Stanford gets early series lead
Gerhart tosses 29th complete game, hands ’Bama first home loss
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 15 seed Stanford picked up a solid road win at No. 2 Alabama with a 5-2 win on Thursday in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional at Rhoads Stadium. The Cardinal, which is one win away from reaching its third Women's College World Series, improves to 42-15 on the year, while the Crimson Tide suffered its first home loss of the year and fell to 49-9.
Sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart threw her 29th complete game of the season, improving to 26-11 overall. She recorded eight strikeouts while giving up just two runs on five hits without issuing a walk.
Junior Ashley Hansen went 2 for 3 with a walk, bringing her season hit total to 94 to tie the school single-season record set by Jessica Mendoza in 2000. Junior centerfielder Sarah Hassman also tallied two hits on the night with two RBIs. Junior third baseman Jenna Becerra and Gerhart also two registered RBIs.
Stanford captured an early 3-0 lead in the second inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Gerhart grounded out to first base, registering the RBI as senior Melisa Koutz crossed the plate. Hassman hit a two-run single to right field to score juniors Maya Burns and Becerra.
The Cardinal increased the lead to 5-0 in the top of the third.
Freshman designated player Danielle Miller reached on an error by third baseman Courtney Conley. Koutz moved her to second on a bunt single and the pair advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Burns. Stanford scored two runs as Becerra reached on an error by left fielder Kayla Braud.
Alabama broke up Gerhart's no-hitter in the bottom of the fourth as shortstop Whitney Larsen hit a solo shot to left field. It was the 13th home run of the season for Larsen and it cut the Cardinal lead to 5-1.
The Crimson Tide threatened in the bottom of the sixth, placing two runners in scoring position. However, Gerhart registered her eighth strikeout of the night to end the inning and get out of the jam.
Alabama added another run in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as the Cardinal held on for the win.