SOFTBALL FALLS TO SEVENTH-RANKED STANFORD, 3-0
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Stanford’s Maddy Coon had a triple, home run and three RBIs, and Missy Pena allowed just two hits over 6.0 innings to lead the seventh-ranked Cardinal to a 3-0 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference softball game Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
With the victory, Stanford, which is ranked seventh in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 polls, improved to 33-5 overall. In addition, the Cardinal won its fifth in a row over the Hornets dating back to 2005.
Sacramento State dropped to 18-13 as today’s game marked the team’s final tuneup for the Pacific Coast Conference Softball season – the Hornets open league play this weekend at Saint Mary’s. Sacramento State has now played six ranked opponents this season, and is 1-5 in those games. The Hornets were shut out for just the second time all year as the team entered the game ranked 16th in the nation in scoring at 5.73 runs per game. In addition, the team used 13 different players in today’s game.
“Today was our final tuneup before conference play begins, and I wanted to get as many players as possible into the game,” Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan said. “Stanford has an outstanding pitching staff and they really held our batters down. Our offense sputtered a bit today, but I’m confident we’ll be fine offensively as we head into conference.”
Coon accounted for all three of Stanford’s runs as the junior clubbed a two-run homer to center field in the third inning and added an RBI-triple in the sixth. She finished the day 2-for-2 with two walks and three RBIs.
Coon had two of Stanford’s four hits as Sacramento State pitchers Kayla Meeks, Megan Schaefer and Brittani Clifford combined to hold down the Cardinal offense for the most part. In fact, Rosey Neill, who entered the game with a .404 batting average and led the nation with a .904 slugging percentage, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
Rachel Miles and Amy Tompkins had the Hornets’ only hits (both singles), as Sacramento State advanced just one runner past first base the entire game. Penna (22-4) went the first six innings, allowing just two hits while striking out eight. At one point between the second and sixth innings, she set down 13 consecutive Hornet batters. Ashley Chinn pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up her first save of the season.
Meeks (8-6) got the loss for Sacramento State, allowing three hits and two runs over 3.0 innings. Although just a freshman, Schaefer was impressive in the fourth and fifth innings, setting down each of the six batters she faced in succession. Clifford allowed one hit and one run while striking out two over the final 2.0 innings.
Tompkins’ single in the sixth inning improved her hitting streak to six games as the senior shortstop is batting .524 (11-for-21) over that six-game stretch.
Sacramento State will play its first four league games of the season this weekend when the team travels to Saint Mary’s for doubleheaders on Saturday (beginning at noon) and Sunday (noon).