Stanford softball takes another hit with Hoover leaving for LSU


Carly Hoover, who made five starts for the Stanford softball team as a freshman, tweeted that she was officially transferring to Louisiana State University late last week.

There was no corresponding confirmation from the Tigers, who reached the final of the Tucson Regional before losing in the 'if necessary' championship game to Arizona.

Hoover (2-0, 1.65) becomes the third pitcher to leave the Cardinal program over the past two years.

Kelsey Stevens left Stanford after a year for Oklahoma and helped the Sooners reach the Women's College World Series.

Nyree White, in her second year, left the Cardinal after appearing in four games. She allowed one hit in five innings.

Hoover, who came to Stanford as the Gatorade National Player of the Year, missed the majority of the season due to a pectoral injury incurred while pitching in her home debut at Stanford.

Hoover is a native of Clemson, S.C. Her mother, Jolene Hoover, has coached the Clemson women's volleyball team the past 20 years.

John Rittman, who used a total of seven pitchers during the season as he manufactured various lineups, resigned as Stanford's coach following the season.

It was apparently a personal decision, as no reason was provided by the school on his sudden departure.

Rachel Hanson, formerly the head coach at Dartmouth, was hired to take over for Rittman. She has also coached at Dallas.

Stanford returns 10 starters from a team that was 30-25 overall, though 5-19 in the Pac-12 Conference.

Madi Schreyer (22-14, 3.70), who started a Pac-12 Conference high 39 games last year, pitched 242 1-3 innings and was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team.

The Cardinal missed its first NCAA postseason in 17 years.

Schreyer will again do the bulk of the pitching now that left-hander Maddy Kaplan, who originally committed to Stanford, signed with Harvard.

The Harvard-Westlake school paper, from where Kaplan graduated, reported the signing.

Pitcher-first baseman Haley Snyder and utility player Whitney Burks are also among the incoming freshmen.

High school seniors Kaley Winegarner, one of the nation's top pitching prospects, Brooke Vines and Morgan Nelson have verbally committed to Stanford for the class of 2015 according to the robocoach website.

(Vines talks about her decision here.)

Teagan Cowles had given her verbal commitment for the class of 2016.

Women's basketball

Standout 5-foot-10 guard Alexa Romano of La Cueva High in New Mexico has confirmed that she'll be attending Stanford in the fall of 2015.

Romano averaged 21.4 points, five rebounds and 3.7 assists her junior year. She made 42 percent of her 3-point attempts, 48.5 percent from 2-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line while helping her team reach the state tournament.

"Officially committed to play at Stanford University. I'm EXTREMELY thankful for the people I've met & opportunities I've had along the way!" Romano tweeted.

Romano and her family made things final while visiting Stanford's campus in late June.

"It was such a hard decision," Romano told The Boneyard message board. "I took a really long time to accept Stanford's offer. But I feel like it's the right fit for me, academically, outside of basketball, just all the way around."

Romano wound up choosing Stanford over Arizona State, which is coached by Cardinal grad and former player Charli Turner Thorne.

According to blogger Roy Dodger, Romano's decision was made somewhat simpler this month when she received a call from Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer. The Hall of Fame coach informed Romano that she had qualified academically to attend Stanford.

Romano is also a talented track and field athlete. In her freshman year, she won the 5A state title in the 400 meters in 56.89.

Men's basketball

Small forward Cameron Walker of Righetti High in Santa Maria gave his verbal commitment to the Cardinal on Monday.

The 6-7, 200-pound Walker is rated a four-star recruit.

According to The Bootleg: "Walker is a versatile small forward who doesn't have one area where he truly excels on the court, but is pretty good in most facets. He's a very good athlete with really impressive body control. He has nice size and length for the small forward position. Walker's motor has improved over time but it will still be an area for him to get better at in college. He's a pretty good shooter and can keep improving as a rebounder and defender."

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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