Sports

Stanford women all set to defend their NCAA golf title

 

The 12th-ranked Stanford women's golf team, the defending national champion, opens NCAA championship play Friday at the Eugene Country Club in Oregon.

The Cardinal earned its berth in the final by winning an NCAA regional tournament on its home course.

Stanford is one of six Pac-12 teams to qualify for the championships. The Cardinal is joined by Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington.

All 24 teams play 54 holes of stroke play, with the top 15 advancing to a final round of stroke play on Monday, when the individual winner will be determined. The top eight teams qualify for match play on Tuesday.

Stanford won four tournaments this season, including Branch Law Firm Invitational, Stanford Intercollegiate, Silverado Showdown and, along with USC, the NCAA Stanford Regional Championships. The Cardinal has five top-five finishes.

Senior All-Americans Lauren Kim and Mariah Stackhouse, two of the most accomplished players in program history, lead the way. Kim is ranked fourth in the country by Golfstat (71.77 average) and has produced 21 career top-10 finishes, while Stackhouse is ranked No. 22 (72.31) and has four career victories and 28 top-10 showings.

Kim has recorded a team-high five top-10 showings this year. She was recently selected the Pac-12 Women's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year. At the NCAA Championships, she tied for seventh in 2015, finished third in 2014 and tied for 42nd in 2013.

As a freshman, Stackhouse set a team, course and NCAA women's record at Stanford Golf Course by

shooting a 10-under par 61 in the Peg Barnard Invitational. She fired a 9-under 26 on the front nine.

Shannon Aubert has claimed four top 20 finishes this season. Her best showing was third at the Stanford Intercollegiate, where she matched her career-best college score with a 4-under 67 in the second round.

Casey Danielson has placed in the top 20 five times this season, highlighted by a tie for second at the Peg Barnard Intercollegiate. She led the team at the regional tournament, tying for fourth, and shooting rounds of 72-68-71 to finish at 2-under 211.

Freshman Sierra Kersten has competed in four events for the Cardinal. Her top finish is a tie for 18th at the Silverado Showdown.

Baseball

Stanford sophomore Quinn Brodey puts his 11-game hitting streak on the line this weekend when the Cardinal travels to Seattle for an important Pac-12 series with Washington this weekend.

Brodey's streak is the longest of the year for Stanford (11-13, 27-21), which clinched at least a .500 season with its 'sweep' of UC Davis on Tuesday.

Junior Tommy Edman had the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to propel Stanford to a 3-1 win. The Cardinal also successfully completed a suspended game from March 21, a 14-9 victory.

The Huskies (14-10, 29-18) are in second place in the Pac-12, a game behind Utah, which took two of three from Stanford last weekend.

The Cardinal resides in a seventh-place tie, but is four games behind the Utes with six to play. There are 10 teams still in contention for the title. Only Washington State, which took two of three from Washington, is eliminated.

Stanford was swept at home by the Huskies last year and dropped two of three in its last trip to Seattle.

Brodey has produced seven sacrifice flies this year, 11th-best in the nation.

Women's gymnastics

Stanford grew stronger with the addition of Ashley Tai who will join the Cardinal in the fall of 2016.

Tai comes to The Farm from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, California, and completes Stanford's incoming class that also includes Kaylee Cole and Aleeza Yu.

Tai won the all-around at the 2014 National Invitational Tournament and is a four-time qualifier to the Junior Olympic National Championships. In 2016, Tai also won the vault and floor titles at the Northern California State Championships.

Tai trained at Technique Gymnastics in Rancho Cordova, California, under coaches Lise Poarch and Rick Newman.

"Ashley is a great competitor, passionate, mentally tough, and extremely motivated to improve in the college environment," Stanford coach Kristen Smyth said. "We are so happy she chose Stanford University and already feel like she is a big part of our SWG family."

Softball

Five Stanford players earned NFCA All-Region and Pac-12 awards, as announced by the organizations Thursday.

Bessie Noll was named to the NFCA All-West Region Third Team as an outfielder. Kylie Sorenson earned All-Pac-12 Second Team honors, while Kayla Bonstrom was named to the third team.

Jessica Plaza claimed Pac-12 All-Defensive Team recognition and Carolyn Lee earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.

Men's tennis

Nolan Paige became a road warrior and Tom Fawcett continues to lead by example as Stanford qualified for its first trip into the Round of 16 in four years.

The Cardinal (16-10) meets Pac-12 rival UCLA (24-2) on Friday in Tulsa. Stanford has played the third-seeded Bruins three times, losing all three, including a 4-3 decision at home.

Paige clinched Stanford's first-round victory over Notre Dame and helped pave the way in the Cardinal's 4-3 victory over Northwestern with a quick straight-set victory.

Fawcett clinched the match with a come-from-behind 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 victory at the top of the ladder. He led, 5-1, before losing the match. He didn't make the same mistake twice.

The Cardinal lost four of its last five postseason matches until earning back-to-back wins this time around.

Stanford last advanced to the championship match in 2003, losing to Illinois, 4-2. The Cardinal won the last of its 17 national titles in 2000, a 4-0 win over VCU.

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