BRIEF: Softball returns home for Nike Invitational

Feb. 24, 2011, 1:47 a.m.

The Stanford softball team returns to Smith Family Stadium this Friday, opening up the 2011 Stanford Nike Invitational.

The No. 16 Cardinal (8-2) hosts a tournament that includes No. 24 Kentucky, Colorado State, Memphis, North Dakota State and UC Davis.

BRIEF: Softball returns home for Nike Invitational
Junior Ashley Hansen (above), who leads the Cardinal with a .500 batting average, will play an important role in this weekends' Nike Invitational. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

The tournament comes after a 4-1 weekend for Stanford in the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, where sophomore Teagan Gerhart had a great two-way weekend, hitting .500 with two home runs and going 3-1 as a pitcher.

Stanford’s weekend in the desert saw the Card defeat No. 23 BYU and No. 3 Tennessee, with senior pitcher Ashley Chinn tossing a one-hit shutout to knock off the Lady Volunteers.

The Cardinal will once again lean on its excellent pitching, as both Gerhart and Chinn have four wins and one complete-game shutout under their belts this season. Gerhart is 4-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 35 strikeouts, and Chinn is 4-0 in four starts with 33 strikeouts of her own.

Offensively, the Card has been solid so far as well, as starters Ashley Hansen, Jaquilyn Edwards and Sarah Hassman all have batting averages north of .400.

Stanford opens up the weekend against Memphis and North Dakota State with a doubleheader starting at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

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