Sports

This Mendoza line is way above average

Record-setting outfielder maintains high level of performance

A lot has changed in the life of Jessica Mendoza since she left Stanford eight years ago as the greatest softball player the school has yet produced.

She's been a part of a U.S. Olympic team that struck gold in Athens in 2004 and found silver in Beijing four years later.

She's gotten married and started a family all while becoming one of the most recognizable icons in softball.

Yet even all the added commitments don't distract her from remaining one of the best overall players in the world.

Mendoza showed again Saturday night that she has not lost a thing when it comes to playing softball. She collected three hits, two of them doubles, and drove in four runs as the United States senior national team remained unbeaten in the World Cup of Softball with an 8-0 victory over Japan in Oklahoma City.

In a game earlier in the day, Stanford grad Alissa Haber led off the third inning with a home run, which turned out to be the only run production of the afternoon as the U.S. senior team beat the USA Futures team, 1-0.

Cardinal junior Ashley Hansen also had one of the three American hits during the contest.

Mendoza helped break the game against Japan wide open with a bases-loaded double in the second inning. Haber walked to open the frame and Cardinal grad Lauren Lappin followed with a single.

Mendoza also doubled home a run in the fourth as Monica Abbott took care of things from her end on the pitching rubber, twirling a nifty one-hitter against the 2008 gold medalists.

The U.S. meets Canada and the USA Futures team in back-to-back games on Sunday.

Men's water polo

The United States men's national team, playing without teamp captain and Stanford grad Tony Azevedo, dropped a 12-11 decision to host Italy in the semifinals of the Eight Nations Tournament in Syracuse, Italy on Saturday.

The U.S. heads to Oradea, Romania for the FINA World Cup, which begins with the Americans playing China on Tuesday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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