STANFORD, Calif. – Taylor Gindlesperger’s RBI double in the sixth inning plated Kaitlyn Lim, accounting for the scoring in No. 9 Stanford’s 1-0 win over Long Beach State on Friday night to open NCAA Regional play.
Alana Vawter did the rest in the circle, allowing only three hits without a walk while striking out seven in her fourth shutout of the season.
Hosting its first regional at Smith Family Stadium in 12 years and backed by an enthusiastic sold-out crowd, Stanford (41-13) relied on a familiar recipe of pitching and defense to begin its NCAA run.
The contest remained scoreless through five innings, with Vawter and Long Beach State starter Shannon Haddad trading zeroes. Vawter came up with key strikeouts when she needed them while Haddad was economical throwing only 66 pitches.
Lim produced two of Stanford’s three hits, singling and stealing second in the third before delivering another single with one out in the sixth.
After River Mahler popped up a bunt for the second out, Gindlesperger laced her team-leading 15th double to center and Lim raced home easily from first.
Vawter worked around a one-out base hit in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Stanford advances in the winner’s bracket and will face Florida, a 3-2 winner over Loyola Marymount, on Saturday, May 20, at 2 p.m. (ESPN+) in the first of three scheduled games.