May 8, 2004
STANFORD, CA - Claire Sua's grand slam home run in the top of the seventh inning broke open a tie game and powered UCLA (35-9, 9-8 Pac-10) to a 6-2 victory over sixth-ranked Stanford on Saturday afternoon at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on Stanford's campus.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Cardinal had two base runners as UCLA pitcher Lisa Dodd issued consecutive two-out walks, but she then got Jessica Allister to pop out to end the inning and the threat. Leah Nelson then opened the bottom of the second inning with a single to right field. After being replaced by pinch runner Jacki Hansen, the runner advanced to second on a ground-out by Elizabeth Bendig, and Hansen stole third base before Katherine Hoffman grounded out to end the inning and the threat.
UCLA opened the fourth inning with consecutive singles by Claire Sua, who was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Simpson, and Stephanie Ramos, before Jodie Legaspi put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Emily Zaplatosch was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Whitney Holum then hit into a double play with the second out at the plate to end the inning and the Bruin threat with the game still scoreless.
Hansen recorded another hit for the Cardinal with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, a double off the left field fence, but again was unable to advance as Bendig grounded out to end the inning with the game still scoreless.
In the top of the sixth inning, Claire Sua led off the inning for the Bruins with a fly ball hit deep to left field, caught by Jackie Rinehart with her back against the fence. After a single through the right side by Stephanie Ramos, Jodie Legaspi broke the scoreless tie, putting her sixth home run of the season over the left field fence to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead after five and a half innings of play.
In the bottom half of the inning, however, the Cardinal offense started to come alive. Catalina Morris posted a one-out single that hit the bag at first base before going into right field, allowing Morris to reach base safely. After Lauren Lappin fouled out to record the second out of the inning, Jessica Allister took a 2-1 pitch just over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2.
Ashley Herrera led off the top of the seventh inning for the Bruins with a chop hit to left field, which was followed by another chopper, this time by Caitlin Benyi, that was mis-handled by the Cardinal shortstop. After Cardinal starter Laura Severson threw the first pitch to Andrea Duran, a strike, she was removed in favor of Stanford's ace, Dana Sorensen. Sorensen got Duran out on the infield fly rule for the first out of the inning. Lisa Dodd followed with a single to load the bases for Claire Sua, who crushed her seventh home run of the season off the top of the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium scoreboard for a grand slam home run, giving the Bruins a 6-2 lead after six and a half innings.
Stanford looked to rally in the bottom half of the seventh as Bendig led off the inning with a hit down the left field line. Pinch-runner Shoney Hixon advanced to second when Meghan Sickler walked, but pinch-hitter Michelle Thiry grounded into a double play, advancing Hixon to third with two outs. Dodd then completed the inning, and the game, by striking out Rinehart for the third and final out.
The Bruins and Cardinal will meet again on Sunday, May 9, at 1 pm at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on Stanford's campus. The game will be broadcast live on College Sports TV, Channel 610 on DirecTV.