UCLA Softball Prepares For WCWS
May 20, 2003
The Bruins will begin their 2003 Women's College World Series schedule on Thursday evening with a 9 pm CT first pitch against Pac-10 rival California. UCLA is the second-seeded team at the WCWS. For the third straight year, the Pac-10 has four of the eight teams competing in the WCWS. 2003 marks the 19th Women's College World Series appearance for the Bruins, and UCLA holds an all-time NCAA postseason record of 123-27 (.820) and an all-time NCAA WCWS record of 69-22 entering this year's tournament. The Bruins have won eight NCAA titles, most recently in 1999.
Bruins Win NCAA Regional 2, Advance to 19th WCWS
NCAA Regional play started for the Bruins on May 15 with a combined perfect game thrown by Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Keira Goerl, and the just-named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, Michelle Turner, against eighth-seeded Colgate. After pounding out 14 hits against the Red Raiders, UCLA moved on to defeat host Fresno State by a score of 3-0, before rallying to overcome two unearned runs in a 6-2 win over Michigan State, a game highlighted by solo home runs from Emily Zaplatosch and Claire Sua and a two-run game-winner by Tairia Mims. Zaplatosch also added a two-run double in the win. Championship Sunday saw Goerl pitch six one-hit innings as UCLA again defeated the Spartans by a 5-0 margin. Stephanie Ramos hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, and the Bruins never looked back. Six Bruins were named to the NCAA Regional 2 All-tournament team, including Toria Auelua, Mims, Ramos, Sua, Natasha Watley and Most Oustanding Player Keira Goerl.
UCLA vs. Women's College World Series Qualifiers
No. 1 Seed Arizona-
The Wildcats swept the Pac-10 series with the Bruins this year, with wins at UCLA's Easton Stadium on April 4 and 5, and a 7-5 win over the Bruins on the final weekend of the regular season. UCLA has a 52-45 all-time record against the Wildcats. The last time the teams met at the WCWS was in the 2001 NCAA Championship Game, a 1-0 victory by Arizona.
No. 3 Seed Texas -
UCLA and Texas last met at the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Phoenix, AZ, on Feb. 9, 2002. The Bruins won the game 14-0 in five innings, with UT pitcher Cat Osterman taking the loss. The Bruins hold a 4-0 all-time record against the Longhorns. The two teams have never faced each other at the WCWS.
No. 4 Seed Oklahoma -
The Bruins and Sooners last met at the 2002 WCWS, as UCLA eliminated Oklahoma from WCWS play on May 25. UCLA holds a 5-1 all-time record against Oklahoma, with OU's lone victory coming in the 2000 NCAA Championship game.
No. 5 Seed Washington -
UCLA swept the season series with the Huskies with a 5-2 come-from-behind win at UCLA's Easton Stadium on April 18, a 10-0 six-inning win on April 19, and an 11-0 seven-inning win in Seattle on April 30, a game in which Natasha Watley went 4-for-5 with two home runs. The Bruins hold a 32-13 all-time record against the Huskies, and last played at the WCWS in 2000, when fourth-seeded UCLA defeated top-seeded Washington 3-2, in a game that was delayed overnight because of weather conditions in OKC.
No. 6 Seed Louisiana-Lafayette -
The Bruins have never played Louisiana-Lafayette.
No. 7 Seed California -
UCLA swept the season series against the Golden Bears with game scores of 3-0 and 4-1 in Berkeley (Mar. 29-30), and a 10-0 five-inning Bruin win in Westwood on April 25. UCLA holds an all-time record of 62-13 against Cal. UCLA and Cal last met at the WCWS on May 23, 1992, a 10-0 UCLA win as the Lisa Fernandez-led Bruins went on to win their seventh NCAA Championship.
No. 8 Seed Alabama-
The Crimson Tide traveled to Los Angeles for the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament in February, with the Bruins defeating the Tide by a score of 5-4. UCLA holds a 5-0 all-time record against Alabama, and the teams met in the first round of the 2000 WCWS with UCLA winning 4-1.
Keira Goerl, One-Hit Wonder
If you're looking for someone to pitch a one-hitter, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Keira Goerl is who you want in the circle. Although the junior pitcher did complete her first no-hitter of the season on Mar. 28 at Stanford, Goerl has turned in 13 one-hit performances, with 12 coming in her first 20 decisions of the season. Goerl earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on Feb. 25 for her performance at the FAU Worth Invitational, when she posted a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, striking out 26 batters and holding opposing batters to a .050 batting average. Each of Goerl's three appearances were one-hitters. She then earned ESPN.com/USA Softball National Player of the Week and Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on April 1 for her performances against Cal State Fullerton, Stanford and California. Goerl pitched her first no-hitter of the season and struck out 25 during her 22.1 innings in the circle en route to a 3-0 record. Goerl's opponents hit just .123 against her, including a .106 mark in Pac-10 play. She tallied a 0.31 ERA for the week. She was also named the Co-Pitcher of the Week on May 5, after posting a 0.00 ERA and 2-0 record against Washington and Oregon State, pitching her 13th one-hitter of the year against Washington and striking out 12 Oregon State batters in the softball game completed on May 4.
The Mar. 30 game at Cal saw an impressive streak end for Goerl when she allowed an earned run to the Golden Bears in the bottom of the seventh inning, snapping a streak of 98 innings without having allowed an earned run. Her season totals now include 298 strikeouts through 263.2 innings in the circle for an average of 7.9 strikeouts per seven-inning game. She has a record of 35-6 with a 0.64 ERA, and ranks third in UCLA history with 775 career strikeouts (needs nine to tie Lisa Fernandez for second). With her May 4 win over Oregon State, she earned her 90th career win. She is currently third on the UCLA career victories list, needing two to tie B'Ann Burns for second an four to surpass Amanda Freed's career record of 97. Goerl is 94-13 in her Bruin career.
Michelle Turner's No-Hitter Earns Pac-10 Honor
UCLA freshman Michelle Turner was named the final Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for 2003 on May 12. Turner was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, pitching both games of UCLA's doubleheader against Arizona State on May 10. She started the evening by throwing the 87th no-hitter in the history of UCLA Softball. She struck out five and walked one, allowing just two Sun Devil baserunners in the game. Turner retired the last 16 batters she faced, including striking out three of the last five batters to step to the plate. She threw just 58 pitches in the game. Turner then returned to the circle to pitch the second game of the doubleheader against ASU, retiring the first two batters of the game before allowing the first Sun Devil hit of the evening. Turner would go on to complete the shutout as the Bruins won the game by a 9-0 margin (5 inn).
Enquist Is NCAA Division I's Winningest Coach
The 2003 season marks Sue Enquist's 15th campaign as head coach of the Bruin softball program. It is her 24th year as part of UCLA's softball coaching staff and her 28th year of involvement with the program as either a coach or player. Enquist has a 745-136-1 (.845) coaching record, the highest winning percentage for an active NCAA Division I head coach, and 1,172 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 was the only UCLA player to complete her career with a batting average over .400 until Stacey Nuveman completed her senior year in 2002 (with a .466 average), a span of 24 years.
Watley, Goerl Earn Top Pac-10 Season Honors
UCLA captured two of the Pac-10's three individual awards for the 2003 season, it was announced on May 13. Senior shortstop Natasha Watley has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, while junior pitcher Keira Goerl has been named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. Both players are members of the All-Pac-10 first team. For the full list of Pac-10 honorees, see attached release.
ASA/USA Softball Finalists Include Pac-10 POY Watley
UCLA senior shortstop and 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year Natasha Watley has been named as one of three finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. The award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball and is the only national player of the year award, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. The winner will be announced May 21 at the opening ceremony of the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK. Arizona's Lovie Jung and Texas pitcher Cat Osterman are the other two finalists.
Watley Sprints Past Pac-10 Stolen Bases Record
Senior shortstop Natasha Watley continues to set the tone for the Bruins offensively, batting in the leadoff spot, and anchoring UCLA's defense as the team's starting shortstop. In addition to earning two National Player of the Week honors on Mar. 11 following the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic (.786 average with at least two hits and one stolen base in all five of UCLA's games), she earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Feb. 25 for her performance at the FAU Worth Invitational, where she hit .500, going 8-for-13 with four runs scored, a triple, six stolen bases and a lead-off home run against Florida Atlantic, the first Bruin home run to lead off a game since Amanda Freed accomplished the feat on April 4, 2001 in game two of a doubleheader at Cal State Northridge.
Watley is hitting .503 this season with 56 runs scored, three triples, eight doubles, 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. On Sunday, April 27, Watley hit a game-tying home run in the fifth inning against Stanford, then ended the game with a walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. She followed that game with a 4-for-5 two-home run performance at Washington on Apr. 30. Watley has held UCLA's career steals record since the conclusion of her freshman year, and took over the Pac-10 career steals record on Apr. 12, surpassing the 148 bases swiped by Arizona's Alison McCutcheon (1995-98). She currently has 157 career swipes, which ranks in the NCAA's career top-10. The only Bruin in history with multiple 100-hit seasons, Watley currently has 384 career hits, which is a UCLA record and ranks third on the NCAA's all-time list. Watley has also become the first Bruin in history to record 200 runs scored in a career, ranking sixth in Pac-10 history with 247, the top non-Arizona player on the list. She ranks in UCLA's career top-10 in at-bats (853/first), triples (20/2nd) and batting average (.450/2nd).
Last summer, Watley played with the U.S. World Championship Team as it earned the top seed for the 2004 Olympic Games to be held in Athens, Greece. Watley was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Championship tournament, hitting .516 (16-for-31) with 10 runs scored, four RBIs and five stolen bases in her 10 starts during tournament play.
Mims Sets UCLA Career Doubles Mark
A member of USA Softball's World Championship team last summer, Tairia Mims hit cleanup for the majority of the 2003 pre-conference season before moving to the third spot in the lineup at the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic. Mims, who has played third base, first base and catcher this season, has a team-high 19 home runs this season, and is batting .454 on the year (74-for-163) with 16 doubles, a triple, 64 RBIs and 46 runs scored to go along with seven stolen bases.
Mims earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for her performance at the UNLV Classic, where she hit .647 for the five-game weekend, blasting three home runs, a triple, three doubles, a sacrifice fly and a walk for a 1.471 slugging percentage. She also had a stolen base during the weekend's play. UCLA's career doubles leader with 58 (4th in Pac-10 history), Mims is currently second on UCLA's career lists with 59 home runs and 222 RBIs. Both of those UCLA career records are held by Stacey Nuveman (1997, 99, 2001-02), and are out of reach for Mims (NCAA record 90 home runs, 299 RBIs-4th NCAA all-time).
Ten Bruins Invited to USA Softball Team Camp
USA Softball has announced a list of 50 players invited to participate in a selection team camp, June 4-8, at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Ten current or former Bruins are on that list, including Kaci Clark (1995-96), Courtney Dale (1997, 99-2001), Lisa Fernandez (1990-93), Amanda Freed (1999-2002), Keira Goerl, Lyndsey Klein (1999-2000), Tairia Mims, Stacey Nuveman (1997, 99, 2001-02), Natasha Watley and Emily Zaplatosch. Two teams will be selected following the team camp. The National team will represent the USA at the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, HI (June 19-22), the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C., Canada (July 4-13) and the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo (August 5-14). The USA Softball Elite Team will compete in the Canada Cup as well as the Japan Cup in Yokohama, Japan (July 18-20). USA Softball has scheduled the Women's Olympic Team Selection camp for September 3-8, 2003 in Chula Vista, CA. For a complete list of players invited to the June Team Camp, log on to www.usasoftball.com
World Team/USA Bruins
Three current Bruins, Keira Goerl, Tairia Mims and Natasha Watley played with USA Softball's World Championship team during the summer of 2002. The team won the World Championship Tournament, qualifying the U.S. for the 2004 Olympic Games as the Olympic tournament's top seed. Watley was named the MVP of the World Championship Tournament, while Mims and Goerl saw action in games leading up to the World Championship tournament.
Freshman Emily Zaplatosch participated with the U.S. Junior National Team in December 2002 as the team won the 2002 Pan Am Junior Championships in Hermasillo, Mexico, earning a berth in the 2003 Junior Women's World Championships to be held this summer in Nanjing, China. By virtue of her spot on the most recent Junior National Team, Zaplatosch will be involved in team selection for the Junior Women's World Championships. She will be joined at the August final tryout in Salem, OR, by Bruin teammate Andrea Duran. Duran was chosen from an open tryout held in Chino, CA, in early January.
Zaplatosch Zaps Baserunners
Freshman Emily Zaplatosch has done an impressive job behind the plate for the 2003 Bruins, throwing out more than half of base runners attempting to steal against her (12-for-19), including one in each game against Stanford Apr. 26-27 and two at Arizona on May 9. Zaplatosch is second in the Pac-10 in runners picked off with six, and a league-leading three in Pac-10 play.
Zaplatosch homered once in each of UCLA's doubleheader wins at UC Riverside on Feb. 5. At the UNLV Classic, Zaplatosch was one of two Bruins to hit .600 or better for the weekend, going 8-for-13 at the plate (.615) with a home run and a double, three runs scored and two RBIs for a .923 slugging percentage. Defensively, Zaplatosch threw out both runners who attempted to steal while she was behind the plate. During the first weekend of Pac-10 play, Zaplaotsch caught Keira Goerl's no-hitter on Friday night at Stanford, caught two Cal base runners stealing and picked off a third during Saturday's game, and belted a two-run eighth-inning home run on Sunday at Cal.
Benyi Blasts Seven Pac-10 Home Runs
Freshman outfielder Caitlin Benyi blasted three of her seven season home runs at Oregon's Howe Field on April 12 and 13, and had a two-home run game on May 4 at Easton Stadium against Oregon State. Benyi's fifth-inning home run in the Apr. 12 contest at Oregon started UCLA's comeback that fell just short, with the Bruins falling to the Ducks by a 5-4 margin. After getting hits in her final two at-bats that day, Benyi continued the hot streak in the Apr. 13 game, recording a single in her first at-bat of the day before putting her fourth home run of the season over the left field fence in the second inning, and hitting an opposite-field shot in the fourth to give UCLA a 6-0 lead. The Bruins would eventually win the contest by a 9-3 margin.
On Senior day at Easton Stadium (May 4), the freshman stepped up, going 3-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and two home runs off of Oregon State's Dena DuBois. She completed Pac-10 play with a home run at Arizona State on May 10, and has hit seven of her eight home runs on the season against Pac-10 opponents. Benyi is the only Bruin starter without a defensive error.
Senior 2B Monique Mejia hit her first career home run in the first game of UCLA's doubleheader at Arizona State on May 10, clearing the center field fence. She nearly got a second home run in the game, as her sixth inning sacrifice fly had the ASU right fielder's back against the outfield wall ...As a team, the Bruins have been struck out less often than any other Pac-10 team. UCLA enters postseason play with 206 ...Only 12 runners have successfully stolen a base against the Bruins this season, the lowest total allowed by any Pac-10 team ...Senior Toria Auelua concluded her playing career at Easton Stadium in style, hitting a walk-off home run in UCLA's 9-1 victory over Oregon State on Senior Day, May 4. Auelua's two-out solo home run in her final at-bat at Easton Stadium brought UCLA's lead to 9-1, invoking the eight-run rule and ending the game ... Junior Julie Hoshizaki earned her first career start on Apr. 4 against Arizona State, as she batted ninth and played right field. Hoshizaki recorded her first career hit during the sixth inning of that game, a line-drive single through the left side of the infield ... Allison Chislock recorded her first career hit on Feb. 5 at UC Riverside, an RBI single to right field in UCLA's 20-0 game two victory ... Nicole Sandberg earned the first defensive appearance of her UCLA career in the second game of UCLA's doubleheader at Arizona State on May 10. Sandberg had pinch-hit in the first game of the twinbill, but came in as a defensive replacement for the fourth and fifth innings of UCLA's 8-0 run-rule win in game two. ... Amanda Simpson started UCLA's season opener hitting ninth and playing left field. It was Simpson's first career appearance for the Bruins as anything other than a pinch-runner. Simpson made the most of the opportunity, drawing a walk and scoring a run in the game ...Alissa Eno was the fifth Bruin freshman to see game action, playing in both games of the Feb. 5 doubleheader at UC Riverside. In game one, Eno pinch-ran for Toria Auelua in the seventh inning, coming around to score on a home run by Emily Zaplatosch. Eno saw her first career plate appearance as a Bruin in game two, drawing an RBI walk in the fifth inning ... Erica Corley, a freshman outfielder from Laguna Hills, CA, has been added to the UCLA roster. Corley's first game in uniform for UCLA was the April 25 game at Easton Stadium against California. She has not seen game action.