Sports


Cardinal women are heading to NCAA golf championships

 

The Stanford women's golf team earned its spot in the NCAA Championships by finishing second Saturday at the NCAA St. George Regional Championships contested at Entrada at Snow Canyon.

The three-day, 54-hole event saw the Cardinal (304-292-290) post a 34-over 886, capped by its best round of the tournament, sending the squad to a sixth consecutive NCAA finale. Stanford's final-round 6-over tied for the best score on the day.

Stanford received three significant performances in as many rounds to help punch its ticket.

To finish the event, All-American Lauren Kim primed the pump with an even-par 71. In the opening round, it was Casey Danielson's 1-over 72. The second round, Shannon Aubert's 2-under.

Kim (75-74-71), who tied for seventh at 7-over to lead the Cardinal, was 2-over at the final turn before dropping four straight birdies to secure an extended postseason.

Danielson (72-75-74) gave Stanford another top-10 performer, checking in at 8-over for ninth. Shannon Aubert (75-69-78) was fearless in her regional debut with a share of 11th.

Quirine Eijkenboom (82-74-72) was 10 strokes better in the final round than her opener to place 34th, and Mariah Stackhouse (83-76-73) steadily improved throughout the tournament to finish at 19-over.

Top-ranked USC finished 28-over to win the regional. Arkansas (+40), UNLV (+43), Virginia (+46) and Cal (+48) also advanced to the NCAA Championships, which will be held May 22-27 at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.

UNLV's Dana Finkelstein took medalist honors at 2-under, including a 4-under 67 in her final round.

Baseball

Austin Barr delivered a go-ahead, two-run, single in the eighth inning and Stanford beat host USC, 3-2, in Pac-12 Conference action Saturday night.

Stanford (21-27, 7-16 Pac-12) was slowed by left-hander starter Kyle Twomey, before breaking a 26-inning scoreless streak.

After Drew Jackson singled to lead off the eighth inning, and three straight walks, including a bases-loaded free pass to Matt Winaker, set the table for Barr. The right-handed hitting DH lined the first pitch he saw to right field to score Tommy Edman and Zach Hoffpauir.

Marc Brakeman started for the Cardinal in a battle of draft-eligible hurlers, who each had impressive summers in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Brakeman, though, left the game trailing 2-0.

Brakeman scattered six hits and struck out five, while not issuing a free pass, in his fourth start since returning from an arm injury.

Tyler Thorne (3-0) shut down USC over the final three innings, earning his second relief win in the last four games. He struck out four, including the last two hitters he faced, to strand the tying run at second base in the ninth.

Quinn Brodey and Barr each singled twice.

The final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.

Track and field

Will Stanford's track and field record of records finally be broken? The oldest in Stanford history – the decathlon standard set by Bob Mathias in his gold-medal winning performance at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics – is under threat.

Stanford freshman Harrison Williams completed the first day of the two-day 10-event competition at the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday at Drake Stadium in second place and with his best events – the 110-meter hurdles and pole vault – still ahead.

After five events, Williams has 4,068 points and trails only Arizona junior Pau Tonneson, who has 4,098. Williams is 76 points ahead of his first-day pace in setting a Stanford freshman record of 7,518 at the Texas Relays in March. That total was only 74 points shy of Mathias' 63-year-old Stanford record of 7,592.

On Saturday, Williams won two events – the 100 (10.82) and 400 (48.14) – and set a personal record in the shot put (41-10 ¾). But the key for Williams was consistency. All of his marks were at or close to his personal bests, including the long jump (22-7 ¾) and high jump (6-7 ½).

In 1952, Mathias repeated as Olympic decathlon champ by scoring a world-record 7,887 points, a total that has been adjusted to 7,592 to reflect changes in the scoring tables. His performance was so dominating that Mathias won by more than 900 points.

It was the last athletic competition in the career of Mathias, who also played in the 1952 Rose Bowl for Stanford and went on to serve in the Marines, followed by four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mathias passed away in 2006.

Williams is seeking to become Stanford's first conference decathlon champ since Travis Clark won the Pac-10 title in 1994.

The Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships are this weekend. The main portion of the meet will be May 16-17, also at UCLA's Drake Stadium.

Softball

Stanford's season came to a close Saturday at No. 19/19 California, falling to the Golden Bears, 11-2, in five innings.

The Cardinal finishes the season with a 17-37 record overall and went 2-22 in Pac-12 play. The Cardinal played a majority of its season without a true pitcher due to injuries and called on position players to handle the load in the circle.

Despite being shorthanded at pitcher and having to shuffle players' positions due to injuries, Stanford battled and produced numerous highlights throughout the year.

The Cardinal picked up victories against probable NCAA Tournament teams No. 3/4 Alabama, No. 24/23 Arizona State, RV/25 Texas and Utah.

Kayla Bonstrom had a tremendous season, finishing in the top-11 in multiple single-season categories in Stanford history including: slugging percentage (1st, .806), batting average (5th, .439), home runs (T-5th, 13), RBI (T-7th, 54), doubles (11th, 16) and fielding percentage (T-2nd, .997).

Jessica Plaza registered a perfect fielding percentage for the second season in a row. She is one of two Stanford players all-time to register a perfect fielding percentage.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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