Tigers Knock Off No. 15 Stanford, 9-6, In A Rare Slugfest

#8 Taylor Petty - Photo by: Matt Hom
#8 Taylor Petty - Photo by: Matt Hom
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Stockton, Calif. - For the first time since 2005, the Pacific softball team took down the Stanford Cardinal as the Tigers knocked off their nemisis and No. 15 ranked Cardinal, 9-6, on Wed., April 24. The win for the Tigers improved their overall record to 28-22 and avenged an earlier season, 2-0, loss to Stanford as the Cardinal fell to 29-16 on the year.

Playing in their friendly home confines of Bill Simoni Field, the Tigers did what they could not do throughout the years against Stanford ace Tegan Gerhart, as Pacific roughed up the all-american en route to their biggest victory of the 2013 season. In five previous starts against Gerhart, Pacific had produced just 12 hits and one run, falling each time until Wednesday evening when the Tigers had finally had enough. 

In just the first inning of play, Pacific did more damage to the Cardinal then had been done in each of the last three seasons as the Tigers tagged Stanford for a pair of runs on one mighty swing of the bat. With junior Megan Foglesong aboard after a one-out single, junior Taylor Petty put Pacific on the board for the first time in the contest with a two-run shot just over the fence in left field to post the crooked number. The home run was the junior's team-best sixth of the season and her third in as many weeks.

Not to be outdone, the Cardinal one-upped the junior's two-run shot with a three-run home run in the top of the third as Stanford started a back-and-forth onslaught that was out of character for typical Tiger-Cardinal tilts. The home run came with one out in the third when Leah White turned on a 3-2 pitch and sent it sailing over the right field fence.

Trailing 3-2, the Tigers wasted no-time getting back what they had lost in the top half of the inning as Pacific responded for a single run in the bottom of the third to knot the game at 3-3. Senior Amy Moore delivered the RBI single for the Tigers in the inning with a two-out ground ball through the right-side that allowed senior Megan Hom to score from second. The hit would run Gerhart from the game temporarily as the senior regrouped in the dugout.

Back even, the Tigers took the lead for the second time in the game two innings later as they used four hits to notch three runs. Facing Kelsey Stevens, Hom kick started the inning with a slashed double down the left field line for her second hit of the game. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, the senior scored for the second time when senior Nikki Armagost pulled a pitch through the left side to break the tie. After Moore singled for the second-straight at bat, the Tigers picked up another two-bagger, this time from senior Megan Allen, to score the fifth run of the game while a wild pitch allowed Moore to score two pitches later and make it 6-3.

Up three, the Tigers saw their lead vanish once again in the blink of an eye as the Cardinal blasted their second three-run home run of the evening in the top of the sixth inning to square the game at 6-6. Just as they did three innings prior, the Cardinal struck for a quick three runs with just one out in the inning when Erin Ashby launched a 3-2 pitch off the scoreboard in left-center field.

Despite seeing their lead erased with one swing of the bat, the Tigers would not be denied, matching the Cardinal with three in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for the third and final time. Spurred by the bottom of the lineup, the Tigers' heart of the order delivered when Foglesong and Armagost posted back-to-back RBI knocks. Foglesong's double plated sophomore Alexi Johnson from second after she had walked to start the inning while Armagost's two-RBI single down the left field line scored both freshman Sarah Anderson and Foglesong.

For the Tigers, the runs came against both Stevens and Gerhart as Stevens walked Johnson before Gerhart reentered the game, only to give up three hits and all three runs in the inning including the Stevens' inherited runner that cost the freshman the game.

In the circle, Armagost (12-5) picked up her first career win against the Cardinal in four tries as the senior, despite not having her best stuff, was crafty enough to get the outs when needed. In total, Armagost gave up nine hits and a season-high six runs in the win, but was able to rely on strong defensive play behind her to take down the Cardinal. For Stevens (11-7), the freshman took the loss after going 2.1 innings of middle relief while giving up four hits and four runs. Gerhart pitched 3.2 innings while giving up eight hits and five runs in the no-decision.

The Tigers have the weekend off due to a bye in Big West play but return to the field on Friday, May 3, with a doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton. The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm from Anderson Family Field.