Softball Heads to Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 22, 2006

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UCLA (8-1) travels to one of the nation's top college softball tournaments this weekend, taking part in the Palm Springs Classic. The tournament, which is hosted by Oregon State University, is in its third year and takes place at the Big League Dreams complex in Cathedral City, Calif. The third-ranked Bruins will face three ranked teams this weekend, No. 19/20 LSU on Friday, No. 8/8 Texas A&M on Saturday and No. 10/10 Oklahoma in a televised game on Sunday morning. Beth Mowins and Stacey Nuveman will call the action live on ESPNU.

BRUINS SWEEP BULLDOGS, FALL AT LONG BEACH STATE
The Bruins opened last week's schedule with a 1-0 loss at Long Beach State, out-hitting the 49ers by a 5-1 margin but falling victim to a fourth inning that included both Bruin errors, pitcher Anjelica Selden's only walk of the game, and the 49ers only hit to score the unearned run. Catcher Emily Zaplatosch hit two balls that would probably been home runs at a regulation-sized park, including one in the sixth inning that hit the top of the fence in straightaway center field, approximately 250 feet from the plate, for a double.

UCLA rebounded for a pair of victories over Fresno State on the weekend. In Saturday's contest, junior Lisa Dodd made the difference, pitching a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts while hitting a two-run home run or the game's only runs. Sunday's game turned into a marathon with a combined nine hits and 25 runners left on base between the two teams. The game ended when Dodd was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning.

THREE BRUIN SENIORS DRAFTED BY NPF
Three of UCLA's senior starters, Caitlin Benyi, Andrea Duran and Emily Zaplatosch were all selected in the first round of the National Pro Fastpitch draft on Feb. 16. Duran was selected by the Connecticut Braketts while Zaplatosch was drafted by the Texas Thunder and Benyi was chosen by the Akron Racers. Players selected in the senior draft will be permitted to pursue any available roster spot on their assigned team following the completion of their NCAA eligibility but may not try out or sign with the respective franchise or an agent until the 2006 college season is finished. UCLA had more players selected than any other school with three.

FIVE BRUINS NAMED TO USA SOFTBALL WATCH LIST
Among the 50 players named by the Amateur Softball Association to the fifth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award are five UCLA players. Seniors Caitlin Benyi, Andrea Duran and Emily Zaplatosch are joined by junior Jodie Legaspi and sophomore Anjelica Selden comprise 10 percent of the national list. UCLA's Stacey Nuveman won the inaugural USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award in her senior season of 2002.

A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a Top-25 finalist, but once the Top-25 is named on April 5, the remaining finalists must be selected from that list. The list will be cut to 10 players on May 10 and three finalists will be announced May 31 with the 2006 winner being named during the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City in June.

TICKET SALES UNDERWAY FOR MARCH 15 VS. MICHIGAN
Although UCLA does not generally sell advance tickets for softball, tickets for the Bruins March 15 game against Michigan are currently on sale. The game, which features a rematch of the 2005 NCAA Championship Series participants, is scheduled for a 6 pm PT first pitch and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

UCLA VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Bruins Defeat UC Riverside: UCLA's Andrea Duran led the way for the Bruins at UCR on Tuesday, going 2-for-2 with two doubles, a sacrifice fly and two RBI as UCLA won 2-0. Lisa Dodd struck out five and walked one in the shutout victory to improve to 4-0 on the 2006 season.

Ohio State (5-4): UCLA leads series 5-0. Last Meeting: UCLA swept a doubleheader, 9-0 (5) and 13-0 (5) on Mar. 2, 1996. Notable: Ohio State is one of three Big Ten teams UCLA will face this season (Michigan and Northwestern).

#19/20 LSU (12-0): UCLA leads series 4-1. Last Meeting: UCLA won 2-0 on May 28, 2004, at the Women's College World Series. Notable: LSU won the first meeting on Feb. 20, 1998, at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego.

Kansas (4-5): UCLA leads series 6-0. Last Meeting: UCLA won 15-1 (5 inn) on Feb. 16, 2001, at the UNLV Classic. Notable: The Bruins and Jayhawks first met on May 25, 1979 at the AIAW National Championship tournament.

#8/8 Texas A&M (7-2): UCLA leads series 8-7. Last Meeting: UCLA won 9-1 on Feb. 8, 2002, at the Fiesta Bowl Classic. Notable: Three of the 15 previous meetings took place at the 1987 WCWS with the Aggies winning the NCAA title by taking two of three meetings from the Bruins (4-1 in title game).

#10/10 Oklahoma (9-1-1): UCLA leads series 5-1. Last Meeting: UCLA won 2-0 on May 25, 2002, at the Women's College World Series. Notable: UCLA's only loss to the Sooners was in the 2000 NCAA Championship game. This game will be televised live by ESPNU with Beth Mowins and Stacey Nuveman calling the action.

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