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February 23, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Softball wins title in tourney Softball wins title in tourney (February 23, 2005)

Baseball team hosts USC after dropping three to undefeated Texas

by Rick Eymer

Michelle Smith and Lauren Nydam are just two of several freshmen making an immediate impact for the sixth-ranked Stanford softball team.

Nydam won her first three collegiate games and Smith belted four home runs as Stanford captured the title of the USF/Wilson Tournament in Tampa, winning all five games it played.

Smith's two-run home run and Nydam's four scoreless innings were the highlight of the Cardinal's 8-0 victory over Florida A&M in Monday's finale.

Smith was 6-of-14 (.429) for the tournament and has hit safely in eight of her past nine games. She leads the team with seven home runs and 16 RBI. Smith is batting .433 on the year.

Nydam (3-0) did not allow an earned run in 11 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and five walks. She struck out eight.

Nydam, who also recorded a save in the tournament, has a season ERA of 0.57.

Stanford hit eight homers in the tournament. In addition to Smith's four, freshmen Becky McCullough and Erin Howe also homered, along with senior Meghan Sickler and junior Lauren Lappin.

Junior pitcher Laura Severson also won twice in the tournament. She carried a perfect game into the seventh inning in Saturday's opening 6-0 win over Hofstra, and settled for a one-hitter.

Stanford (11-1) has five games scheduled this weekend in its own Stanford Invitational II at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal open with UC Davis at 5 p.m., followed by Texas Tech at 7 p.m. on Friday.


After facing the best team in the nation last week Stanford is ready to face one of the best teams in the Pac-10 when USC drops by Sunken Diamond this weekend for a three-game nonconference series.

The Cardinal didn't fare well at undefeated Texas, but they didn't get blown off the field either despite losing all three games. They are also flexing their muscle this year and that showed against the Longhorns, who have one of the top pitching staffs in the country.

Stanford (7-5) has hit a home run in all but one game this season, collecting 16 of them. Jed Lowrie is responsible for seven homers to go with his team-leading 20 RBI.

Stanford dropped Friday's opener, 6-4, despite getting a three-run homer from Lowrie that gave the Cardinal a 4-2 lead in the third. Freshman Michael Taylor had two of Stanford's five hits.

Taylor had two hits in each of the three games against Texas, and now has four consecutive two-hit games. After struggling from the middle of the order, he was moved into the leadoff spot and is beginning to blossom.

Taylor is 10-of-31 (.323) as a leadoff hitter, and he's hitting .391 (9-for-23) over his past five games.

Lowrie and John Mayberry, Jr. are both hitting .354. Mayberry has three homers and 14 RBI.

Mark Romanczuk (2-2) took the loss in Friday's opener after allowing five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits and a pair of walks with just one strikeout over 3 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season.

On Saturday, Stanford scored six runs in the top of the ninth but came up on the short end of an 8-7 decision. Lowrie's second career grand slam accounted for four of the runs.

Chris Lewis and Adam Sorgi each had three hits in the game, while John Hester, Jim Rapoport and Taylor each added two. Jeff Gilmore (2-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Sunday's 5-4 loss was also a heart-breaker as Drew Stubbs' inside-the-park homer on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth lifted the Longhorns to the sweep.

Matt Leva (0-1) suffered the loss for the Cardinal, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks over the final 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Nolan Gallagher, who allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Men's swimming

Stanford was upset by host California, 129-114, on Saturday, snapping the Cardinal's 38-meet winning streak that dated to January of 2000. The seniors suffered their first dual meet loss ever.

The last time Cal beat Stanford (3-1, 5-1) in a dual meet was on Feb. 23, 1991, when the Bears won, 167-134, at Stanford. The Cardinal leads the series 93-14.

Tobias Oriwol, Daniel Beal, Gary Marshall, Shaun Phillips, Hongzhe Sun and Michael McLean each won individual events.

Stanford will be attempting to win its 24th consecutive Pac-10 title at the conference championships in Long Beach beginning March 1.

Women's swimming

Stanford's Caroline Bruce and Ashlee Rosenthal, a Gunn grad, were named Pac-10 Co-Swimmer and Diver of the Month, respectively, for January.

Women's tennis

On Friday, Stanford (7-0) beat visiting Washington State, 7-0.

In singles, all six Cardinal players picked up two-set victories, with Anne Yelsey recording a 6-0, 6-0 win. Erin Burdette, Whitney Deason and Lejla Hodzic all won with only two games lost.

Women's water polo

Katie Hansen and Nancy El-Sakkary each scored three goals as Stanford beat visiting Cal State Northridge, 13-4, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest on Saturday.

The third-ranked Cardinal (2-0, 5-1) competes at the Santa Barbara Invitational beginning Friday.

Men's gymnastics

Jason Shen won the all-around title and David Sender won three events as Stanford beat host Air Force, 214.275-192.050, on Saturday.

Stanford (4-1) competes at Michigan on Saturday.

Men's tennis

Stanford suffered its first three losses of the season, dropping all three matches it played in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships at the Mid Town Tennis Club in Chicago.

Stanford travels to UCLA for a match on Friday, and to USC on Saturday.

Women's gymnastics

Stanford lost to visiting UCLA, 196.300-194.625, on Friday in Maples Pavilion.

Freshman Liz Tricase, who missed a week with an injury, helped Stanford record a season-best 49.000 on the vault by recording a team-high 9.900 in the event.

Stanford hosts Arizona State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.

Men's volleyball

David Vogel had 17 kills but it wasn't enough as ninth-ranked Stanford fell to top-ranked UCLA, 30-21, 30-20, 31-33, 30-26, on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Stanford (4-7, 5-9) came back to beat UC Irvine on Saturday, 30-21, 30-23, 31-29. The Cardinal hit .422 as a team.

Craig Buell converted 14 of 21 attempts with one error to hit .619 while Chris Ahlfeldt was errorless in 13 attempts and had 10 kills for a .769 hitting average.

Stanford hosts UC San Diego on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.

Women's lacrosse

Senior Kelsey Twist scored a pair of goals and recorded five assists to lead Stanford past host UC Davis, 11-4, on Sunday.

The Cardinal (3-0 in the MPSF, 3-0 overall) also beat host St. Mary's, 14-5, on Friday.

Stanford hosts Connecticut in its home opener on March 4.

Sarah Bach, who was named the MPSF Player of the Week, scored five goals in the win over the Gaels, and has a team-high 11 on the season.

Field hockey

Stanford is represented by 12 athletes on the NFHCA Division I Academic Squad: Madison Bell, Katherine Brooks, Julia Drewes, Lyndsay Erickson, Jamie Hais, Missy Halliday, Ellen Hunter, Ana Kralovec, Eleanor Morgan, Liz Robison, Tammy Shuer, and Elizabeth Thompson.

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