DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Freshman NiJaree Canady struck out nine in her 16th win of the season and No. 9 seed Stanford beat eighth-seeded Duke 3-1 on Friday to begin the Durham Super Regional.
Stanford (44-13) earned its first win in the super regionals since defeating Alabama in 2011. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for Saturday.
Stanford’s first hit came with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Kaitlyn Lim sent it into the gap for a two-run double, scoring runners from first and second, to take a 2-1 lead. It was Stanford’s 70th double of the season.
Aly Kaneshiro delivered an RBI double with two outs in the sixth for a two-run lead. Aminah Vega made a diving attempt, but the ball bounced off her glove and rolled into the outfield.
Duke's run in the first was only the eighth earned run allowed all season by Canady, the national leader in ERA (0.46).
Claire Davidson hit her team-leading 15th double of the season off the wall in the seventh for Duke (48-11). But Canady got back-to-back strikeouts, followed by a grounder to end it.
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