The match-up with Stanford is the Gaels’ only game this week as SMC has this weekend off from West Coast Conference action.
The Gaels enter the week, two-games behind WCC leader Brigham Young. BYU leads the WCC with a 6-2 WCC record and faces Pacific (8-4, WCC) this weekend. Pacific can win the WCC title this weekend by sweeping BYU. If the Cougars win at least one game, the Gaels will have a shot as the final WCC series of the year takes place in Provo on May 9-10.
Saint Mary’s is 22-22 overall and swept Santa Clara this past weekend, limiting SCU to just one run in three games. It has been no secret that the Gaels feature the best overall pitching staff in the WCC, as the Gaels have a league-best 2.27 team ERA.
Lujane Mussadi has been SMC’s top pitcher, going 13-11 with a 2.08 ERA. Sarah Lira is 7-7 with a 2.21 ERA and Katie Moss is 2-4 with a 3.08 ERA and four saves. Moss is the reigning WCC Pitcher of the Week after earning two saves and a win in her first WCC start of the year. Moss went the complete game in her start, striking out a career-high 11. She has a 0.62 ERA in WCC action and a team-high 57 strikeouts despite only pitching 52.1 innings this year.
Andrea Hazel leads the SMC offense with a .346 average, six home runs and 74 total bases. Cassidy Szeredy is hitting .282 with a team-high 20 walks and Erica Musgrave is hitting .279 with 17 walks and 11 sacrifices.
Last year the Gaels upset the No. 15 Cardinal 5-2 at Smith Family Stadium on the Stanford campus. Brittany Sabatini and Hazel both hit home runs, while Mussadi earned the win in relief, tossing four scoreless frames.
Stanford started out the year 13-0 and was ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation. Stanford has struggled in PAC-12 play this season, winning three of 18 conference games.