Sports


Cardinal men finish first day under par at Amer Ari event

The Stanford men's golf team opened the spring season with an opening-round 7-under 281 Thursday at the Amer Ari Invitational at the par-72 Waikoloa Kings' Course in Hawaii.

The Cardinal resides in 12th place at the two-day event, 10 strokes behind leader Oklahoma State.

Stanford golfers fought the wind and a 20-team field to finish under par. Cameron Wilson leads with the Cardinal, tied for seventh. Menlo School grad Patrick Grimes, playing as an individual, was in the money with a 68, tied for 14th and the fifth-best overall score on the day.

Wilson, who teed off on the eighth, started the day with a double bogey but birdied the next pair to get back to even. He went bogey-free for the remainder of the round and dropped three straight birdies on 18-1-2 to finish 5-under at 67.

Patrick Rodgers shot a 69, tied for 21st, came with the aid of an eagle on the 18th while playing the back nine at 3-under.

Freshmen Maverick McNealy (72) and Viraat Badhwar (71) held steady for the Cardinal, and both played the front nine at 1-under.

David Boote recovered from an opening-hole double bogey, but recovered to par the next seven before eventually bumping to 5-over. Boote birdied four of the next five six holes to help finish at 3-over 75.

Softball

Kayla Bonstrom hit a two-run home run to spark an eight-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning of Stanford's 9-1 victory over North Carolina State as part of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe on Thursday.

Bonstrom, who had three hits and drove in two runs, also singled in the fifth, which eventually allowed Hanna Winter to score the run that ended the game according to the mercy rule.

Bonstrom, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year last season, led the Cardinal and was fourth in the conference with a .404 average.

Freshman Carley Hoover, last year's national Gatorade Player of the Year out of D.W. Daniel High in Central, South Carolina, allowed a run on four innings over five innings to earn the victory in her Stanford debut. She struck out nine and walked two.

"My first season win was really exciting," Hoover said. "My favorite part game of the game was when 'Bon' hit the home run in the fifth inning and everybody followed after that."

Kylie Sorenson and Bessie Noll each added two hits and Cassandra Roulund drove in a run for the Cardinal. Which will play San Diego State and Northwestern on Friday.

Baseball

Stanford was picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 Conference coaches poll it was announced Thursday.

The Cardinal finished the voting just behind Arizona. The top four are Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State.

Stanford (32-22 last year) returns seven position players that started more than 20 games a year ago, including preseason All-American Alex Blandino.

A freshman All-American in 2012, Blandino hit .270 last year with seven home runs and 32 RBI. He will be joined in the infield by senior second baseman Danny Diekroeger, a .299 hitter in 2013.

Catchers Brant Whiting and Wayne Taylor both return. Whiting led the team with a .344 batting clip and Taylor hit .270 while also starting in the outfield and designated hitter on occasion.

The pair will be handling a restructured pitching staff following the departure of No. 1 starter Mark Appel, now pitching in the Houston Astros organization.

Junior lefty John Hochstatter (3-3, 3.88) is the Cardinal's leading returning starting pitcher. Sam Lindquist (2-2, 3.46) and Logan James (3-3, 4.56), who each threw over 40 innings during last year, return to anchor the bullpen.

Senior right-hander A.J. Vanegas missed most of 2013 with an injury. He looks to rebound to his sophomore form, when he threw over 65 innings and finished with a 4-0 record and a 2.62 ERA.

Stanford opens the season at home against Rice on Feb. 14. The 4:30 p.m. matchup will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

Women's swimming

Felicia Lee was named the Pac-12 January Swimmer of the Month, the conference office announced Thursday. It is the second swimmer of the month award for the senior after taking the honor for the first time in her career in November.

Lee was perfect throughout January, winning all 14 events she entered either individually or in a relay. She won four times against Texas (Jan. 4) and UCLA (Jan. 31) and three times versus Arizona (Jan. 24) and Arizona State (Jan. 25).

Her efforts have helped Stanford climb to No. 4 in the CSCAA poll and remain undefeated in dual meets in 2013-14.

The versatile Lee ranks in the nation's top 20 in five different events including top-10 showings in the 200 back, 100 butterfly and 200 IM. She also appears on Stanford's relay squads, which are some of the country's best.

The Wayne, N.J., native becomes just the eighth multi-award winner in the conference since the Swimmer of the Month started in 2004. It is the 11th overall winner for Stanford.

Lee kicked off February well with four more event wins against No. 5 USC.

Up next is rival California Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. at Avery Aquatic Center. The meet against Cal Olympian Missy Franklin and company will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

— Stanford Athletics

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