Nationally Ranked Cardinal Too Much for Broncos

Stephanie Fisher (John Medina Photo)
PALO ALTO, Calif. – No. 20 Stanford scored in four of the five innings played against visiting Santa Clara on Wednesday night to methodically build up an 8-0 lead by the bottom of the fifth. That would be the final score, with the Cardinal improving to 5-2 on the young season, while the Broncos dropped to 0-3.

"Stanford is a very good team, there in the top 20, they play a very fast game and that's a team you want to play to get better," said Santa Clara head softball coach Lisa Mize following the game. "You have to play the best to get better. In games like this you have to make the routine play. There was a couple innings where we didn't and that let another two or three batters get up to the plate and that was the difference."

It's early in the season for SCU, a team that opened its 2013 season over the weekend in front of a capacity crowd on its brand new on-campus field. Junior outfielder Stephanie Fisher (Tracy, Calif. / Tracy) had the Broncos lone-hit Wednesday against Stanford, an area that Coach Mize hopes her team can improve upon.

"Our hitting just has to come around," says Mize. "Consistency is something we are not seeing right now. Instead of swinging for the fences, we need to move runners along and really focus on having quality at-bats."

It was Stanford who saw its senior center fielder Sarah Hassman tally two hits, including a double and the walk-off single in the bottom of the fifth, one of her three RBI. Freshman catcher Jessica Plaza also registered a double and a single with two RBI, while senior second baseman Tegan Schmidt and junior designated player Danielle Miller each recorded an RBI.

Junior RHP Jessica Turner (Tulsa, Ok. / Broken Arrow) made the start for the Broncos, working three complete innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. Both senior RHP Carissa Theis (San Jose, Calif. / Leigh) and freshman RHP Ciara Gonzales (Chandler, Ariz. / Mountain Pointe) came in to pitch for SCU as well.

For the Cardinal it was senior pitcher Teagan Gerhart improving her season mark to 3-1. She allowed just the one hit to Fisher, and allowed one walk to pick up her first shutout of the year. Gerhart also finished with four strikeouts.

Santa Clara will return to Stanford's campus to play CSU Northridge and UC Davis on Saturday and Sunday as part of the 2013 Stanford Nike Invitational Tournament. 

2013 Stanford Nike Invitational Tournament
@ Smith Family Stadium (Stanford, Calif.)
Saturday, Feb. 16
Santa Clara vs. CSU Northridge – 9:30 a.m. LIVE STATS
Santa Clara vs. UC Davis – 2 p.m. LIVE STATS 
Sunday, Feb. 17
Santa Clara vs. UC Davis – 12:15 p.m. LIVE STATS