Bruins Back In Action
Feb. 13, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The Bruins have seven games scheduled this week, opening with a doubleheader against No. 22 Long Beach State at Easton Stadium on Wednesday, then heading to Las Vegas for five games at the UNLV Classic. The Bruins hold a 52-6 all-time record against LBSU, including a win in last season's NCAA Regional at UCLA. Against UNLV Classic opponents, the Bruins are 5-0 against Kansas, 1-0 against Portland State, 6-1 against Nebraska and 2-0 against Florida International. The softball Bruins have never played Wisconsin.
Bruins Sweep Cal State Fullerton, San Diego
The Bruins outscored their opponents by a 39-3 margin last week, posting doubleheader sweeps of No. 14 Cal State Fullerton (6-0, 18-3/5 inn) and San Diego (8-0/6 inn, 7-0). Junior Amanda Freed has not allowed a run during the 2001 season, striking out 21 and walking two in 24 innings.
On Wednesday, UCLA helped the Titans open their brand-new Titan Softball Complex, and accumulated most of the offensive 'firsts' associated with the event. Freed led off the top of the first in game one with a triple to right field. In game two, Stacey Nuveman hit the first home run in stadium history, fisting a home run over the left field fence. In the fourth inning, she put another ball over the right field fence, upping her career home run total to 54, and passing Nebraska's Ali Viola for fifth on the NCAA's all-time career list for Division I.
Saturday saw the team's home opener at Easton Stadium, a doubleheader against San Diego. After a Natasha Watley single and walks to Nuveman and senior Courtney Dale loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning, freshman Claire Sua made the most of her opportunity, crushing a grand slam home run that cleared the flagpole in straight-away centerfield. The Bruins added two more round-trippers in the six-inning run-rule win, as Dale hit her first home run of the year in the third inning and sophomore Tairia Mims hit her second home run of the year, a two-run shot in the fifth inning.
Four of UCLA's five pitchers saw action on Saturday, as Freed and Dale pitched in game one, and Stephanie Swenson and Keira Goerl combined for the shutout win in Game 2. UCLA's fifth pitcher, freshman Marcel Torres, warmed up in the bullpen during Game 2, but entered the game defensively at third base, replacing Stacey Nuveman.
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 has a 588-115-1 (.836) coaching record and 1,015 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.
She's Baaack!: Nuveman Moves Up NCAA Career HRs List
With one home run at the Spartan Early Bird Tournament and two more in the second game of a doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 7, Bruin slugger Stacey Nuveman currently has 54 career home runs, moving her into fifth place on the NCAA's all-time list. Nuveman needs four home runs to tie Akron's Kelli Metzger (57 HR, 1996-99) for fourth place, and the best career home run total of any non-Arizona player.
Worth noting is that Nuveman has accumulated her 53 HRs in just 139 games played. Nebraska's Ali Viola (53 HR, 1995-98) played in 209 games during her career, while Metzger had 206 career games played. The top-three players on the NCAA's all-time list all played for the Arizona Wildcats: Leah Braatz (1994-95, 97-98, 85 HR, 271 GP), Laura Espinoza (1992-95, 85 HR, 241 GP) and Jenny Dalton (1993-96, 76 HR, 251 GP).
Nuveman returns to the Bruins in 2001 after missing the 2000 collegiate season in order to play for the U.S. Olympic Team. Despite the fact that she is in her fifth year as a Bruin, Nuveman has remaining collegiate eligibility for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and is considered an athletic junior in 2001.Offensive Explosions
Four Bruin starters currently own season batting averages of .400 or above: Nuveman (.522), freshman Stephanie Ramos (.440), sophomore Natasha Watley (.438) and freshman Claire Sua (.407). The Bruins have scored 82 runs while allowing just five. UCLA's offensive power is evident in the team pitching stats, as UCLA has a team ERA of 0.64while the Bruins have hit their opponents into a 9.50 team ERA.
Five of UCLA's nine victories to date have not required a full seven innings of play, including five-inning mercy rule wins against San Josï¿½ State (8-0), Cal State Northridge (13-0, Feb. 3) and at No. 14 Cal State Fullerton (18-3, G2, Feb. 7).
Elementary, My Dear Watley!
Even the masterful detective Sherlock Holmes wouldn't be able to stop Bruin sophomore All-American shortstop Natasha Watley, who has become the most prolific base stealer in UCLA history after just one season. Watley's record-setting freshman campaign included team highs of a .426 batting average and stealing 32 bases on 37 attempts. In addition to setting a new Bruin single-season record for stolen bases and taking over the UCLA career lead in that category, Watley set an NCAA Division I postseason record with four steals against Canisius in UCLA's postseason opener on May 18, 2000. So far this season, Watley has seven swipes on eight tries.
Sophomore Tairia Mims is on the field and producing good offensive numbers from the No. 3 spot in the lineup, but you never know where you'll find her on the field defensively. Mims has started four games at first base, three in right field and two games behind the plate. UCLA's starting first baseman a year ago, Mims will eventually add a fourth position to her repertoire, appearing at third base. A catcher and third baseman in high school, Mims has learned first base and right field since coming to UCLA, making her one of Sue Enquist's most versatile athletes defensively. On offense, Mims currently has a .357 average, going 10-for-28 with two doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI, nine runs scored and five walks, in addition to being hit by a pitch twice on the season for a .486 on-base percentage and a .643 sluggiong percentage.
Dale Returns to Lineup
After an injury-plagued 2000 season, Bruin senior Courtney Dale returned to the lineup on Feb. 7 at Cal State Fullerton, going 3-for-8 with four RBI, a double and a run scored in the doubleheader against the Titans. She made her first appearance in the pitching circle on Feb. 10 against San Diego, pitching one shutout inning and facing three batters. Dale did not travel with the team to its season-opening tournament in San Josï¿½ because of a week-long battle with the flu.
Two freshmen, Stephanie Ramos and Claire Sua, have jumped right in to the Bruin starting lineup, and both are making significant contributions. Both are hitting over .400, as Ramos checks in with a .455 average, going 11-for-25 with two doubles, three RBI and eight runs scored. Defensively, she has started every game in either left field or center field and has five putouts and an assist. Sua is hitting .407 through nine games, going 11-for-27 with two home runs-- including a grand slam on Feb. 10 vs. San Diego-- 11 RBI and three runs scored. Sua entered the lineup as the designated player in UCLA's first five games (at the Early Bird Classic) before making her defensive debut at first base in the doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 7.
Baserunning specialists Amanda Simpson and Julie Hoshizaki have both seen game action, with Simpson stealing one base on as many attempts with two runs scored. She has appeared as a pinch runner in all nine of UCLA's games. Hoshizaki has pinch-run in eight games with four runs scored. Marcel Torres earned a single in her first collegiate at-bat, entering the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of the Cal State Fullerton doubleheader. She went 1-for-1 with an RBI against San Diego, and made her defensive debut at third base.
Pitcher Keira Goerl has pitched in three of UCLA's games and has a 1.50 ERA with eight strikeouts in 14 innings pitched. Batters are hitting .160 against Goerl through Feb. 10.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