After a convincing 2-1 home series win over Utah a week ago, No. 26 women’s softball (30-10, 7-5 Pac-12) travelled to No. 3 Arizona (38-7, 15-0 Pac-12) this weekend. The Cardinal entered the game with the best team record since 2010, but nonetheless were clobbered by the Wildcats in a three-game sweep.
Not one game in the series was even remotely close, as the Cardinal lost by at least seven runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The only source of optimism, perhaps, was the fact that Stanford’s offense improved marginally as the series progressed. The Cardinal bats were futile in a scoreless, three-hit series opener in which they fell 7-0 on Thursday.
Redshirt senior infield Whitney Burks’ solo home run on Friday gave the Cardinal their first run of the series, though the margin of defeat was even greater, as Arizona prevailed 9-1. The game ended in the fifth inning thanks to the NCAA’s run rule, which awards victory to any team leading a regular season game by at least 8 runs at the end of the fifth inning.
Mercy was the theme of the series’ third and final game on Saturday as well, with Arizona leading Stanford 13-0 at the top of the fourth inning. An RBI triple from junior infield Kristina Inouye in the fourth and a solo home run from freshman utility Emily Young in the fifth brought the score to 13-2 before the Cardinal were forced into submission.
Looking ahead, Stanford has a date at No. 57 Fresno State (30-14, 8-7 MWC). Watch out for what could be a dangerous trap game, with the Cardinal bracing for nine straight games of Pac-12 action against No. 32 Arizona State, No. 2 University of California Los Angeles and No. 4 Washington.
The first pitch in Fresno is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.