. Sophomore righty Maddy Dwyer was the star of the game, pitching her second complete game of the young season and recording her third win to move her to 3-0.
Stanford notched only four hits in the contest, but capitalized on early opportunities to give Dwyer some early run support after she allowed her only earned run. The Cardinal scored four in the bottom of the first inning, after senior Whitney Burks, who would finish the night two for three with with two runs scored and four RBIs, smacked a clutch double with two outs and the bases juiced, scoring all three runners.
Though they only had four hits, the Cardinal still had plenty of baserunners by way of walks and hit-by-pitches. With five walks and three HBPs, Stanford was seldom short of ducks on the pond. The game marked the first time Stanford failed to score first as Pacific got its first and only run in the top of the first via an RBI double by Bradi Kooyman. However, after this opening blip, Dwyer was nails for the rest of the night, repeatedly shutting the door on struggling Pacific hitters.
Stanford won its second game of the tournament 2-1 over Iowa State on a walk-off grounder by freshman Emily Klingaman in its first of two games on Saturday. The game was originally schedule for Friday evening until inclement weather postponed the game to Saturday. Nonetheless, the Cardinal were up to the task.
The host headed to extras after seven innings, with the score tied 1-1. After shutting out the Iowa State offense, junior Alyssa Horeczko came to the plate looking to send the Cardinal home. Horeczko got the inning started with a one-out single, which junior Teaghan Cowles quickly followed up with a single of her own and advanced to second on an attempt to get Horeczko at third. Up next, Klingaman walked up to the dish with runners on second and third and one out. With the count 2-2, Klingaman slapped a grounder to short, enough to allow the speedy Horeczko to sprint home and give the Cardinal their second victory in as many games.
Senior Carolyn Lee pitched another gem and received a tough no-decision, allowing one unearned run on three hits in 7.1 innings. The lone Cardinal run before extra innings came on a solo homer by Cowles in the bottom of the third.
In its second game of a Saturday doubleheader and last of the Demarini Invitational, Stanford was shut out for the first time this season 5-0 by Colorado State. The loss also marked Dwyer’s first loss of the season, dropping her record to 3-1. Relief pitchers junior Kiana Pancino and freshman Molly Millar were two of the lone bright spots in the game, as the former served up three scoreless innings and the latter stranded the bases loaded in her Cardinal debut. The loss dropped Stanford to an overall record of 6-2 heading into its next tournament.
The Cardinal resume play on Feb. 21 when they travel to Baton Rouge for the LSU Invitational.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.