Pacific Finishes Day One With A 5-0 Loss To No. 8 Stanford
Stanford, Calif. - Taking on the host and No. 8 ranked Stanford Cardinal at the Stanford Nike Invitatoinal, the Pacific softball team suffered a 5-0 loss to end its first day of play on Friday, February 17. The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-3 on the year and 1-1 at the tournament while the Cardinal improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 at the tournament.
Falling behind early to the Cardinal, the Tigers gave up runs in each of the first three innings of play to find themsevles in a hole they would not be able to fight out of. In the first, a hit batter to the first Cardinal at the plate cost the Tigers the first run of the game as Stanford was able to manufacture the opening score off the free batter. An inning later, it was a solo home from the leadoff spot in the inning that gave Stanford a second run. With a 2-0 lead, the Cardinal were able to break the game open in the bottom of the third as they were able to post their first, and only, crooked number of the day on the scoreboard. In the inning, a pair of walks and three timely hits, combined with a defensive miscue gave the top-10 ranked Cardinal all fuel they needed for the big inning and all the room they needed to take home the victory.
Despite giving up five runs over the first three innings of play, the Tigers were able to hang their hat on the fact that sophomore Tori Shepard continued her stellar weekend in the circle as the second year hurler entered the game in relief in the fourth and shut down the Stanford attack for three solid innings. In five innings pitched in two appearances on the day, Shepard allowed just three baserunners, one via hit, while striking out a pair. Shepard was in relief of freshman Dani Bonnet who picked up her first collegiate start against Stanford and faced off against her second Pac-12 and top-15 ranked opponent in as many weeks. Bonnet lasted three innings and was charged with all five runs given up, only four earned, as the young freshman battled through the tough hitting Cardinal lineup to give up just five hits in the loss.
Offensively, the Tigers were held in check by the pitching tandem of Teagan Gerhart and Nyree White as the duo combined to give up just one hit, a flared single through the left side by senior Alexa Rivera in the fifth inning. Overall, Gerhart earned the win for the Cardinal as she went five complete innings while walking one and striking out two. In relief, White threw two innings and allowed just one Tiger to reach.
The Tigers will look to rebound from their loss to the Cardinal on Saturday, February 18, when they take on Bradley in the final game of tournament play before semifinal action begins. The two teams will be playing for to see which team will be deemed the home team in a semifinal matchup that should pit the two squads against one another once again later in the evening.