Stanford 9, Southern Illinois 1

May 21, 2005

COLUMBIA, Mo. #20 Southern Illinois (47-13) allowed a season-high nine runs, 13 hits and three home runs to #4 Stanford (42-14), suffering a 9-1 loss in the winners bracket on Saturday at the NCAA Regional Tournament at University Field.

Wow! Between Michelle Smith and Leah Nelson, no one has hit us that hard in three years. Weve played #2 California and #1 Michigan this year and I thought Michigan was the hardest-hitting team weve faced, but Im going to have to put Stanford up there, said Kerri Blaylock, SIU head coach.

Im going to have to give them credit. We threw the kitchen sink at them and they hit everything we threw at them. I knew they were good hitters, but I dont think we expected this. Theyre at a different level and theyre as good as any team weve played.

Michelle Smith and Leah Nelson went 7-for-8 for the Cardinal with two doubles, three home runs, five runs scored and six of their nine RBI.

Stanford jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first inning on two singles, a walk and a wild pitch. With two outs and runners on second and third base, the Cardinals Jackie Rinehart singled to left field to drive in a run before an alert Lauren Haas picked up the loose ball and threw Stanfords Smith out at home to end the inning with Stanford leading 1-0.

The Saluki offense responded in the bottom of the second inning. Lauren Haas hit her seventh home run of the year, a solo shot down the left field line, tying the game at 1-1.

Stanford broke the tie with two outs, scoring three runs in the top of the third inning on four hits, a walk and a Saluki error. After a two-out single by Smith, Nelson doubled to center field, driving in Smith for a 2-1 Cardinal lead and forcing SIU starter Amy Harre from the game.

With Nelson on third base, SUs Rinehart singled off Saluki reliever Cassidy Scoggins to drive in Nelson for a 3-1 lead. After a walk, Meghan Sickler singled to drive in Rinehart for a 4-1 lead. Scoggins struck out Tricia Aggabao to end the inning.

The Cardinal added two more runs in the fifth inning, when Nelson hit a two-run home run to right field increasing the Stanford lead to 6-1.

Stanford wasnt finished, adding three more runs in the top of the seventh inning on a two-run home run by Smith, followed by a solo shot by Nelson for the final 9-1 margin.

Harre (23-9) struck out three, walked one and allowed five hits and three runs in 2.2 innings to get the loss. Scoggins struck out one, walked one and allowed eight hits and six runs in 4.1 innings of relief.

Stanfords Becky McCullough (20-6) struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits and a run in a complete game win.

The loss drops SIU into the losers bracket for a 7 p.m. game tonight against the winner of the Missouri-Robert Morris elimination game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

-- Courtesy Southern Illinois University