This weekend, Stanford softball (13-26, 0-15 Pac-12) will play host to a three-game series against rival California (25-18-1, 6-7-1) as it continues its quest for its first conference victory.
Despite early-season success, the Cardinal have struggled in Pac-12 play, often being heavily outscored by their opponents. The team is currently coming off of a three-game sweep at the hands of Utah, in which Stanford was outscored 30-6. When California took on the Utes in early April, the Golden Bears were able to win two out of three to take the series.
Although Stanford has an all-time record of 28-42 against Cal, rivalry games have a tendency towards the upset. Freshman ace Carolyn Lee, in particular, should be keyed in this weekend. With heavy family ties to Berkeley — her two older sisters played softball for the school across the Bay — she may have something to prove as she steps into the circle. Lee has been a pillar for the team, having put up many quality starts over the course of the season.
The Cardinal have been led offensively by junior Kylie Sorenson (.339 average, 38-for-112) and senior Kayla Bonstrom (.284 average, 33-for-116). Junior outfielder Bessie Noll is back in the lineup after sustaining an injury from being hit by a pitch on March 5. Noll has established a .348 batting average (23-for-66) but has had just over half as many at-bats.
Stanford has all of the parts in place, but a lack of consistency and team coherence has hamstrung the team along the way. In order to defeat the Golden Bears, the Cardinal will need to leave it all on the field, ensuring the bats give Lee and fellow pitcher sophomore Haley Snyder necessary run support in order to keep Stanford in the game.
The rivalry series will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and will be shown on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.