It has been a tough couple of weeks for Stanford softball (11-14, 0-3 Pac-12). After falling short in the Louisville Slugger Tournament before the finals break, the Cardinal were unable to revive their struggling bats against Dartmouth (7-8) and No. 4/7 Oregon (26-4, 6-0) this week, resulting in a six-game losing streak.
Despite a strong showing in the Hawaii Tournament earlier this month, the Stanford offense struggled in the Louisville Slugger Tournament from March 12-13. Saturday’s game ended in a 10-2 run-rule loss to Cal Poly (15-5), and the Cardinal were shut out 11-0 in six innings against Tulsa (16-5) on Sunday. Junior Kylie Sorenson and senior Kayla Bonstrom carried the squad offensively, but their contributions could not overcome their teammates’ silent bats.
On Saturday, freshman pitcher Carolyn Lee threw only 3.0 innings, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks. The Mustangs’ offense was hot, scoring 7 runs in the second inning and tacking on another in the third. Sorenson recorded Stanford’s only 2 hits, and her two-run home run in the fifth plated Stanford’s only runs. It was Sorenson’s sixth home run this season.
The offense fell even flatter on Sunday and registered just two hits in the run-rule shutout. Lee once again got the start in the circle, but while she kept the Cardinal in the game with 5 runs in 5 innings, Tulsa managed to tack on 6 runs in the top of the sixth to seal Stanford’s fate. The Cardinal’s offense was unable to answer, and the Golden Hurricane came away with the win. Sorenson and Bonstrom each registered a hit, but neither was able to round the bases.
In the first game out of the finals break, the Cardinal took on Dartmouth on March 22. Although Stanford was able to tie the game at 1-1 with a home run from sophomore Whitney Burks in the bottom of the seventh, Dartmouth put up 3 runs in the top of the eighth to ice the extra-inning win. Despite loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinal could not complete the comeback and fell 4-1 to Dartmouth. Throughout the matchup, Stanford was unable to capitalize on its 7 hits, stranding runners on base in five of the eight innings.
The Cardinal then opened Pac-12 play with a three-game series against the powerhouse Oregon Ducks from March 24-26. Lee shined in her Pac-12 debut, holding the Ducks to just 2 runs, but the Stanford bats once again fell short as Oregon took the first game of the series 2-0.
The Ducks outscored the Cardinal 19-2 in two six-inning run-rule losses to sweep the series. Sophomore pitcher Haley Snyder plated Stanford’s only runs of the weekend with a two-run homer in the fourth inning of Friday’s matchup.
Up next, Stanford will travel to Santa Clara on Wednesday, before returning home for a three-game conference series against Oregon State.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.