Stanford sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart probably didn't expect to be as busy as she was on Monday during a softball doubleheader sweep of visiting Northwestern. Not only did she pitch a complete game and get the win in Game 1, but she came on in relief in Game 2 and earned that victory as well.
After a two week hiatus and a rained out weekend, 10th-ranked Stanford took advantage of a sunny day and swept Northwestern by identical 6-5 scores at Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal improved to 19-3 on the season, while the Wildcats dropped to 12-7.
Gerhart improved to 11-3 as she totaled 12 strikeouts in nine innings while giving up seven hits and three earned runs on the day. Senior Ashley Chinn started the second game for the Cardinal. She finished with four strikeouts in five innings of play. Northwestern's Jessica Smith took the loss in the first game, falling to 3-5 on the season, while freshman Sammy Albanese from Castilleja came on in relief in the second game and suffered the loss to drop to 2-2 overall.
Stanford junior shortstop Ashley Hansen went 5-for-8 in the two games with two doubles and two RBI. Sophomore second baseman Jenna Rich tallied four hits and three RBI, while freshman designated player Danielle Miller finished with three hits, including a double, and four RBI.
In the first game, Northwestern took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Stanford answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Junior center fielder Sarah Hassman led off with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch by Smith. Hansen then singled through the left side to put two runners on for the Cardinal. Miller drove in both runs with a single to left-center field.
The Cardinal added another run in the second inning as freshman left fielder Corey Hanewich hit a solo home run over the left-field wall. It marked the third home run of the season for the rookie.
The Wildcats came back to score four runs in the fifth inning and take a 5-3 lead in the game. Stanford responded with three runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good. Hassman reached on an error by Northwestern third baseman Robin Thompson. Hansen then brought Hassman home with a double to center field. Rich put two on for the Cardinal with a single through the left side, and then Miller knocked in two more runs with a double to right field.
Gerhart finished with 11 strikeouts in the first game, her third consecutive double-digit strikeout performance.
In Game 2, Northwestern once again scored a run in the opening inning. Hassman drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first inning for the Cardinal. Rich hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the score at 1-1.
The Wildcats added another run in the third inning, but Stanford answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Hassman led off with a single up the middle and then scored on a double by Hansen. Miller registered a base-hit and then scored as freshman third baseman Michelle Prong hit a home run to left field.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings. Northwestern recaptured the lead with a three-run sixth inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Gerhart singled up the middle with one out. Hanewich then struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch. With two outs and the bases loaded, Rich hit a walk-off single to centerfield to score Gerhart and Hanewich for the win.
Stanford doesn't have a lot of time to enjoy the sweep as the Cardinal hosts UC Davis on Tuesday at 1 p.m.