Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse held on to win the UC Irvine Invitational by shooting a final-round 73 to claim a two-shot victory over Pepperdine's Grace Na Tuesday at Santa Ana Country Club.
To go along with the victory, Stackhouse received a sponsor exemption to the 2014 Kia Classic (March 27-30) at the Aviara Golf Club.
Stanford pulled out its third team victory with an even-par 864 (289-289-286) at the par-72, 5,842-yard course. The Cardinal is one victory away from matching its three-match winning streak to begin the spring portion of last season's schedule.
"I'm very proud of the players and the poise they showed throughout this event," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "It's always hard to win a tournament when you are leading by 10 strokes going into the final round because you tend to protect the lead, yet today we put in the work to be great over every shot. I couldn't be happier with our effort."
Stanford went for 2-under on the final circuit to distance itself from second-place Texas A&M. The Cardinal bettered the second-place Aggies by 13 strokes, with Pepperdine (879), Gonzaga (891) and Long Beach State (894) rounding out the top five.
Three Cardinal players finished in the top four and each of its five performers fell within the top 50 at the 13-team event. Lauren Kim and Casey Danielson tied for fourth at even, Quirine Eijkenboom (+7) tied for 13th and Mariko Tumangan (+20) tied for 44th.
Danielson's 3-under 69 tied for the best scorecard on the last 18 holes. Danielson was 5-under through her final 12 holes until a double bogey on the par-4 13th put her and 3-under.
Stackhouse birdied the 488-yard, par-5 10th in each of her three rounds.
The Cardinal will travel to the East Coast for the Darius Rucker Invitational (March 7-9) in Hilton Head, S.C.
Three was the magic number at Sunken Diamond on Tuesday evening. Stanford plated three in the first and three in the fifth, while San Francisco scored three of its own in the sixth and another in the ninth to produce a 6-4 nonconference victory.
Stanford (4-4) used five pitchers against USF (3-5), including senior A.J. Vanegas who made his first appearance of the season in relief. Vanegas worked a scoreless fourth inning after freshman Cal Quantrill (1-0) allowed just one hit over the first three innings to pick up the win.
Quantrill gained an early lead as Stanford had three hits against the Don's Grant Goodman to lead to a 3-0 advantage in the first. Tommy Edman and Danny Diekroeger started the half with a walk and a single, respectively, before Alex Blandino smacked a two-RBI double down the left field line. Blandino came around to score on an Austin Slater single, one of two hits on the day for the center fielder.
Three more in the fifth, thanks to three straight Cardinal hits, made it a comfortable 6-0 lead for Stanford. Brett Michael Doran and Wayne Taylor doubled and Alex Dunlap followed with a single to drive home the runs.
Doran had three hits on the night. He was one of three Cardinal players to get multiple knocks, including two apiece from Blandino and Dunlap.
Logan James, Marcus Brakeman and Tyler Thorne also threw for Stanford. Three San Francisco runs were charged to James in the sixth. Brakeman relieved James with an out to end the inning and went on to keep USF off the board through 2.1 innings.
Thorne worked the ninth to earn Stanford's first save of the season. The freshman allowed a run on two hits and a walk before getting Nico Giarratano to groundout to finish the game.
Stanford travels to Nashville, Tenn., this weekend for a three-game series against Vanderbilt. The Commodores are a consensus top 10 team.
Hall of Fame
Dick Gould, the John L. Hinds Director of Tennis, will be inducted into the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame on Friday as part of the organization's 14th annual ceremony at at the Oakland Marriott Hotel in Oakland.
Joining Gould as inductees are Fred Biletnikoff (football), Ruthie Bolton (basketball), Len Rodhe (football), Joe Roberts (basketball) and Joe Rudi (baseball).
Gould has served in his current role for nine seasons following 38 years (1966-2004) at the helm of Stanford, guiding the Cardinal to 17 NCAA Team Championships and finishing his career as the winningest coach in school history at 776-148. During Gould's tenure, Stanford produced 10 NCAA singles champions, seven NCAA doubles champions and 50 All-Americans.
The Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame was established in 2000 in Oakland to broaden the public understanding of African American and ethnic history and the role of diversity and cultural tolerance in the growth of professional sports. Over 180 retired athletes of color have been enshrined, as well as coaches. More than 120 community leaders have been honored. In addition, more than 125 sports legends and more than 50 current players support the Hall of Fame programs.
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