The Stanford softball team (3-2) will open its 2016 home slate against a batch of non-conference opponents in the Stanford Nike Invitational this weekend. The Cardinal will face North Dakota State, Saint Mary’s and Long Beach State during the three-day event between the four teams.
Stanford is fresh off of a trip to Tempe, Arizona last weekend, where the team saw mixed results in its season-opening action. In their first game against Portland State, the Cardinal raced to a 10-0 lead after just three innings and tallied on another run before the mercy rule was invoked at the end of the fifth inning. The team proceeded to split its remaining four games, dropping contests to New Mexico and Cal State Northridge and beating Cal Poly and Seattle.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Cardinal will rely heavily on the bats of junior Kylie Sorenson and senior Kayla Bonstrom, both of whom are hitting over .400 and have accounted for a majority of the team’s offensive production. Junior Bessie Noll has also been a force early in the season, tallying 4 RBIs while also hitting a team-leading 3 home runs and posting a .938 slugging percentage.
Meanwhile, Stanford is noticeably inexperienced on the mound: The team’s only returning true pitcher is sophomore Haley Snyder, who has struck out 13 players in her 16 innings pitched. After picking up the first two starts of her career, freshman Carolyn Lee will also see action this weekend.
Stanford plays its home opener against North Dakota State on Friday at 5 p.m. before returning to the field to take on Saint Mary’s at 10 a.m. and LBSU at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The team will close the weekend with a second matchup against Saint Mary’s at 2 p.m. on Sunday. All games will take place at Smith Family Stadium.
Contact Neel Ramachandran at neelr ‘at’ stanford.edu.