Top-Ranked Bruins Open Season With 9-0 Win Over LMU

Jan. 31, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The top-ranked UCLA softball team opened its 2003 season on Friday afternoon at Easton Stadium, defeating Loyola Marymount, 9-0, in five innings. Because the first two games of the day between No. 22 Alabama and No. 10 Cal State Fullerton both lasted more than two hours, the Bruins and Lions were unable to complete the second game of their scheduled doubleheader. The game will not be resumed or rescheduled.

UCLA junior pitcher Keira Goerl posted two of her six strikeouts in the first inning, and the Bruins began to score runs in the bottom of the second when they batted around, scoring five runs. It was a two-out rally, started by Michelle Turner's single, followed by a single from Caitlin Benyi and a walk drawn by Amanda Simpson to load the bases for Natasha Watley, who hit a two-run single to right field. Watley and Simpson both came around to score when second baseman Monique Mejia hit the right field wall for a two-run double. Stephanie Ramos completed the rally with an RBI single to right.

UCLA completed its scoring in the fifth inning when Tairia Mims hit the left field wall for a one-out double, and scored on a double to right field hit by Emily Zaplatosch. Following a walk to Andrea Duran, Benyi ended the game with a towering home run, her first of the season, that hit high on the Easton Stadium scoreboard in left field. The home run gave the Bruins a 9-0 lead and ended the game on the mercy rule.

Game two of the UCLA-LMU doubleheader started with a four-run top of the first inning for UCLA. Freshman Michelle Turner held the Lions hitless and scoreless in the bottom of the frame in her first pitching appearance as a Bruin. However, the game was called due to darkness at the conclusion of the first inning.

In earlier action of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, Alabama and Cal State Fullerton split their doubleheader with Fullerton winning the first game 4-3, and the Crimson Tide taking the nightcap 4-1. The first game took 2 hours and 47 minutes to complete, while the second game was a 2 hour, 16 minute contest, forcing UCLA and Loyola Marymount to start their doubleheader nearly 90 minutes behind schedule.

The Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament resumes on Saturday morning. Games are scheduled as follows:

8 am: Alabama vs. Cal State Northridge
10:30 am: UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton
1:00 pm: UCLA vs. Alabama
3:30 pm: Cal State Fullerton vs. Loyola Marymount

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