Sports


Stanford softball suffers another blow as three seniors quit

 

The Stanford softball season just went from bleak to downright miserable as three seniors -- Hannah Winter, Leah White and Cassie Rouland -- reportedly quit the team on Monday. None were in Monday night's lineup.

Already struggling by having to use position players to fill in for an injury-ravaged pitching staff, the Cardinal (1-14, 16-29) now must deal with the loss of players who have made significant contributions in the past.

Winter was the team's No. 2 hitter with a 386 averaged and ranked No. 2 with 51 hits. She reportedly was benched Sunday along with Roulund, who was hitting .254 with 15 career homers and 118 RBI. White had started 204 games for the Cardinal.

The departure of these three players brings the total to at least nine who who left the program since 2011.

Stanford first-year coach Rachel Hanson said the players left for personal reasons.

All this comes on the heels of a third-straight loss to top-ranked Oregon, which competed the Pac-12 sweep of the host Cardinal with a 6-3 victory on Monday night.

Erin Ashby drove in two runs and Betsy Noll added two hits for Stanford, which dropped its 10th straight.

The Cardinal has been employing a makeshift pitching staff that features four players who opened the season as strictly position players. Transfers and injuries over the past two years decimated Stanford's pitching pool.

Stanford hopes to turn things around when it heads to Arizona to open a three-game conference series on Friday at 6 p.m.

Despite all its problems on and off the field, the Cardinal offense continues to produce -- matching the Ducks (15-2, 38-5) with three runs in the first inning. Kayla Bonstrom singled home one run and Ashby added a two-run double.

Ashby improved her average to .432 with runners in scoring position, while Bonstrom hits at a .423 pace in such situations. The pair have accounted for 81 of Stanford's 187 RBI.

Baseball

Stanford's Drew Jackson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. It is the second straight honor for the Cardinal after Zach Hoffpauir won last week's award.

Jackson, a junior from Orinda, went 7-for-14 (.500) with three doubles and five runs scored in a series win over Utah last weekend. He added a 2-for-6 day against Santa Clara on April 14 to total 9-for-20 (.450) for the week with six runs scored, four RBI and a stolen base, while also fielding 1.000 at shortstop.

The potential MLB Draft prospect had a career day Friday by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI in a 10-6 come-from-behind win against Utah. Jackson set career highs in hits, doubles and total bases, before his first career two-RBI game on Saturday.

Jackson joins Hoffpauir as Stanford's Player of the Week winners in 2015. Hoffpauir hit three home runs in a series win at California April 10-12.

Stanford hosts Cal on Tuesday (6 p.m.) and UCLA Friday-Sunday at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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