April 19, 2009

Courtesy of Stanford

Last time senior pitcher Missy Penna faced Arizona State at Farrington Stadium, she shattered the school's single-game and single-season strikeout records. In her visit this time, she claimed the career record for herself, posting her 1,155th career K to break Dana Sorensen's all-time best mark. With 12 K's in her 28th complete game of the year, Penna led Stanford (37-5, 7-4 Pac-10) to an eight-inning win tonight, 7-6.

Freshman Jenna Becerra came up with the game-winning hit in the top of the eighth for Stanford, sending a drive to left center that scored fellow freshman Maya Burns from second base. Becerra also hit her fourth home run of the year in the game, and finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Prior to Becerra's game-winning long ball, Stanford's offense consisted of three two-run home runs. Maddy Coon hit her fourth home run of the year in the first inning and Becerra added hers in the second inning. Shannon Koplitz hit the team's third homer in the third inning, crushing a pitch to right center for her seventh long ball of the year.

Arizona State was led by senior Kaitlin Cochran, who was 3-for-4 with a home run. Sophomore Krista Donnenwirth was 2-for-4 and also homered for the Sun Devils.

Penna improved to 26-4 on the year and allowed 10 hits in eight innings of work. Megan Elliott (9-5) took the loss for Arizona State after allowing nine hits and giving up seven earned runs.

Stanford took advantage of its first scoring opportunity in the opening inning. Haber walked to lead off the game and made the game 2-0 when Coon later homered.

In the second inning, Becerra's two-run shot made it 4-0. Freshman Maya Burns singled to center field to put a runner on for her classmate and Becerra drove a ball over the left center field wall to boost the Stanford lead.

The Sun Devils got one back in their half of the second, when Donnenwirth hit a solo home run to center field.

Hansen was hit to lead off the third inning and Koplitz quickly hit Stanford's third home run of the night to push the advantage to 6-1.

ASU managed to get one run back in the fifth inning. Jessica Mapes was walked with one out and advanced to second when another walk was issued to Cochran. Freshman Katelyn Boyd came through with a double to center field to drive in Mapes and make it 6-2.

With a 6-2 lead, Penna struck out Mapes to start the seventh inning and pulled the Cardinal within two outs of the win. The Sun Devils refused to let the game end, however, as Lesley Rogers and Cochran homered in back-to-back at bats to trim the lead to 6-4. Boyd drew a walk to keep the rally going and, after a wild pitch, came around on Kaylyn Castillo's double. Donnenwirth singled to put runners at the corners and a single by Katie Crabb drove in pinch runner Caylyn Carlson to tie the game. With two runners on, Penna fanned back-to-back Sun Devils to end the inning.

In the eighth, Melisa Koutz hit a one-out double to start a Stanford rally. Pinch runner Autumn Albers was thrown out at the plate on a Burns hit however, putting Becerra at the plate with two down. The rookie drove a ball to left center, and Burns came around to score the go-ahead run from second.

Penna held tight in the bottom of the eighth, allowing only Cochran on base. With the senior on third, she fanned Boyd and gave the Cardinal its seventh Pac-10 win.

Stanford is back at Farrington tomorrow at noon, concluding its trip to the desert with a second meeting against the Sun Devils.