Bob Drebin /

Back to the Desert

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STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford travels to No. 8 Arizona State for its final regular season road games, May 4-6. Last season, Arizona State swept the season series at Stanford. The Cardinal's most recent victory over the Sun Devils (4-2; 9) came on May 3, 2015 at Smith Family Stadium. Stanford's last series victory against ASU was in 2009. 

Sophomore Teaghan Cowles already ranks second all-time at Stanford with six triples this season—the most in a year since Cassandra Roulund had six in 2013. Cowles is two away from the single-season school record (8) set by Ashley Hansen in 2012. Hansen also holds the program's career record with 18. Cowles has racked up 10 triples in her first two years on The Farm—fourth-most all-time and one away from matching Roulund for third.

Freshman Maddy Dwyer has been impressive in the circle as Stanford's primary starter. Through 20 starts, Dwyer has posted a 12-8 record with an ERA of 2.10. In 123.1 innings pitched, Dwyer has allowed 95 hits while striking out 80. She was at her best in nonconference play, registering seven complete games and four shutouts. Dwyer has also converted in three saves in relief. 

After the first weekend of conference play, Stanford had already exceeded its win total from 2017, when the Cardinal finished 19-32. Stanford has reached the 20-win mark for the first time since a 30-25 campaign in 2014, which also represents the program's most recent winning season. Among Stanford's highlights is a six-game winning streak in March, the Cardinal's longest since a 13-game unbeaten stretch to open 2014, and a 4-1 win over then-No. 3 UCLA on the road.

Stanford's offense is getting a serious boost from its success on the basepaths, ranking third in the Pac-12 with 54 stolen bases in 64 attempts. In fact, the Cardinal's 54 steals are more than the entire production from the last three seasons combined (8-10 in 2017, 4-5 in 2016 and 22-26 in 2015 for a total of 34 steals in 41 tries). The running game has been anchored by sophomore Teaghan Cowles, who is perfect in 18 attempts and is third in the conference. Sophomore Alyssa Horeczko is 12-16, giving Stanford two players with at least 10 steals for the first time since 2014. Cowles is also pacing the Cardinal offensively, leading the squad in runs (29), hits (55) and triples (6).

Stanford's 17 triples as a team is tied for the third-best output in a single season in program history, while the Cardinal's .973 fielding percentage matches the fifth-best mark in a single season. Stanford's 54 stolen bases is just one outside of the school's top 10 list. Individually, sophomore Teaghan Cowles's 18 stolen bases and senior Arden Pettit's .995 fielding percentage are both tied for the ninth-best marks in a single season in program history.

Jessica Allister enters her first season at the helm after being named the Cardinal's fourth head coach on July 18, 2017. Allister arrived on The Farm after serving as the head coach at Minnesota for seven seasons, compiling a 290-107 (.730) overall record. Allister led the Gophers to unprecedented heights in 2017, registering a program-best 56-5 record and earning the first No. 1 national ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll in program history. A second-team All-American in 2004 and three-time all-conference selection, Allister helped guide the Cardinal to four NCAA Women's College World Series appearances in 2001 and 2004. A four-year starting catcher, Allister holds the school record for most games played (266) and graduated among the top-10 in numerous career categories.

Head coach Jessica Allister recently registered her 300th career win against Santa Clara on Feb. 25. Now in her eighth season as a head coach, Allister holds a 313-133 (.702) career record.