UCLA Opens Season At No. 1
Jan. 31, 2001
For the second consecutive year, the Bruins hold down the top spot in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Preseason poll, and will start the season with six tournament games away from home. The 2001 Bruins depart on Friday for the Spartan Early Bird Classic in San Jose, where they will face Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and host San Jose State.UCLA leads the all-time series against all three teams with a 6-0 record against tournament host SJSU, a 9-3 record against Cal Poly and a 28-9 mark against the Matadors. The Bruins will see Cal Poly again on March 9 at the Hedrick's Hallowell
Chevrolet Classic in Fresno, CA, and will play a doubleheader at Northridge on April 4.
Schedule Changes Abound
The Bruins 2001 schedule has undergone numerous changes since the poster and schedule cards went to press, and changes to UCLA's schedule have been made as recently as last week.The following is a rundown of the changes to UCLA's schedule:
- UCLA's Alumni Game has appeared on schedules for two different dates in January. It is now scheduled for March 24.
- Two games were added to UCLA's first tournament, the Early Bird Classic in San Josï¿½.
- Game time for this Sunday's game vs. SJSU has been changed to 12:30 pm.
- The Feb. 10 doubleheader against San Diego was originally scheduled as an away game. It has been moved to UCLA's Easton Stadium, and is still a 1 pm first pitch.
- UCLA's doubleheader at Southwest Texas State has been moved from Thurs., Feb. 22, to Mon. Feb. 26, but is still a 1 pm start.
Head Coach Sue Enquist
The 2001 season marks Sue Enquist's 13th campaign as head coach of the Bruin softball program. It is her 22nd year as part of UCLA's softball coaching staff and her 26th year of involvement with the program as either a coach or player. Enquist enters the 2001 season with a 579-115-1 (.834) coaching record, and has 1,006 wins in her Bruin softball career as a player, assistant coach and head coach, combined. As a player from 1975-78, Enquist became UCLA's first All-American while establishing the Bruin career batting average record of .401. She is still the only UCLA player to complete her career with a batting average over .400.
Bruin Lineup Up for Grabs
UCLA returns five of eight position players and all three pitchers from last season's NCAA Runner-Up team, including sophomore All-American shortstop Natasha Watley. With the return of 2000 U.S. Olympian Stacey Nuveman to the roster, the Bruins have six former starters returning for 2001, in addition to Courtney Dale, Amanda Freed and Stephanie Swenson in the circle. With the exception of Watley's position, every spot on the diamond is up for grabs during early season play. Dale's return to the circle will depend on her recovery from off-season surgery, which seems to be progressing well.