UCLA Softball Begins 34th Season Hosting Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament

Feb. 4, 2008

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Nevada at #10 UCLA
Friday, Feb. 8
Los Angeles, Calif.
Easton Stadium
10 a.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 Oklahoma at #10 UCLA
Friday, Feb. 8
Los Angeles, Calif.
Easton Stadium
12:30 p.m.
Live: Gametracker, Audio

Santa Clara at #10 UCLA
Saturday, Feb. 9
Los Angeles, Calif.
Easton Stadium
1 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

UC Santa Barbara at #10 UCLA
Saturday, Feb. 9
Los Angeles, Calif.
Easton Stadium
3:30 p.m.
Live: Gametracker, Audio

#5 Oklahoma at #10 UCLA
Sunday, Feb. 10
Los Angeles, Calif.
Easton Stadium
9:30 a.m.
Live: Gametracker, Audio

The 10th-ranked UCLA softball team begins its 34th season this weekend, hosting the 7th Annual Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Easton Stadium. Eight games will be played over the three days, starting on Friday with UCLA's first two contests of the year against Nevada at 10 a.m. and fifth-ranked Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Bruins take on Santa Clara at 1 p.m. and UC Santa Barbara at 3:30 p.m. and conclude the Tournament on Sunday with a re-match against Oklahoma at 9:30 a.m.

The Bruins open the season 10th in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and 14th in the initial USA Today/NFCA rankings. UCLA finished last year ranked 18th in both polls. Seven teams appearing in the Top 25 come from the Pac-10, which has the Bruins ranked third in its preseason coaches poll.

Three games during this weekend's season-opening tournament will be broadcast live over the internet at www.UCLABruins.com. The second Bruin contest of each day, Friday against Oklahoma and Saturday against UC Santa Barbara, will be broadcast as well as Sunday's matchup with Oklahoma. Darren Preston and Jeff Knox will handle play-by-play duties throughout the season. Also included in the broadcast schedule is a non-conference matchup with Cal State Fullerton on Mar. 12, every Pac-10 home contest and all games during the NCAA Regional and Super Regional rounds.

This weekend's tournament honors former UCLA softball player Stacy Winsberg. Winsberg was a four-year letterwinner with the Bruins (1982-85) and played for three national championship teams (`82, `84, `85). She was also a two-time ASA All-American and played internationally in the Tri-National Tournament and the Japan Cup in 1985. Winsberg lost her battle with cancer in December 2001, and beginning with the 2002 edition, this tournament has been named in her honor. A ceremony honoring Winsberg, which will include members of her family, will be held prior to the UCLA-Santa Clara game on Saturday.

In the previous six years of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, the Bruins hold a 25-3 record. Past results suggest an undefeated weekend for UCLA in the 2008 edition, as the Bruins have not lost a Tournament game in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and have dropped one contest in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbara will be making its second appearances at the Tournament, with Oklahoma making its first. UC Santa Barbara lost twice to UCLA in the 2004 Tournament, while Santa Clara posted a 2-3 record in 2006.

The Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament is part of a dual tournament with UCLA and Cal State Fullerton. The Titans are also hosting Nevada, Oklahoma and Santa Clara with six games over the weekend. UC Santa Barbara will only play at UCLA since it shares a conference affiliation with Fullerton (Big West).

Nevada was selected third in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll and return WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year Jordan McPherson. The senior went 17-16 last year with a 2.66 earned run average. All five hitters who batted above .300 last season are back for the Wolf Pack. The top returner by average is senior Tyler Schafer (.341), while the top power hitter is junior Brittany Puzey, who had 13 home runs and 52 runs batted in. The Wolf Pack went 28-31 last season and came within one game of making the NCAA Tournament. Nevada returns 15 letterwinners and don't lose any starters from its 2007 squad. After dropping the first three contests in the mid-1970's, the Bruins have won nine straight against the Wolf Pack, including a 9-1, five-inning victory last Feb. 11 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe. Julie Burney hit her first career home run, while Kaila Shull also connected on one. UCLA is a perfect 4-0 at home against Nevada.

Oklahoma, ranked fifth in both preseason national polls, returns seven starters and three All-Americans from last year's team which went 55-8 and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Offensively, All-American junior Samantha Ricketts returns after leading the team with 18 home runs and 81 runs batted in with a .415 average. Another All-American, senior Susan Ogden, hit .381 in 2007 with three homers and 36 RBI. The third All-American returning is senior pitcher Lauren Eckermann, who went 37-5 with a 1.66 earned run average and 259 strikeouts in 274.1 innings. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Sooners 6-1, winning two straight, including the last meeting on Feb. 26, 2006 in Palm Springs (2-0). Oklahoma has played twice in Westwood, dropping a doubleheader in 1981 by scores of 3-2 and 11-0. The Sooners' lone victory in the series was a 3-1 triumph at the 2000 College World Series that ended the Bruins season.

Santa Clara returns five starters from a 2007 squad which went 12-47 and placed sixth in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. The top returning hitter is also one of the top pitchers for the Broncos in senior Jackie Morales, who last year hit .232 with 17 RBI and also went 7-13 in the circle with a 4.22 earned run average. The bulk of Santa Clara's offense graduated, losing 42 percent of its hits and more than 50 percent of its home runs. Senior Jerrica Castagno recorded a 3.65 ERA in 2007 with a 4-16 record. The Bruins have never lost to the Broncos, going a perfect 15-0 and outscoring Santa Clara 85-13. UCLA swept a doubleheader from Santa Clara in 2006 as part of the Winsberg Tournament by scores of 8-2 and 8-1. The Bruins are 6-0 all-time at home against the Broncos.

UC Santa Barbara returns to the site at which its 2007 season came to an end at the NCAA Regionals hosted by UCLA. The Gauchos bring back five starters from last year's team which went 30-23 and placed sixth in the Big West Conference. The top offensive returners are junior Christine Ramos and senior Tisha Duran. Ramos batted .359 last season with 11 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases, while Duran hit .327 with three homers and 33 RBI. In the circle, three pitchers return, led by junior Tami Weston, who posted a 0.86 ERA in just 24.1 innings last season. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Gauchos 59-3, but UC Santa Barbara snapped an 18-game losing streak to UCLA with a 3-1 victory at Easton Stadium on Mar. 27. The Bruins won the first 29 in the series before the Gauchos won a game and then reeled off 12 in a row before UCSB's second victory. Along with an 18-game overall streak, the Gauchos snapped a 22-game losing streak in Westwood with their 2007 victory.

Seniors Anjelica Selden and Krista Colburn have been named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Preseason Watch List as announced by the Amateur Softball Association. The award is considered one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate softball. Past winners of this award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman. The 2008 Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 34 schools and 14 different NCAA Division I Conferences. The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 9. 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 the remaining finalists must be selected from that list. Just days before the start of postseason play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 7. The final three finalists will be announced May 21 while the winner of the 2008 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The queen of the strikeout at UCLA, senior Anjelica Selden begins the final season of her storied collegiate career this weekend. After leading the team with a record of 17-11 and 213 strikeouts a year ago, Selden looks to regain the form of her freshman and sophomore seasons in which she took home All-American honors. After passing Keira Goerl on the all-time strikeout list on Apr. 29 of last season, Selden will attempt to climb the list in several other categories this year. She enters 2008 second in complete games and innings pitched, trailing Goerl in both categories. With her fifth appearance this season, Selden will also move into second in that category, again trailing only Goerl. Although she will not likely reach first in wins (a category led by Goerl), Selden is on pace to surpass four former Bruins to gain second on the list. Nationally, Selden is 19 victories away from being the 33rd member of the 100-win club (D-I) and is also 94 strikeouts away from becoming the 21st player to record 1,200 strikeouts.

Fresh off an All-American season last year, senior Krista Colburn begins her 2008 quest for a repeat performance this weekend. Recording her best season in Westwood, Colburn hit a team-leading .382 with seven homers and 32 RBI in 2007. She also ranked in the Pac-10 Top 10 in several categories, including fourth in on base percentage (.483) and seventh in runs scored (50) and hits (66). Six of Colburn's seven home runs last season came in UCLA victories and she also led the Bruins with 18 multiple-hit contests. One of five players to start all 55 games last year, Colburn has never missed a start as a Bruin, with her name penciled in the starting lineup 174 consecutive times. Not only an All-American, All-Region and All-Pac-10 honoree on the field, Colburn gets it done in the classroom as well, earning All-Pac-10 Academic honors in 2007.

Few players in the collegiate game are as well-rounded as sophomore Megan Langenfeld. Not just an outstanding pitcher, Langenfeld is a huge threat with the bat and plays great defense at first base, with all three facets of her game leading to her earning All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 second-team honors during her freshman season. One of five players to start all 55 games last year, Langenfeld hit .315 with seven home runs and 41 runs batted in, which were both third best on the team, and also tied for the club high with 12 doubles. She also wasn't afraid to take one for the team, leading the Bruins with eight hit by pitches. In the circle, Langenfeld posted a sterling 14-3 record and a team-best 1.45 ERA. Along with receiving Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week accolades once, she also earned National Player of the Week plaudits from USA Softball after winning a pair of games during the final week of the regular season against Arizona and Arizona State.

One year after a devastating, season-ending injury a mere six innings into her 2007 campaign, senior Ashley Herrera is back and better than ever. Coming back from a left ACL injury, Herrera produced an outstanding Fall campaign and has been sharp in preseason training. Herrera's biggest contributions will come from her versatility, leadership and experience. She has played in 168 games at UCLA, the second most of any returning Bruin, and has started at every outfield position and each infield spot except for shortstop. Upon reaching base, Herrera is also a threat to steal, swiping 16 in her junior season of 2006 and ranking 10th on UCLA's career leaders list with 28.

U-S-A! U-S-A!
Five Bruins spent their summer playing with the U.S. Junior National Team and helped Team USA to gold at the ISF Junior Women's World Championship. Sophomore Megan Langenfeld and freshmen GiOnna DiSalvatore, Monica Harrison, Donna Kerr and Katie Schroeder starred on the team, which went a perfect 10-0 at the Championships.

In the previous 33 years of UCLA softball, only one letterwinner has had a last name beginning with the letter K, Lyndsey Klein. This season, the Bruins boast two players with a surname starting with K, Amanda Kamekona and Donna Kerr.

Along with being one of the few UCLA softballers to have a last name beginning with K, Amanda Kamekona has the distinction of wearing the highest number in the history of Bruin softball with her number 47. Previously, 44 was the highest number worn by four different players, including senior Danielle Peterson.

Jennifer and Katie Schroeder are the seventh set of sisters to put on the Bruin uniform and the fourth pair to play together in the same year. Charlene and Janice Wright were the first sister duo in 1976, twin sisters Diana and Donna Forman played on the 1987 squad and Kelly and Kristy Howard were a part of the 1993 team. Other sisters to play for UCLA, but not in the same year, include the Comptons (Heather and Tracy), the Hoshizakis (Julie and Karen) and the Mikes (Ginny and Johnna).

Freshmen Amy Crawford and Grace Murray each have brothers who play on the UCLA baseball team, marking the first time that Bruin softballers have had siblings play on the Bruin baseball squad. Crawford is the younger sister of junior starting shortstop Brandon, while Murray has an older brother on the squad, junior infielder Eddie.

Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore will become the 27th UCLA softball player to hail from outside the state of California. The Palm Harbor, Florida native is also the fourth Bruin to come out of the Sunshine State, joining Chris Olivie, Dot Richardson and Claire Sua. Arizona leads the list of out-of-staters with seven, followed by Washington's four, with half of that total coming from members of this year's team (Whitney Baker and Krista Colburn). Rounding out the list is Australia with three, Texas with two and Connecticut, Kansas, Hawaii, Ohio, Nevada, New York and Tennessee with one apiece.

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