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Stanford Athletics | May 15, 2021

College softball: Stanford sweeps doubleheader vs. No. 5 Washington

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STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford softball (31-19, 9-11 Pac-12) swept No. 5 Washington in a doubleheader Friday, continuing to solidify the Cardinal as one of the nation's top teams. The wins were the first over the Huskies (40-11, 17-5 Pac-12) since 2017, ending an eight-game skid to the program up north. It also gave Stanford its third and fourth victories over top 10 teams in the last four weeks, and gave head coach Jessica Allister her 400th victory as a Division I head coach.

Alana Vawter and Maddy Dwyer set the tone with complete games from the circle, with Vawter grabbing the 4-1 victory in the first game, before Dwyer went five innings for the 8-0, run-rule win in the night cap. The second game does not count toward the Pac-12 standings.

With the victories, Stanford guarantees at least a split in the overall weekend series, and sets up a rubber match on Saturday for the Pac-12 series. First pitch from Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m. PT.

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The Cardinal broke the game open in the second inning of Friday's first game, taking its first lead over Washington on the weekend. Vawter struck out a pair of batters in the top of the inning to retire the side, and Stanford carried that momentum into the bottom half of the inning.

Emily Young doubled to left center and scored from second thanks to Emily Schultz' single up the middle. Kaitlyn Lim came on to run for Schultz. With her and Sydnee Huff on first and second, the duo executed a double steal. When the throw from Washington's second baseman went wide to third, Lim maintained the pressure to score on the play — pushing Stanford's lead to 2-0.

Young ended the first game 2-for-3 with a run.

Washington trimmed the deficit in half in the top of the sixth, forcing the Cardinal to maintain a one-run lead for the final inning and a half. A two-run home run sent deep into left field by Eleni Spirakis pushed Stanford's lead to 4-1, giving Vawter and the defense the extra cushion.

Vawter was masterful in the start, striking out eight batters — her most in a game since April 10 against Arizona State — while allowing only four hits and a pair of walks. The sophomore retired the side in the top of the seventh, giving Stanford the top 5 win.

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The emotions of knocking off the Huskies in game one didn't affect the Cardinal 30 minutes later, as Stanford needed only five innings to complete the sweep.

The Cardinal wasted no time jumping to an early lead, with Spirakis coming back to drive Taylor Gindlesperger on a double to the wall in the first.

Emily Schultz led off the second inning with a triple to jump start a two-run inning, and a pair of Washington errors led to a four-run, bottom of the third to push the Cardinal lead to 7-0. Only one of Stanford's runs in the frame was earned.

An RBI single from Emily Young in the bottom of the fourth gave the final 8-0 lead the Cardinal needed to end the game early — with Huff, Young and Spirakis teaming up on a game-ending double play in the top of the fifth.

Dwyer pitched arguably the greatest game of her career, picking up the Top 5 victory by limiting the Huskies to four hits and one walk.

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