This Week in Pac-10 Softball
July 22, 2002
UCLA won its seventh Conference title (most in Pac-10 history). . . The Pac-10 sent seven teams to NCAA Regionals for the second consecutive season. The 2002 campaign was the fourth year in a row in which seven or more Conference squads competed in postseason play. Out of the seven teams, four Pac-10 squads advanced to the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City (ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA and UCLA). Arizona and California played in the National Championship Game (ninth time two Pac-10 teams have faced off in the final contest) with the Bears scoring six runs in the seventh inning to win 6-0 over the Wildcats and take home their first national title in school history. . . UCLA's Stacey Nuveman was named Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and third time in her career ('99, '01, '02). Nuveman was also honored as the inaugural USA Softball Collegiate Athlete of the Year. Arizona's Jennie Finch won Conference Pitcher of the Year and the Honda Award (National Player of the Year) for the second consecutive season. Arizona's Lovieanne Jung won Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, while her coach Mike Candrea took home Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. . . The Conference had 15 players earn All-America honors, including nine athletes receiving first-team recognition. . . There were 17 no-hitters thrown by seven different pitchers - four of which, were perfect games. . . 18 Pac-10 teams either won or went undefeated in the 24 preseason tournaments they competed in. . . Seven teams are ranked in the final 2002 USA Today/NFCA Poll. California finishes the season as the national champion and top-ranked team in the country, followed by No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 5 UCLA, No. 14 WASHINGTON, No. 15 STANFORD and No. 24 OREGON STATE.
2002 NCAA REGIONAL RESULTS
Thur., May 16#1 UCLA 3, #6 Liberty 0 (1)#1 ARIZONA 4, #6 Boston U. 1 (2)#2 ARIZONA STATE 4, #5 Mississippi State 1 (3)#2 STANFORD 7, #5 Pacific 0 (4)#3 CALIFORNIA 2, #4 Fresno State 1, 10 innings (4)#1 WASHINGTON 8, #6 Oakland 0 (5)#2 OREGON STATE 1, #5 Wisconsin 0 (6)
Fri., May 17#1 UCLA 10, #4 Eastern Kentucky 0 (1)#1 ARIZONA 4, #5 Penn State 3 (2)#3 CALIFORNIA 1, #2 STANFORD 0 (4)#1 WASHINGTON 4, #4 Central Michigan 1 (5)#2 OREGON STATE 2, #3 Notre Dame 0 (6)
Sat., May 18#1 UCLA 2, #2 Georgia 1, 8 innings (1)#1 ARIZONA 2, #2 DePaul 0, 11 innings (2)#2 ARIZONA STATE 1, #4 Massachusetts 0 (3)#2 ARIZONA STATE 3, #1 LSU 2, 8 innings (3)#3 CALIFORNIA 4, #1 CS Fullerton 2 (4)#1 CS Fullerton 4, #2 STANFORD 1, STAN elim. (4)#2 Michigan 6, #1 WASHINGTON 5 (5)#3 Ohio State 2, #1 WASHINGTON 1, WASH elim. (5)#1 Nebraska 7, #2 OREGON STATE (6)#3 Notre Dame 2, #2 OREGON STATE 0, OSU elim. (6)
Sun., May 19#3 South Carolina 2, #1 UCLA 1 (1)#1 UCLA 1, #3 South Carolina 0 (1)#2 DePaul 6, #1 ARIZONA 0 (2)#1 ARIZONA 8, #2 DePaul 0 (2)#2 ARIZONA STATE 4, #1 LSU 1 (3)#3 CALIFORNIA 1, #1 CS Fullerton 0 (4)
(1) Region 1 - Columbia, S.C.(2) Region 2 - Minneapolis, Minn.(3) Region 3 - Lafayette, La.(4) Region 4 - Fresno, Calif.(5) Region 6 - Ann Arbor, Mich.(6) Region 7 - Iowa City, Iowa
2002 NCAA WCWS RESULTS
Thur., May 23#8 Florida State 2, #1 UCLA 1, 9 innings#4 CALIFORNIA 4, #5 Oklahoma 2#3 ARIZONA STATE 2, #6 Michigan 1#2 ARIZONA 1, #7 Nebraska 0
Fri., May 24#4 CALIFORNIA 1, #8 Florida State 0
Sat., May 25#2 ARIZONA 1, #3 ARIZONA STATE 0, 8 innings#1 UCLA 2, #5 Oklahoma 0#3 ARIZONA STATE 2, #1 UCLA 1, UCLA elim.
Sun., May 26#4 CALIFORNIA 3, #3 ARIZONA STATE 0, ASU elim.#2 ARIZONA 6, #8 Florida State 2, 11 innings
Mon., May 27 (National Championship Game)#4 CALIFORNIA 6, #2 ARIZONA 0
USA TODAY/NFCA TOP 25 POLL (Final)
1. CALIFORNIA (27) 2. ARIZONA 3. ARIZONA STATE 4. Florida State 5. UCLA 6. Nebraska 7. Michigan 8. Oklahoma 9. LSU10. CS Fullerton11. DePaul12. South Carolina13. Ohio State14. WASHINGTON15. STANFORD16. Texas17. Fresno State18. Georgia Tech19. Notre Dame20. Pacific21. Texas A&M22. Georgia23. Massachusetts24. OREGON STATE25. Florida Atlantic
ARIZONA WILDCATS - With the loss in the final game, the Wildcats saw their seven-game winning streak in the WCWS end. . . The six runs given up by the Wildcats were more than Arizona gave up in its last five WCWS games combined (two runs). . . After breaking the NCAA record with 126 home runs in 2001, UA led the country with 93 in 2002, including 13 grand slams. . . The Wildcats have five Honda Award Winners all-time ('94 - Susie Parra, '96 - Jenny Dalton, '98 - Nancy Evans, '01 & '02 - Jennie Finch). Senior Jennie Finch finished her career as one of the most prolific pitchers in NCAA history. In 2002, Finch compiled a 34-6 record and an ERA of 0.97 in leading the 'Cats to a 55-12 record and the program's 15th appearance in the NCAA Women's College World Series. She established an NCAA record earlier in the year by winning her first 20 decisions to post a string of 60 consecutive victories spanning three seasons. Finsh also set the Arizona single-season strikeout record with 366 K's. For her career, Finch finished with a record of 199-16 and set UA records for career innings pitched (876.2) and strikeouts (1,028). . . Sophomore Leneah Manuma led the nation in home runs with 21.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS - Arizona State's 46 wins this season is a new school record for most victories in a single year. . . ASU made its fourth appearance at the WCWS. The Sun Devils earned two wins, which doubled their total to four victories in the Series all-time. . . During regional action, the Sun Devils led all tournament teams in batting average (.357), hits (41), doubles (5), ERA (0.48) and double plays turned (4). . . Arizona State finished 35-7 (.833) versus non-conference opponents, winning its last seven. Senior Erica Beach led the Pac-10 in appearances with 56 this season. Beach added a 1.27 ERA (seventh in Pac-10) with 201 strikeouts (seventh in Pac-10) and 33 victories (second in Pac-10). . . Sophomore Phelan Wright hit .405 (fourth in Pac-10), which ranks as the fifth highest single-season batting average in Sun Devil history. She is one of only six ASU players to exceed the .400 mark. . . Junior Kara Brun broke the school single-season record with 52 RBI (eighth in Pac-10).
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS - The Bears softball national championship was the first NCAA title for a Cal women's athletics program. . . The Bears' six-run margin of victory over Arizona was the second-largest in Women's College World Series championship game history (Arizona defeated UCLA, 10-2, in 1997). . . The Bears were the only team to beat Arizona three times this year (3-1). . . Cal set school records this season for wins (56), runs (302), walks (301) and putouts (1,533). . . Senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest, the WCWS most outstanding player, completed the Series with a 4-0 record, 0.50 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28.0 innings. Forest won all eight of her 2002 NCAA postseason appearances. She tossed her second one-hitter against the Wildcats this season in the championship game (April 21 was the other). . . In the title game, freshman Kaleo Eldredge committed the teams' first error in seven games, dating back to a 1-0 victory against Fresno State on May 16 in the opening round of the team's NCAA regional. It was only Eldredge's second of the year.
OREGON DUCKS - The Ducks finished the season on a high note, knocking off eighth-ranked Stanford on the road, 4-0 (May 11). Connie McMurren capped off her collegiate career with her 12th career shutout, which puts her fourth all-time at Oregon. In that game, McMurren held the Cardinal offense to just four hits over seven innings. She finished her career with 439 strikeouts all-time - second on the Duck list. Junior Lakeesha Eversley was the offensive catalyst going 2-for-2 in the win, adding two runs scored, one RBI and two walks. . . The Ducks put two players on the All-Conference squad. Junior Andrea Vidlund was named second-team All-Pac-10 and junior Alyssa Laux garnered honorable mention All-Conference honors. . . Both Laux and Vidlund finished the year with a .320 batting average. Vidlund led the team with nine home runs and 39 RBI. . . Sophomore Anissa Meashintubby posted a team-leading 2.41 ERA and 93 strikeouts this season.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS - By winning two games in its NCAA Regional, OSU clinched its fourth consecutive 40-win season. Since Pac-10 play began in 1987, Oregon State has been to the NCAA Tournament four times ('99, '00, '01, '02). . . Beaver pitchers gave up just 330 hits in 444.0 innings of work. . . Senior Crystal Draper ranks on the OSU all-time pitching list in several categories. Draper ranks second in wins (74), third in complete games (73), fourth in shutouts (26), second in innings pitched (854.1), tied for third in saves (5) and first in strikeouts (809). . . Senior Michelle Chariton finished her career with 31 career steals, just one from tying the all-time school record. . . Junior Brynnen Guthrie led the team with a .342 batting average, 66 hits, four home runs and 25 RBI. . . Sophomore Monica Hoffman led the pitching staff with a 1.42 ERA.
STANFORD CARDINAL - In five of the six years head coach John Rittman has been on 'The Farm,' the Cardinal have advanced to the NCAA Tournament. . . Stanford finished the season 17-17 versus ranked teams and 20-17 against teams in the NCAA's. . . The Cardinal were led by seniors Sarah Beeson and Jessica Mendoza. Beeeson led the team with a .376 batting average (fifth in Pac-10), while Mendoza followed close behind with a .367 mark (sixth in Pac-10). Mendoza finishes her Stanford career No. 1 in batting average (.416), hits (327), home runs (50), RBI (188) and stolen bases (86). . . Junior Tori Nyberg was the ace of the pitching staff with a 1.51 ERA (10th in Pac-10). She struck out 203 batters (sixth in Pac-10), while the opposition hit just .188 against her (seventh in Pac-10). . . Sophomore Jessica Allister threw out 18 of 33 runners and posted a .997 fielding percentage.
UCLA BRUIN - The Bruins finished the year leading the league in batting average (.336), hits (565), doubles (102), total bases (870), slugging percentage (.517), on-base percentage (.418), ERA (0.68), fewest earned runs allowed (41), fewest runs allowed (65) and opposing batting average (.130). . . Senior Stacey Nuveman led the nation in batting average (.529) and, with 20 home runs, was just one shy of the national crown this season. She also set the NCAA season record for slugging percentage (1.045). Nuveman set NCAA career records for home runs (90), slugging percentage (.945), and her career batting average of .466 sits atop the Pac-10 and UCLA record books. . . Senior Amanda Freed's 97 career victories is first all-time in UCLA history (seventh in the Pac-10). . . In 2002, sophomore Keira Goerl became the first player in Pac-10 history to record five Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. Goerl finished first in the Pac-10 and third in the country with an 0.48 ERA. Opposing batters hit just .108 against her. . . Junior Natasha Watley finished third in the NCAA with a .485 batting average. Watley also added 39 steals, running her career total to 123 (fourth all-time in Pac-10), just 26 away from breaking the Conference record. She is already the all-time leader in stolen bases in Bruin history and is the only woman in school history to reach the century mark in steals.
WASHINGTON HUSKIES - UW has made nine straight NCAA Regionals since its absence in 1993 (inaugural season for Husky softball). . . Washington's third-place finish in the Pac-10 is also the school's ninth straight, top-four finish in conference play after beginning with a seventh-place finish in the program's first season. . . Washington has earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Regionals six times in school history. This season was the only year in which the Huskies earned a top seed and did not move onto the WCWS. . . The Huskies broke a Pac-10 record with 12 saves. . . Junior Jamie Clark led the nation with 75 RBI. Clark also ranked at the top in many Conference categories. She hit .431 (third in Pac-10) with 59 runs scored (fourth in Pac-10), 84 hits (second in Pac-10), three triples (tied for fifth in Pac-10), 19 home runs (third in Pac-10), 161 total bases (second in Pac-10), .826 slugging percentage (second in Pac-10) and .504 on-base percentage (third in Pac-10). Sophomore Tia Bollinger's seven saves beat the previous single-season UW record of six by Jamie Graves in 1997 and also is a Pac-10 record. . . UW senior Becky Simpson broke the school single-season record for triples with her seventh of the season against Arizona (May 11) ... The Huskies 20 triples as a team is a school record and led the Conference. . . After starting with a 1-5 record in conference play, the UW rebounded with a 12-3 record over the rest of the Pac-10 schedule.
2002 NATIONAL/REGIONAL HONORS
HONDA AWARD WINNERJennie Finch, ARIZ
USA SOFTBALL COLLEGE ATHLETE OF THE YEARStacey Nuveman, UCLA
SPEEDLINE/NFCA DIVISION I COACHING STAFF OF THE YEARCalifornia:Head Coach - Diane NinemireAsst. Coaches - John Reeves, Kim MaherStudent Asst. - Pauline Duenas
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER/NFCA ALL-AMERICANSFirst TeamP - Jennie Finch, ARIZP - Keira Goerl, UCLAC - Stacey Nuveman, UCLA1B - Leneah Manuma, ARIZSS - Natasha Watley, UCLAOF - Jessica Mendoza, STANAt-Large (SS) - Jaime Clark, WASHAt-Large (UT) - Amanda Freed, UCLAAt-Large (3B) - Phelan Wright, ASU
Second TeamC - Kristen Rivera, WASHAt-Large (1B) - Sarah Beeson, STANAt-Large (P) - Jocelyn Forest, CAL
Third TeamDP - Claire Sua, UCLAAt-Large (3B) - Candace Harper, CALAt-Large (UT) - Nichole Thompson, ASU
NFCA ALL-PACIFIC REGIONFirst TeamP - Jennie Finch, ARIZP - Keira Goerl, UCLAC - Stacey Nuveman, UCLA1B - Leneah Manuma, ARIZ2B - Kira Ching, STAN3B - Phelan Wright, ASUSS - Natasha Watley, UCLAOF - Jessica Mendoza, STANOF - Rita Roach, WASHDP - Claire Sua, UCLAUT - Amanda Freed, UCLA
Second TeamP - Jocelyn Forest, CALP - Tia Bollinger, WASHC - Kristen Rivera, WASH1B - Sarah Beeson, STAN2B - Brynnen Guthrie, OSU3B - Candace Harper, CALSS - Jaime Clark, WASHOF - Michelle Chariton, OSUOF - Kaleo Eldredge, CALOF - Becky Simpson, WASHDP - Jenny Gladding, ARIZUT - Nichole Thompson, ASU
NCAA REGI0NAL ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORSRegion 1 - Columbia, S.C.Keira Goerl, UCLA (MOP)Amanda Freed, UCLATairia Mims, UCLAStacey Nuveman, UCLANatasha Watley, UCLA
Region 2 - Minnesota, Minn.Jennie Finch, ARIZJenny Gladding, ARIZMeghan Finnerty, ARIZCourtney Fossatti, ARIZMackenzie Vandergeest, ARIZ
Region 3 - Lafayette, La.Erica Beach, ASU (MOP)Kristin Farber, ASUJennifer Forner, ASUPhelan Wright, ASU
Region 4 - Fresno, Calif.Jocelyn Forest, CAL (MOP)Kira Ching, STANCandace Harper, CALVeronica Nelson, CALRobin Walker, STAN
Region 6 - Ann Arbor, Mich.Jaime Clark, WASHAmanda Oleson, WASHBecky Simpson, WASH
Region 7 - Iowa City, IowaCrystal Draper, OSUBrynnen Guthrie, OSU
NCAA WCWS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMJocelyn Forest, CAL (MOP)Erica Beach, ASUJackie Coburn, ARIZKristen Farber, ASUJennie Finch, ARIZKeira Goerl, UCLALeneah Manuma, ARIZVeronica Nelson, CALStacey Nuveman, UCLAChelsea Spencer, CALNatasha Watley, UCLA
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER/NFCA POW'sMar. 11 - Jessica Mendoza, STAN/Keira Goerl, UCLAMar. 18 - Phelan Wright, ASUApr. 8 - Erica Beach, ASUApr. 29 - Stacey Nuveman, UCLAMay 6 - Stacey Nuveman, UCLA
ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICASarah Beeson, STAN (First Team)Kara Brun, ASU (Second Team)