Stanford jumped to an early lead and cruised to an 8-2 victory Thursday night against visiting Oregon State in a Pac-12 game Thursday night.
With its postseason fate seemingly on the line this weekend, the Cardinal (30-23, 5-17 Pac-12) delivered exactly the series-opening performance it needed against the Beavers (16-31, 3-17 Pac-12).
Stanford entered the weekend rated 41st in the NCAA's RPI. Oregon State is 73rd. Five other Pac-12 teams are ranked among the top 14.
Four Stanford batters combined for seven hits and Madi Schreyer (22-13) delivered a strong performance in the circle.
Schreyer pitched her 24th complete game on the season, striking out two and limiting the Beavers to two runs on six hits and four walks.
Jessica Plaza went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Kylie Sorenson and Bessie Noll each registered two hits in four at-bats.
Stanford capitalized on extra opportunities provided by Oregon State, which made six errors. Seven of the eight runs the Cardinal scored were unearned.
Stanford jumped to an early lead, scoring five runs in the first inning. White led off with a single and scored the game's first run when Erin Ashby put a ball in play that the Beavers' shortstop was unable to handle.
Two additional hits and two more errors kept the rally going, as Stanford added four runs to take a 5-0 lead.
Oregon State responded in the top of the third when CJ Chirichigno hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to cut Stanford's lead to 5-1.
After the next batter walked to load the bases for the second time in the inning, Schreyer halted any potential rally by getting the following hitter to ground into a fielder's choice.
Stanford got the run back in the bottom half of the third when Plaza singled up the middle to score Noll.
The Beavers scored their second run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
The Cardinal again responded in the bottom half of the inning, adding two runs to take an 8-2 advantage.
Schreyer retired seven consecutive batters spanning the final two outs of the fifth inning and the first two hitters in the seventh. After walking the third Beavers batter in the seventh, Schreyer struck out the next hitter to end the game and secure the victory.
Stanford will take on Oregon State again Friday at 5:30 p.m. (PT) in a game that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
No. 4 Stanford finds itself tied for 11th with South Carolina and Campbell with a 3-over 291 through the first round of the NCAA East Regional Championships in Tallahassee on Thursday.
Mariah Stackhouse tied for third with a 4-under 68 on Thursday. Stackhouse's bogey-free round included birdies on three of the course's four par-5 holes.
"We shot a number consistent with our season average," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "We are only five shots out of fifth, and that's what we were focused on."
No. 12 Vanderbilt blistered the course with a women's collegiate record 277 and is the first-round leader at Southwood Golf Club.
The Commodores were led by Simin Feng and Jenny Hahn who shot identical scores of 4-under 68, tying them with Stackhouse.
"We knew coming here that it would be incredibly tough, and so far that's the case," Walker said. "We just have to stick to our game plan and trust that it will be enough to clinch a spot in the finals."
Tulane's Emily Penttila shot a career-best and women's course-record 65 and is the individual leader after the first of three rounds.
Second-ranked Duke, the top seed in the 24-team field, is in fourth place. The Blue Devils are seven strokes behind Vanderbilt.
Lauren Kim's even-par opener came with two birdies and as many bogeys. Kim is tied for 28th.
Casey Danielson was 1-over with a 73 and sits in a tie for 46th. Danielson was 2-under through seven before three bogeys set her back.
Marissa Mar shot a 78 with Mariko Tumangan adding a 79.
The 56-hole tournament resumes Friday. The top eight teams and top two individuals not on one of the top eight advancing teams will earn a bid into the NCAA championships that begin May 20.