March 28, 2009

Courtesy of Washington

In a pitcher’s dual between two of the nation’s best, Washington All-American Danielle Lawrie and Stanford All-American Missy Penna battled through 11 innings, threw more than 150 pitches apiece and struck out a combined 29 batters. In the end, however, Penna and the third-ranked Cardinal outlasted the second-ranked Huskies, scoring the game’s only run in the bottom of the 11th.

Stanford improves to 30-2 with the win with a 1-1 mark in Pac-10 play, while Washington (28-4, 1-1 Pac-10) was beaten with its ace in the circle for just the second time this year. Penna (20-2) struck out 13 in her 104th career win and is now just one victory short of Dana Sorensen’s school record. Lawrie, who fanned 16 in the game and took a no-hitter into the ninth, drops to 19-2.

After 10 scoreless innings, Stanford came up with two of its four hits in the bottom of the 11th to score the game-winning run. Freshman Sarah Hassman led off the winning series by chopping a ball over the head of the Husky third baseman. With one out, fellow rookie Ashley Hansen chopped a single to a similar spot and put two on for Shannon Koplitz. A wild toss to the junior put runners in scoring position and Koplitz eventually worked Lawrie for an eight-pitch walk. With bases loaded Rosey Neill was pegged by Lawrie’s second offering, letting Hassman stroll in to win the game.

Stanford had four hits to the Huskies’ six, marking just the third time this season that Stanford has been outdone in the hitting column. For the second straight game, two of Stanford’s four hits came off the bat of Hansen. Hassman and Shannon Koplitz recorded the other two Stanford hits. On the Husky side, senior second baseman Ashley Charters was 2-for-5 to lead her team.

Stanford’s scoring chances were few early on, as Lawrie went eight innings without allowing a Cardinal hit. A walk issued to Neill in the third and a hit batter two innings later led to a pair of runners in scoring position, but Stanford couldn’t capitalize. The team’s best chance prior to the 11th came in the ninth inning, when Hansen and Koplitz registered Stanford’s first two hits and gave the team two on with one out.

Washington left 11 runners on base, including six in scoring position. Penna was solid, however, and came up with six of her strikeouts with runners on base.

Stanford and Washington square off again tomorrow, with the final game of the opening conference weekend set for noon at Smith Family Stadium.