With a chance to add to a six-game win streak, Stanford softball (11-2, 0-0 Pac-12) now prepares for a three-game home series with Nevada (1-8, 0-0 WAC). The matchups are part of a 15-game home stand for the Cardinal, who opened with a 4-5 loss to Seattle University on Thursday and will conclude with an afternoon battle versus Rhode Island on March 1.
Stanford’s most recent victory came on Tuesday over Fresno State in a 7-3 decision. It was the fourth time in 13 games that the Cardinal has sealed a walk-off win. This one was thanks to a grand slam over centerfield by freshman Sydney Steele, who tallied five RBIs over the course of the nine-inning stunt, with three coming from her bases-loaded home run and another two being sent in by a hit in the opening inning of the game.
Fellow freshmen Tatum Boyd and Alana Vawter showed off the skills of the team’s young players with their performances at the mound. Both Boyd and Vawter threw 4.1 innings, with Boyd’s being scoreless, and they notched three and two strikeouts, respectively. With the showing, Boyd moved to 4-0 on the season.
Unfortunately for the Cardinal, a string of 32 successful steal attempts ended when senior Teaghan Cowles was thrown out heading for third.
In the meeting with Nevada, the Cardinal will face a roster that, like their own, is underclassmen-heavy. Unlike the home team, however, the Wolfpack has struggled to find momentum with its young team. Nevada dropped six road contests before earning a 7-1 victory over CSUN at the Libby Matson Tournament on Saturday.
That being said, the Wolfpack was able to challenge Seattle, who split a two-game series with the Cardinal last week in a narrow 3-4 defeat to open the tournament. Strong pitching performances by Nevada at the tournament also suggest that hits for Stanford will not come easy in the upcoming action; Nevada sophomore Kendall Fritz found her rhythm in the circle against Pacific on Sunday and recorded eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. Junior Julia Jensen also recorded a respectable 4.1 inning effort against Bakersfield with four strikeouts.
The weekend series gets underway with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. PT at the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on Saturday. Following on Sunday is a 1 p.m. PT contest to close out Cardinal-versus-Wolfpack action.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.