Hat tricks from Kiley Neushul and Maggie Steffens helped break a 4-4 tie and top-ranked Stanford claimed its 33rd straight win over No. 5 California, 8-4, Friday at the Big Splash in Berkeley.
The Cardinal (26-1, 6-0 MPSF) completed its fourth straight undefeated MPSF regular season, and also has not lost to California since March 26, 2000.
Stanford, which clinched the top seed and first-round bye at the MPSF Championships, will return to Berkeley for the event next weekend.
The Cardinal will play in Saturday's semifinal at 2:30 p.m. against the winner of Friday's quarterfinal between No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 California.
Kaley Dodson and Melissa Seidemann added goals for Stanford while goalie Kate Baldoni made seven saves as the Cardinal defense held the Golden Bears (16-6, 2-4 MPSF) to just one goal over the final 25:07.
Friday's contest opened with a wild first period which ended with the teams tied at 3-3.
Thrice California took a one-goal lead and thrice the Cardinal answered with an equalizer. The score would remain tied at three apiece until Steffens converted a 6-on-5 opportunity for the Cardinal 14 seconds before the break, giving Stanford a 4-3 halftime lead.
California answered early in the third period on a Kelly McKee goal but that was it for the Golden Bears.
Stanford closed the game on a 4-0 run. Neushul broke the tie for the final time with her third goal at the 1:39 mark, then Steffens netted her second with 24 seconds to go in the frame.
Alex Blandino doubled home a run in the sixth inning to break a tie and lead Stanford to 4-3 victory over visiting Arizona in a Pac-12 Conference baseball contest Friday night.
Mark Appel (7-2) may not have been quite as sharp, but he was good enough, allowing two earned runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six.
Garrett Hughes and Sam Lindquist combined to toss 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief. Lindquist pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
The Cardinal (8-5, 21-11) takes on Arizona (8-8, 24-13) again Saturday at 2 p.m.
Austin Slater opened the sixth by reaching base on a throwing error. He went to second on Brant Whiting's sacrifice fly and scored easily when Blandino doubled into left field.
Stanford tied the game with three runs in the fifth. Whiting walked and Blandino was hit by a pitch to start things. One out later, Justin Ringo reached base on a catcher's interference, loading the bases.
Following the second out, Brian Ragira was hit by a pitch to force in one run and Austin Wilson singled home two more runs.
The Wildcats led, 3-0, after four innings before Appel and the two relievers settled in to keep them off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Menlo School grad Danny Diekroeger had two hits for the Cardinal.
Six consecutive goals from 15th-ranked Stanford midway through the first half propelled the Cardinal to a convincing 15-8 victory over visiting Oregon in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest at Laird Q. Cagen Stadium Friday evening.
The six-goal outburst, propelled by two goals apiece for Anna Kim and Rachel Ozer, erased a sluggish start for Stanford (9-4, 4-1 MPSF) and a 2-1 deficit.
The Cardinal never looked back, utilizing a harassing defense to consistency turn over the visiting Ducks (7-8, 2-4 MPSF) in taking a 9-3 lead into halftime.
Stanford upped its lead to 12-4 early in the second half before play settled down.
Stanford forced 26 Oregon turnovers and consistently turned those miscues into points with an athletic, precision attack in the offensive zone.
Stanford peppered Oregon with 41 shots; goalie Caroline Federighi played well with 16 saves but could do no more as five Cardinal players registered at least two goals.
Ozer led the way, scoring three of her four goals during a span of 11 minutes in the first half, and giving her 22 goals to date. Anna Lentz added three goals on four shots while Kim, Hannah Fair (two assists) and Julia Burns all logged two.
Megan Lerner provided a special performance, controlling five draws, while the quicker Cardinal got to 22 ground balls on the day. Lyndsey Munoz (9-4) went the distance in net making five of her six saves in the second half.
Stanford returns to action on Sunday with its final regular season home game at 1 p.m. against San Diego State.
Stanford concluded its season Friday afternoon as it finished sixth with a 194.700 team score during the first NCAA Championships semifinal session at UCLA.
Nicole Dayton earned her first first-team All-America honor vault, scoring a 9.900 to finish tied for third and qualify to the Individual Event finals on Sunday.
Freshman Taylor Rice also had a great competition, competing in three events and scoring a 9.875 on floor, 9.800 on vault and a career-best 9.850 on beam. She claimed second-team All-America honors on floor.
Stanford opened the competition strong on floor with a 49.025, led by freshman Taylor Rice's 9.875 in her NCAA Championships debut. Rice followed a great opening routine by Nicole Dayton who picked up a 9.775.
Samantha Shapiro performed fifth and earned a 9.800, while Ashley Morgan anchored the floor lineup with a 9.825.
The Cardinal began to face difficulties on vault, where it had two gymnasts record scores of 9.675. In addition, Ivana Hong - who was slated to compete in the all-around - suffered an injury during her vault and was unable to finish the meet.
Despite the adversity, Nicole Dayton helped keep Stanford within striking distance with a 9.900, and Rice and Melissa Chuang each earned a 9.800.
Stanford was in fifth place after three rotations with a team score of 97.975.
The troubles continued for Stanford as it returned after its second bye of the day and suffered two falls to start its bars lineup. Becky Wing helped right the ship as she filled Hong's lineup spot and delivered a clean routine for a 9.700.
Kristina Vaculik and Samantha Shapiro followed Wing with scores of 9.850, and Alex Archer anchored the team with a career-best 9.875.
The deficit, however, proved to be too large as Stanford held a team-score of 146.175 after its third event and would have needed to score in the 197s to challenge for a top-three position - an impossible feat considering there is a 50 point maximum on each event.
Stanford finished the meet strong on beam with Shona Morgan and Rice each scoring 9.850. Amanda Spinner notched a 9.825 and Ashley Morgan recorded a 9.775.
No. 12 Stanford dropped a hard-fought 4-3 decision to No. 9 California on Friday afternoon during its final match of the regular season.
In what was expected to be a back-and-forth battle between two of the conference's top teams, California (15-5, 9-1 Pac-12) pulled out its first win over Stanford (16-4, 8-2 Pac-12) in eight attempts, a streak that dated back to 2009 and included a 6-1 home victory for the Cardinal back on March 2.
Both teams are expected to serve as likely host sites for NCAA Tournament first and second round competition, although the Golden Bears will finish as the Pac-12's second-place team. The Cardinal tied UCLA for third, but owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bruins.
For the second time this year, Stanford won the doubles point but lost the match. After splitting the first two contests, the Cardinal's duo of Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay grinded out a decisive 9-7 victory on court two for a 1-0 lead.
California got on the board when Lynn Chi bested Tan 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 4 spot, evening the match at 1-1.
In a battle of top-20 players at the top of the lineup, 20th-ranked Nicole Gibbs cruised past seventh-ranked Annet Schutting 6-2, 6-2. Gibbs, who notched her 100th career victory, defeated Schutting by the same score when the teams hooked up last month.
Trailing 2-1, the Golden Bears tied the match again following Zsofi Susanyi's 6-4, 6-2 victory over Krista Hardebeck at the No. 3 position. Prior to today, Hardebeck had been undefeated in five matches against Cal players this year, including four in a row to capture the ITA Northwest Regional Championships title back in October.
Tayler Davis pushed California one step closer, taking down Ellen Tsay 7-6 (1), 6-4 on court five.
Leading 3-2, the Golden Bears were in position to secure the match with two contests remaining and having taken the first sets in both.
Annie Goransson provided the clincher, holding off Natalie Dillon 6-2, 7-5 next door on court six.
Kristie Ahn accounted for Stanford's third point, outlasting Klara Fabikova 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 at No. 2. Playing her first three-setter since mid-January, Ahn turned away a late charge from Fabikova to win her team-leading sixth consecutive match.
Friday's match was televised by the Pac-12 Network, joining yesterday's UCLA-USC contest as the only women's matches to be shown this year.
Stanford shifts to individual competition next week, competing at the Pac-12 Championships in Ojai.
Due to rain, No. 15 Stanford had its game at No. 14 Washington postponed Friday.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m.
For the first time since 2008, Stanford will not play at home during the postseason.
The No. 6-ranked Cardinal (15-12) landed the No. 6 seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament and plays at No. 3 seed Long Beach State (22-7), ranked No. 2, in the first round on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Walter.
The winner of the eight-team MPSF event earns an automatic berth into the four-team NCAA tournament. That appears to be the Cardinal's only path, with the NCAA's lone at-large bid seemingly out of reach.