BRIEF: Softball swept by Arizona

April 5, 2011, 1:39 a.m.
BRIEF: Softball swept by Arizona
Stanford softball had a weekend to forget, losing all three of its games against No. 7 Arizona to open Pac-10 play. The Cardinal managed only one run in the series. (JIN ZHU/The Stanford Daily)

The Stanford softball team didn’t start Pac-10 play the way it wanted to, dropping three straight at home to Arizona. The No. 7 Wildcats (32-6, 3-0 Pac-10) completely stifled the Cardinal offense, holding Stanford to one run all weekend while tallying 16 against Cardinal pitching.

On Friday night, No. 12 Stanford (24-7, 0-3) sent sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart to the hill to take on Arizona’s Kenzie Fowler. The Wildcats got to Gerhart immediately, scoring three runs in the first inning on a hit batter, a walk and a passed ball after loading the bases. Arizona added a run each in the second and third innings and three more in the fourth to make the score 8-0. Meanwhile, Stanford mustered just a hit and a walk with Fowler on the mound before the game was called due to the run rule after five innings.

Senior pitcher Ashley Chinn started the second game of the series for Stanford and picked up her first loss of the season despite a strong outing. Chinn, who came into the game with a perfect 11-0 record, went the distance and allowed only two earned runs to Arizona. However, the Stanford defense committed two costly errors that led to four unearned runs for the Wildcats, and the six runs were more than enough for Arizona’s starter Shelby Babcock. After allowing a run on two singles and two walks in the first inning, Babcock settled down to hold Stanford scoreless through the next 2.2 innings. Fowler then came in and closed out the 6-1 win for Arizona with 3.1 shutout frames.

Sunday’s series finale saw the best pitching performance of the weekend for Stanford, but yet again, Gerhart was outdueled by Fowler. With the game still scoreless in the fourth, Arizona manufactured an unearned run following an error by sophomore first baseman Alix Van Zandt. A home run by Wildcat third baseman Brigette Del Ponte to lead off the sixth inning was the only other run Gerhart allowed, but Fowler once again shut the door on the Cardinal offense. Stanford could only manage leadoff singles in the fourth and fifth by junior center fielder Sarah Hassman and freshman pinch hitter Jamie Millwood, respectively, while Fowler fanned 10 Cardinal batters en route to her second shutout of the weekend and her 20th win of the season.

After the disappointing series, Stanford will hit the road for the first time in conference play with a three-game set in Los Angeles against No. 13 UCLA (26-5, 3-0), which is coming off a three-game sweep of Oregon State. The games will take place Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon.

Login or create an account