Huskies win!

Kristen Rivera hit two home runs and had five runs batted in to power #10 Washington to an 11-3 five inning victory over #3 Stanford in the first of a two game Pac-10 series at Husky Softball Stadium.

After managing only three runs in three games in Arizona and a run and a hit against California on Friday, the Huskies scored early and often and gave starting pitcher Tia Bollinger a cushion after she struggled with her control in the first inning.

Bollinger walked Stanford's first two batters, Robin Walker and Jessica Mendoza to lead off the game. After Sarah Beeson grounded into a force play at second and Kira Ching grounded out to third baseman Kathy Fiske, Jessica Allister gave the Cardinal a 2-0 lead when she hit a flare that dropped between Steph Nicholson, Rita Roach and Courtney Jeffries in shallow right center field for a single, scoring Walker and Beeson.

The Huskies answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning against Stanford starter Maureen LeCocq. Becky Simpson reached on an error by Beeson, Rita Roach singled to center, and Jaime Clark singled to left to score Simpson. Rivera flied out to left field, Roach and Clark executed a double steal, and then Amanda Oleson hit a line drive over the head of center fielder Mendoza to score both runners and give Washington a 3-2 lead. Kathy Fiske made it 4-2 when she singled to score Oleson.

Bollinger retired the Cardinal in order in the second, and the Huskies continued the barrage against reliever Tori Nyberg with three more runs to increase their lead to 7-2. Nicholson walked, Roach reached on an infield single, and Rivera lined a one ball pitch over the wall in left field for her 11th long ball of the season.

After Stanford scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 7-3, Washington continued to hit Nyberg hard, scoring three more runs in the bottom of the frame. Simpson led off with an infield single and scored on a triple to the wall in right center field by Clark. Rivera then stepped to the plate, and, on the 11th pitch of her at-bat, hit a towering fly ball deep to left for a two run home run and her 12th of the season.

The Huskies scored one more run in the bottom of the fifth and sent a crowd of 744 home early when Jeffries doubled and scored on Simpson's second single of the game.

In the pitcher's circle, Bollinger overcame her early control problems and pitched all five innings for her seventh complete game of the season and improved her record to 15-7. She allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits and four walks while striking out four. LeCocq lasted only one inning in the circle for Stanford, allowing four runs on four hits to suffer the loss and drop to 13-4.

With the victory, Washington snapped a four game losing streak and improved to 2-5 in the Pac-10 and 33-13 overall, while Stanford fell to 4-4 in the conference and 33-7 overall. Washington and Stanford complete the two game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

NOTES: With her two home runs in the game, Rivera equalled her single game high, set on March 24,2002 against Santa Clara.

After setting the season high for most runs by a UCLA opponent with 9 in a 9-6 victory over the #2 Bruins on Saturday, March 30, the Huskies set a season high for runs scored by a Stanford opponent in 2002, with 11. California had the previous high with 7, set in a victory over the Cardinal on March 30.

With the win on Saturday, the Huskies also improved their record in the all-time series against Stanford to 26-6.

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