Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 9, 2010

Ogwumike continues her season as member of the 10-player USA Basketball Select Team

by Rick Eymer

Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike may have finished her sophomore season on Tuesday night in the NCAA Final Four, but her basketball season is far from over after being one of 10 players named to the USA Basketball Select Team on Thursday.

Ogwumike, a veteran of the USA Basketball U18 and U19 gold medal-winning squads the past two summers, will be part of the select squad that will train in Storrs and Hartford, Conn., from April 15-18.

Debbie Ryan (Virginia) and Dawn Staley (Temple) will serve as the on-court coaches for the select team.

Ogwumike joins Kalana Greene (Connecticut), Kelsey Griffin (Nebraska), Allison Hightower (LSU), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Jacinta Monroe (Florida State), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Jasmine Thomas (Duke) and Monica Wright (Virginia.

Ogwumike completed a breakout sophomore season Tuesday in the national championship game in San Antonio, Texas, averaging 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting 59.8 percent from the field. Through six NCAA Tournament games, Ogwumike averaged 19.7 points and 12.3 rebounds a game in leading Stanford to its second national championship game appearance in three years.

Ogwumike earned a slew of honors in 2009-10, including her first State Farm Coaches' All-America selection, along with a spot on the Final Four All-Tournament Team and the Sacramento Region All-Tournament team in the NCAA Tournament.

Ogwumike was also named Pac-10 Player of the Year as well as the MVP of both the Pac-10 Tournament and the Sacramento Region. She led the Pac-10 with three conference player of the week selections.

Baseball

Stanford hopes to get back on track this weekend when Oregon makes its first visit to Sunken Diamond in 33 years.

The No. 22 Cardinal lost to visiting St. Mary's, 7-3, in a nonconference game on Wednesday, Stanford's third consecutive loss and the fifth in six games.

Stanford (3-3, 13-11) has played five games in its last eight decided by two runs or less. The Cardinal is 2-3 in those games.

Against the Gaels, back-to-back singles by Menlo School grad Kenny Diekroeger and Jake Schlander gave Stanford a 2-0 lead in the second. Schlander drove in the team's third run in the seventh. Both infielders had two hits.

Right-hander Brian Busick (2-0, 2.41) is scheduled to make his second start in Friday's series opener against Oregon, which reinstituted baseball last year.

Men's golf

The 42nd Annual U.S. Intercollegiate, featuring five of the top-10 teams in the nation, gets underway on Sunday at the Stanford University Golf Course.

Teams will tee off on holes 1 and 10 on Sunday and Monday starting at 9 a.m. and use a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start for Tuesday's final round. Stanford Golf Course will play at a length of 6,727 yards and to a par of 70 for this event.

Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.

The 20-team field features five teams ranked in the top 10 by Golfstat, including in No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Oregon, No. 6 UCLA and No. 8 Arizona State.

Other teams in the field include California, Denver, Fresno State, Hawaii, Lamar, Long Beach State, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Francisco, San Jose State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, USC and Washington State.

Six of the nation's top-20 players are also expected to be in the field, including No. 1 Diego Velasquez of Oregon State, No. 3 John Chin of UC Irvine, No. 4 Eugene Wong of Oregon, No. 8 Sihwan Kim of Stanford, No. 17 and defending champion Nick Taylor of Washington and No. 19 Brooks Koepka of Denver.

Competing for USC will be freshman Martin Trainer, a graduate of Gunn High.

The medalist of this year's U.S. Intercollegiate will earn an automatic exemption into the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open, which will take place from July 15-18 at the Montreux Golf & Country Club.

Softball

Eighth-ranked Stanford scored 15 runs in the first inning as it shut out visiting UC Davis, 17-0, Tuesday in nonconference action at Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal improved its season record to 28-5, while the Aggies dropped to 13-22.

In a total team effort, the Cardinal tallied 15 hits to score 17 runs in the first two innings, both highwater marks for the team this season. All nine Cardinal starters scored at least one run in the opening inning as the team batted around two times for 19 total at-bats.

Freshman Teagan Gerhart started the game in the circle for her 31st appearance of the season. She was replaced in the second inning by freshman Jenna Rich, who threw four innings to pick up her second win of the year.

Gerhart, who remained in the lineup as the designated player, was 2-for-2 with a team-high five RBI. She stroked an RBI double in her first at-bat and then recorded her first career grand slam in the same inning.

Sophomore Ashley Hansen was 4-for-4, including an RBI single in the first inning. Rich was 2-for-3 with three RBI, while sophomore Sarah Hassman was 2-for-2, scoring one run and driving in two more.

The Cardinal will travel to Corvallis, Ore., for a three-game series with Oregon State starting Friday.

Women's swimming

Stanford senior Olympic swimmer Julia Smit and coach Lea Maurer were honored by the Pac-10 Conference Wednesday, named the conference's swimmer and coach of the year.

Stanford, NCAA national runnerup, won its first conference title since 2005 and completed a perfect dual-meet season at 9-0.

Smit, the Honda Sports Award winner for swimming, broke her own American, NCAA and school records in the 200 and 400 individual medleys at the Pac-10 Championships and won her third NCAA title in each event two weeks later.

Smit also set the world record in the short course of both events last December, and was named the Pac-10's Swimmer of the Month all four months of the season. Smit finished her career with five individual school records and 26 All-American honors.

Smit is the 10th Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year since 1988 for the Cardinal, joining Olympians Janet Evans (1990), Summer Sanders (1991-92), Jenny Thompson (1995), Misty Hyman (1998) and Tara Kirk (2004). She is the Cardinal's first winner since Olympian Caroline Bruce in 2005.

Maurer, in her fifth season at the helm, won her first career Coach of the Year honor. It is the sixth honor for the program since 1987.

Men's tennis

Nationally No. 7 Stanford kicked off its five-game homestand with a victory on Tuesday afternoon, dispatching UC Irvine, 6-1, at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. Stanford improved to 13-5 on the year while UC Irvine fell to 13-8.

The Cardinal swept all three doubles matches to capture the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead.

Stanford dominated singles play as well, with Greg Hirshman providing the clincher with a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles.

The Cardinal is back in action on Friday, hosting No. 22 Washington at 1:30 p.m.

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