May 21, 2006
Stanford 9-3, Fresno State 3-0 Stanford wins NCAA Region IV, advances to play Alabama in NCAA Super Regional
NOTES Stanford (42-16) advances to the NCAA Super Regional, where it will face Alabama in a best-of-three series to be played starting Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Fresno State reached the NCAA Regional championship game last season, only to be defeated twice on the final day of competition by California.
Prior to today, Fresno State had not been shutout since Mar. 4 against No. 23 Oregon (5-0).
Robin Mackin recorded five strikeouts in Sunday's second game, improving her single-season total to 402. That total represents a Fresno State and WAC single-season record.
The first game of the day featured a combined 20 hits and five walks. In the second game, Mackin and Severson combined to allow just eight total hits and neither pitcher walked a batter.
Robin Mackin suffered losses in back-to-back starts for the first time since Feb. 26 (9-4 vs. Cal Poly) and Mar. 3 (2-1 vs. Loyola Marymount).
Christina Clark, three-time WAC Player of the Year and two-time All-American, flew out to left field in her final collegiate at-bat. In her final day at Bulldog Diamond, she was a combined 1-6 at the plate with the one hit being a home run to lead off the first game.
When Merryann Barr made a relief appearance in the first game, it signaled the first time a Fresno State pitcher other than Robin Mackin took the mound.
Fresno State closed out the year hitting .298 as a team while holding its opponents to a .195 average.
Stanford went 4-1 in tournament competition, improving its road/neutral record to a combined 20-14.
Mackin recorded a tournament-best 15 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched while Haley Perkins led in doubles with four. Daisy Gaynor led Fresno State with a .455 (5-11) batting average.
Stanford Head Coach John Rittman on the Cardinal advancing to Super Regionals
"I'd like to say how proud I am of our team. It is not easy to come back through the losers' bracket like this against a very tough Fresno State team. I am very proud of them, especially our seniors. They never give up. They never let anyone get down. There was just never any doubt. I attribute that to our leadership. I am very proud of how our team played today."
Stanford Head Coach John Rittman on seven Pac-10 teams advancing to Super Regionals...
"It is a very tough conference. It is such a grind mentally not only for a coach, but for the players as well. If you do not bring your `A' game every weekend you are going to get beat, plain and simple. And it does prepare you for postseason. I think our freshmen found that out this year. Everyone who has been through it once understands it. You just can't get down on yourself, and I think that it is a big reason why we were able to come back today."
Stanford shortstop Lauren Lappin on winning beating Fresno State 9-3 in the first game...
"I think we were aggressive early in the count. Her rise ball is less effective when you jump on her early in the count, as any pitcher's rise ball is less effective. So we laid off the rise ball and got some good pitches to hit. We were able to stay back and drive some balls in the gap. We had a good approach and had nothing to lose today. We were very aggressive both offensively and defensively."
Fresno State Head Coach Margie Wright on facing Stanford in the final two games...
"You are playing against a team that has been in the top 10 all year. They've been to the World Series. They know what it feels like. We had a very young team. I am not going to make any excuses because they kept fighting, and our team had a very good year. We ran out of time. I don't know any other way to put it. The timely hits just didn't happen today. It is a game of momentum and you just try to do what you can."
Fresno State Head Coach Margie Wright on getting past regionals...
"If we ever get past it, we will get past it every year. It is just a matter of getting past it. We have been there. We have been here a long time. We have been regional champions 10 times of the 21 years. So we know how to get there. It is just a matter of the athletes feeling it. We don't have anyone on this team who has been to Super Regionals, and that's tough."
Fresno State shortstop Christina Clark the tough two game series with Stanford...
"It is definitely frustrating. It could have gone either way. Coach has said many times that it is a game of inches, and it didn't fall our way."
Fresno State pitcher Robin Mackin on the 9-3 loss to Stanford...
"I obviously didn't come out with the edge that I needed. They were going to come in with a different game, and I guess I needed to bring it up a bit. Once they had that momentum, they had that pumping. I probably needed to come out with a little different attitude."