Sixth-Ranked Softball Heads to Vegas for UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic
Feb. 12, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
#6 UCLA vs. #22 Missouri
Friday, Feb. 15
Las Vegas, Nev.
Eller Media Stadium
#6 UCLA vs. South Carolina
Friday, Feb. 15
Las Vegas, Nev.
Eller Media Stadium
#6 UCLA vs. Illinois
Saturday, Feb. 16
Las Vegas, Nev.
Eller Media Stadium
#6 UCLA vs. Portland State
Saturday, Feb. 16
Las Vegas, Nev.
Eller Media Stadium
#6 UCLA vs. Wisconsin
Sunday, Feb. 17
Las Vegas, Nev.
Stephanie Lynn Craig Park Field #1
UCLA PACKS ITS BAGS FOR LAS VEGAS
The sixth-ranked Bruins head to Las Vegas this weekend for five games at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. UCLA faces 22nd-ranked Missouri (9 a.m.) and South Carolina (11:15 a.m.) on Friday and Illinois (6 p.m.) and Portland State (8:15 p.m.) on Saturday at UNLV's Eller Media Stadium. On Sunday, the Bruins move to Henderson, where they face Wisconsin at 11:15 a.m. at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins moved up four spots in both theESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA rankings to sixth and 10th, respectively. In both polls, UCLA is the only other team besides top-ranked Arizona to receive a first-place vote.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
All UCLA softball contests will feature Gametracker, available at UCLABruins.com. In addition, 11 regular-season contests and all games during the NCAA Regional and Super Regional rounds will be broadcast on UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston and Jeff Knox will provide the play-by-play.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Missouri went 3-2 at last week's Florida International Invitational in Miami. The Tigers beat host FIU and Texas-Arlington, split games with 15th-ranked Virginia Tech and lost to Pittsburgh. Missouri, ranked 21st by USA Softball and 25th by the NFCA in the preseason polls, moved to 22nd in the USA Softball rankings and dropped out of the NFCA poll this week. The Tigers lost five starters from a 2007 squad which went 40-24, finished third in the Big 12 and advanced to the championship game of their NCAA Regional. Junior transfer Lindsey Ubrun led Missouri last weekend with a .467 average (7-for-15), a home run and six RBI. As a team, the Tigers hit .190 with two homers, 13 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in five games. In the circle, another junior transfer, Stacy Delaney, carried a 0.82 earned run average in three games, striking out 14 in 17 innings. The Bruins are a perfect 8-0 against Missouri all-time, last meeting in 2003 at Easton Stadium when UCLA recorded 8-0, 5-0 and 2-0 victories. UCLA is 4-0 in neutral games against the Tigers and has outscored Missouri 46-6 in the eight previous matchups.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
It will be UCLA taking on USC Friday morning. OK, not that USC, but instead the University of South Carolina. The Gamecocks went 1-4 on opening weekend at the Florida Atlantic Kick-Off Classic in Boca Raton, but lost those four games by a combined five runs. After beating North Florida to open the year, South Carolina lost 2-1 to FAU, 2-0 to Massachusetts and 3-2 to 12th-ranked Michigan and North Florida. The pitching was stellar in the circle, posting a 1.24 ERA. Senior Kate Pouliot led the way with a 0.78 ERA and 10 strikeouts in nine innings, while senior Melissa Hendon had a 1.00 earned run average with 15 strikeouts in 14 innings. The Gamecocks hit just .205 as a team last weekend and were led by freshman Jill Semento, who had three hits in nine at-bats. South Carolina returned eight starters from last year's team which advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals with a 38-26 record. The Bruins are 10-1 all-time against the Gamecocks, winning the last two meetings, including a 12-0 victory in 2003 in Las Vegas. South Carolina's only win over UCLA was a 2-1 victory in the 2002 NCAA Regionals. Eight of the Bruins' 10 victories have come at neutral locations, with four of those matchups played in Las Vegas.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois returned six starters from a 2007 team which went 30-25 and placed sixth in the Big Ten Conference. The Illini went 3-2 during the first weekend of play at the USF Wilson Tournament in Tampa. Illinois alternated wins and losses to start the year, beating Memphis, Bethune Cookman and Florida Gulf Coast, while falling to South Florida and 13th-ranked Florida. Three players hit over .400 last weekend for the Illini, who hit .313 as a team with five homers, 27 runs scored and eight stolen bases. Leading the way was freshman Hollie Pinchback, who went 7-for-15 (.467) with a homer and five RBI. Freshman Danielle Zymkowitz added a .444 average and four steals, while senior Shanna Diller hit .438 with a homer, five RBI and three stolen bases. In the circle, senior Claire DeVreese posted all three wins, a 1.26 earned run average and 21 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings. Saturday's matchup will be the first between UCLA and Illinois.
SCOUTING THE VIKINGS
Portland State went 2-3 during the opening weekend, playing at the Cathedral City Kick-Off Classic. The Vikings lost to UC Riverside, Colorado State and San Diego State, while defeating New Mexico State and Utah State. Senior Shannon Stacy led the Vikings last weekend with a .429 average, while sophomore Brandi Scoggins hit .400 with five RBI. As a team, Portland State hit .235 with 13 runs scored. Senior Mandy Hill (3.78 ERA, 1-1, 16.2 IP, 8 K) and freshman Nichole Latham (4.04 ERA, 1-2, 17.1 IP, 16 K) handled the pitching duties. Portland State brought back five starters from last year's team which went 23-34 and placed fourth in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. The Bruins are 3-0 all-time against the Vikings, recording a 13-5 win in 1999, a 20-0 victory in 2001 and a 5-0 triumph in 2004. All three games were played in Las Vegas.
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
Wisconsin posted a 2-3 record at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah last weekend, beating Northern Colorado and Utah Valley State, while falling to Utah, BYU and Loyola Marymount. The Badgers returned six starters from a 2007 team which went 27-20 and placed ninth in the Big Ten. Wisconsin hit .281 as a team last weekend with four homers, 20 runs scored and nine stolen bases and were led by sophomore Letty Olivarez, who had four hits in eight at-bats with a home run and six runs batted in. Sophomore Katie Soderberg (.421) and senior Alexis Garcia (.400) also hit at least .400. In the circle, junior Leah Vanevenhoven had 20 strikeouts in 18 innings with a 2.33 ERA. The Bruins are 5-0 all-time against the Badgers, including a 2-0 win in their most recent meeting at the Palm Springs Classic in 2005. Wisconsin has been outscored 32-3 in the series. Two of the five meetings have been in Vegas.
A RECORD SETTER
The Bruins set five individual and team records during their 27-1 victory over Santa Clara last Saturday at Easton Stadium. The Bruins' 27 runs and 27 runs batted in were both watershed marks, as well as the team's 22 hits. The previous runs record was 22, set twice against UC Riverside (May 20, 1975) and Sacramento State (Feb. 9, 2006). The former record for RBI in one contest was 21 against Sacramento State and 21 in hits, set six previous times. Individually, junior Amanda Kamekona set a school record with eight runs batted in, breaking the old mark of Julie Marshall, who had seven RBI in a game against Oregon on Apr. 17, 1999. Freshman Samantha Camuso, who added seven RBI of her own, crossed home plate five times to earn the top spot in that category for one game. Previously, 16 different Bruins had scored four runs in a game.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NUMBER FOUR
She may wear number three on the diamond, but the number four was a kind one to freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore last weekend. She had four multi-hit games. She had two games with four runs batted in. She had four doubles. Even four is prevalent in her name, since GiOnna DiSalvatore has four capital letters in it. Leading the way with 10 hits and a .625 batting average last weekend, the second baseman (that would be position four in your scorecard of course) helped the Bruins to four wins. The freshman, who was named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday, added nine RBI and an outstanding 1.063 slugging percentage. Her biggest hit of the weekend came in the bottom of the seventh inning against UC Santa Barbara Saturday night. With the Bruins trailing 5-2 and down to their last out, DiSalvatore came up with two aboard and crushed the first pitch she saw over the right-field wall for her first collegiate home run to tie the game, which the Bruins went on to win in extra innings. DiSalvatore also got her career off to a great start in the season opener against Nevada, driving in a pair on a single in her first-ever at-bat and knocking in two more on a double in her third plate appearance for four RBI.
Another of the freshmen that had a spectacular weekend was Samantha Camuso. In her first weekend of collegiate action, Camuso etched her name in the Bruin record books, scoring a UCLA single-game record five runs against Santa Clara on Saturday. For the weekend, the freshman hit .500 (8-for-16) with eight runs scored, two home runs and 11 runs batted in. Camuso drove in a run on a single in her first collegiate at-bat against Nevada and didn't stop hitting all weekend. Later that day against Oklahoma, Camuso hit her first career home run, a two-run shot, to extend the Bruins' lead against the Sooners to 5-1. Her big game though came against Santa Clara on Saturday. Camuso went 4-for-4 with seven runs batted in, recording a grand slam in the fourth inning for her second homer of the weekend. Also reaching base on a walk, Camuso touched home plate five times against the Broncos to set a new school mark. In fact, her seven RBI would have tied the UCLA single-game record, but teammate Amanda Kamekona eclipsed her with eight runs batted in.
The Bruin with the highest uniform number in the history of UCLA softball now has the highest number of runs batted in for one game. Junior transfer Amanda Kamekona set a new Bruin standard with eight RBI against Santa Clara on Saturday and finished the weekend with 10. She batted .333 (6-for-18) with six runs scored, four doubles, a homer and two stolen bases. Kamekona got her UCLA career off to a good start, going 2-for-4 with a two-run double against Nevada on Friday. Like most of her Bruin teammates, her big game came against Santa Clara, as Kamekona went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and her record-setting eight RBI. She had a two-run double in the first and a bases-clearing double in the second. After driving in a run on a sacrifice fly in her first at-bat of the third inning, Kamekona broke the record later in the third with a two-run homer, her first bomb as a Bruin.
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. Langenfeld started 2008 off on the right foot, posting a .533 average (8-for-15) with six runs scored, a home run, four RBI and five walks at the plate and winning her lone start of the weekend. Recording hits in all five games, Langenfeld had two-hit games three times and hit a two-run homer in the Bruins' 27-1 rout of Santa Clara on Saturday. She also scored a career-high four runs against the Broncos. In the circle, Langenfeld picked up the first start of the season and allowed just one run, four hits and one walk in four innings against the Wolf Pack, striking out three.
It wasn't just the plate where UCLA freshmen were shining on opening weekend. The circle was the place to shine for freshman Donna Kerr, who won both her starts and struck out nine in her first collegiate game against fifth-ranked Oklahoma. Kerr fanned at least one Sooner in every inning, limiting Oklahoma to four hits and one run and retiring the final six batters of the game. In her second start a day later against UC Santa Barbara, Kerr held the Gauchos to two earned runs and struck out five, pitching all eight innings in a 160-pitch effort. The freshman set down the last seven UC Santa Barbara batters. In the eighth when the Gauchos started with a runner at second base via the international tiebreaker rule and moved that runner to third on a sacrifice, Kerr neutralized the threat with a strikeout and groundout, as the Bruins went on to win in the bottom of the inning.
CA-CHING!: CASH IS BACK
Any doubters who were wondering if senior Ashley Herrera was recovered from last year's ACL injury aren't doubting anymore. Herrera opened her final season in Westwood with a .500 average last weekend at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, going 8-for-16 with six runs scored, two stolen bases and three sacrifice hits. Herrera moved into eighth on UCLA's all-time stolen base list with 30 with her two swipes. The senior had at least a run and a hit in the first four games of the weekend, including a 3-for-4 performance against fifth-ranked Oklahoma on Friday. Herrera also executed a perfect double steal with freshman Lauren Mirabal in the season opener against Nevada, as Herrera took second, allowing Mirabal to swipe home.
SETTING THE TABLE
The key to any lineup is production from the top of the order and the Bruins have found that with freshman Katie Schroeder. Recording a .444 average during the opening weekend, Schroeder had eight hits in 18 at-bats, scored six runs and drove in four. The freshman reached base in each of her first three collegiate at-bats against Nevada on Friday on an error and two singles. Against Santa Clara on Saturday, Schroeder drove in four runs, finishing the game 4-for-5 with three runs scored. The speedster also stole her first base against fifth-ranked Oklahoma to setup the Bruins' first run of the game.
A RIPKEN-ESQUE STREAK
There are three things in life you can be certain of: death, taxes and Krista Colburn in the UCLA softball starting lineup. Just like Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, who didn't miss a game for 16 straight seasons, Colburn begins her fourth and final season in Westwood having never missed a start. With five more starts under her belt last weekend, Colburn extended her streak to 179 consecutive games. Recording her best season in Westwood last year, Colburn hit a team-leading .382 with seven homers and 32 RBI in earning All-American honors. 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. 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.
QUEEN OF K'S
Already UCLA's all-time strikeout leader, senior Anjelica Selden added 15 more punchouts to her total last weekend to raise the career strikeout mark to 1,121. Selden went 1-1 at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, fanning six against Santa Clara and nine more against fifth-ranked Oklahoma while not walking a single batter in nine innings. Against the Broncos, Selden tossed just three innings, but still earned the win and allowed only one base runner on a hit by pitch. 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 entered 2008 second in complete games and innings pitched, trailing Goerl in both categories. With three more appearances, 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 18 victories away from being the 33rd member of the 100-win club (D-I) and is also 79 strikeouts away from becoming the 21st player to record 1,200 strikeouts.
SELDEN, COLBURN NAMED TO POY WATCH LIST
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.
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 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 is 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.