After opening the 2020 season at the GCU Kickoff tournament in Arizona last weekend, Stanford softball (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) now prepares for its first home game of the year: a Thursday doubleheader versus Seattle (0-5, 0-0 WAC). The first game of the evening is set for 4 p.m. PT and commences a 15-game home stand for the Cardinal.
Now in its third year under the direction of head coach Jessica Allister, Stanford earned the sixth-place slot in the Pac-12 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll. Allister was named the 2019 Pac-12 Coach of the Year following the team’s first winning season since 2014; Stanford ended the year with a 33-20 overall record and eight wins in Pac-12 play — one more than the four previous years combined.
In 2019, five members were selected for All-Conference or All-Freshman teams; Carolyn Lee ’19, Teaghan Cowles ’20, Kristina Inouye ’20 and Emily Young ’22 earned spots on the former, while Young and classmate Emily Schultz were placed on the latter.
Of the five, only Lee was no longer on the Cardinal roster when the team took on Grand Canyon, New Mexico and Weber State in the four-day season-opening weekend tournament.
A fresh face proved to be a new weapon for Stanford as freshman pitcher Tatum Boyd threw a 70-pitch, three-hit shutout against GCU on Friday before returning to the mound and tallying five strikeouts against Weber State the following day.
Only New Mexico was able to top the Cardinal, and did so on Saturday in a 2-0 decision with the help of a complete-game pitching effort by freshman Brianna Sanchez. Stanford split the series with New Mexico having defeated the Lobos 7-6 the previous day.
While the Cardinal were working towards a successful 5-1 weekend in Arizona, Seattle was struggling to find its footing in the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State.
The Redhawks dropped five games in a row, including three to ranked opponents, en route to a 0-5 start to the season. Record aside, however, Seattle hardly went down without a fight and lost by just one run to both No. 14 Northwestern and No. 5 Arizona. In the same preseason poll that marked the Cardinal as No. 6 in the conference, the Wildcats earned the No. 2 slot.
In a quick turnaround following Thursday night’s action, Stanford will then host Hofstra and Drake for the three-day Stanford Invitational from Friday through Sunday. All games, including the doubleheader versus Seattle, are held at the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.