UCLA Softball Travels to Loyola Marymount, Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 19, 2008

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#5 UCLA at Loyola Marymount
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Los Angeles, CA
Smith Field
2 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 UCLA vs. Massachusetts
Friday, Feb. 22
Cathedral City, Calif.
Big League Dreams Park (Fenway Field)
10:30 a.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 UCLA vs. #18 Georgia
Friday, Feb. 22
Cathedral City, Calif.
Big League Dreams Park (Fenway Field)
1 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 UCLA vs. #10 Baylor
Saturday, Feb. 23
Cathedral City, Calif.
Big League Dreams Park (Fenway Field)
12:30 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 UCLA vs. #14 Hawai'i
Saturday, Feb. 23
Cathedral City, Calif.
Big League Dreams Park (Wrigley Field)
8 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

#5 UCLA vs. #2 Northwestern
Sunday, Feb. 24
Cathedral City, Calif.
Big League Dreams Park (Fenway Field)
11 a.m.
Live: Gametracker

The fifth-ranked Bruins (8-2) begin a busy week on Wednesday when they travel to Loyola Marymount for a 2 p.m. contest. UCLA then travels to Cathedral City for the Palm Springs Classic, where they will play five times, including four games against Top 20 teams. The Bruins take on Massachusetts (10:30 a.m.) and 18th-ranked Georgia (1 p.m.) on Friday, #10 Baylor (12:30 p.m.) and 14th-ranked Hawai'i (8 p.m.) on Saturday and #2 Northwestern (11 a.m.) on Sunday.

The Bruins improved one spot to fifth in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll, while dropping one position to 11th in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll.

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.

The UCLA-Arizona game in Tucson on Apr. 12 has been changed to a 3 p.m. start to accommodate live television on Fox Sports Net. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m.

Loyola Marymount has started the year at 8-3, splitting four games at the UC Riverside Tournament last weekend and defeating Northern Colorado twice in a doubleheader on Monday. The Lions are hitting .356 as a team and have four players batting above .400, led by junior Chelsie Tysdal, who leads the team with a .457 average, five home runs and 14 runs batted in. Also batting above .400 are junior Kirsten Slouber (.455), junior MiaSarah Cesena (.429) and sophomore J.J. Hartung (.412). In the circle, duties have been split between senior Tiffany Pagano (4-1, 1.48 ERA, 58 K, 47.1 IP) and sophomore Melissa Dykema (4-2, 2.47 ERA, 33 K, 28.1 IP). Wednesday's game will be a revenge match for the Bruins, as Loyola Marymount ended UCLA's season last year in the NCAA Regionals at Easton Stadium. It was also the first loss for the Bruins ever against LMU, snapping a 19-game win streak. UCLA is 4-0 all-time at LMU, last playing there in 1997. Last season, the teams played three times at UCLA, with the Bruins taking two of the three.

Massachusetts took last weekend off after going 2-3 during the opening weekend in Boca Raton, Fla. UMass started 0-3 with one-run losses to Michigan, Maryland and North Florida before beating South Carolina and Florida Atlantic. The Minutewomen hit .214 during the opening weekend and were led by sophomore Sarah Reeves, who had seven hits in 14 at-bats. In the circle, junior Brandice Balschmiter is 2-1 with a 0.33 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 innings. The Bruins are a perfect 3-0 against Massachusetts, with the last meeting coming in 2006 in San Diego, an 8-0 victory for UCLA. All three matchups have come on neutral surfaces, with the other two coming in the 1992 College World Series.

Georgia enters this week's play at 9-2 after going 4-1 in a tournament in Miami last weekend. Three players are hitting above .300 for the Bulldogs, who are batting .271 as a team with 46 runs scored in 11 games. Senior Melissa Wood leads the way with a .364 average and 10 RBI, while junior Kristin Schnake and freshman Megan Wiggins are each batting .333. In the circle, sophomore Kate Gaskill is 3-1 with an impressive 0.38 earned run average and 19 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings, while junior Christie Hamilton is 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA and 38 punchouts in 35 2/3 innings. The Bruins are 7-1 all-time against the Bulldogs. Seven of those matchups came during the 2005 season, with three coming during the regular season at Easton Stadium, one in San Diego and three more in NCAA Super Regional play in Westwood. The Bulldogs' lone victory in the series was a 4-1 triumph in game one of the Super Regional. But the Bruins came back to win the final two contests to advance to the College World Series.

Baylor opened the 2008 season with a 3-1 record at its own tournament last weekend, beating Centenary, and Syracuse twice, while losing to Purdue. The Bears, who advanced to their first-ever College World Series last year, were led by Big 12 Player of the Week Jordan Daniels last weekend. The senior was 9-for-14 (.643) with three homers and seven runs batted in. As a team, the Bears hit .333 with 23 runs scored in their first four games. In the circle, junior transfer Jenny Isham has yet to allow a run in a Baylor uniform, throwing 10 scoreless innings last weekend. Sophomore Kirsten Shortridge holds a 1.70 ERA and eight strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. The first and only meeting between UCLA and Baylor came in 2004 at this same tournament, as the Bruins came out on top 9-0 in five innings.

Hawai'i leaves the comfort of home this weekend after opening its season with a 5-1 record at its own tournament last week. The Rainbow Wahine beat Kentucky twice, Central Florida once and went 2-1 against Long Beach State. Junior Tanisha Milca, the WAC Player of the Week, was 10-for-20 last weekend with a homer and three RBI. The Rainbow Wahine hit .300 as a team with eight homers and 29 runs scored during the opening weekend. In the circle, both senior Kate Robinson (2-1, 1.33 ERA, 14 K) and junior Courtney Baughman (3-0, 2.33 ERA, 8 K) pitched 21 innings. The Bruins are 11-4 all-time against the Rainbow Wahine, but dropped the last meeting in 2007 at Easton Stadium during NCAA Regional play, a 3-1, eight-inning loss. Previously, UCLA had defeated Hawai'i three straight times by eight runs. The Bruins lead in neutral site games 2-1.

Northwestern got off to an outstanding start to its 2008 season, knocking off top-ranked Arizona and #3 Texas A&M, along with wins over Nebraska and Idaho State at the Kajikawa Classic to move up to second in the national rankings. National Player of the Week Tammy Williams posted a .786 average with 11 hits in 14 at-bats, eight runs scored and a home run. As a team, the Wildcats hit .390 with seven homers and 38 runs scored in four games, with sophomores Nicole Pauly (.500) and Kelly Dyer (.462) also hitting above .400. In the circle, freshman Jessica Smith went 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA, while sophomore Lauren Delaney went 3-0 with a 6.00 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 21 innings. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Wildcats 8-3 and exacted some revenge last season by knocking off Northwestern 8-6 at the Palm Springs Classic. A year prior, the Wildcats ended UCLA's season with a 3-1, eight-inning victory to advance to the 2006 College World Series Championship Series. The Bruins are 5-1 on neutral sites against the Wildcats all-time.

Scoring first is always a key to a team's success and for the Bruins, scoring in the first inning has proved to be a winning combination. UCLA has crossed home plate in its first at-bat eight times this season and have won all eight contests. On the flip side, both Bruin losses have come when the opponent gets on the board first. UCLA has outscored its opponents 20-2 in the first inning and 55-11 in the first four frames.

Senior Anjelica Selden was selected with the fourth overall pick during Monday's National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the New England Riptide.Selden is off to a great start in her final season at UCLA, having struck out 40 in 30 innings with a 4-1 record and 1.40 earned run average. Last week, Selden pitched the Bruins to three of their four wins at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete is not eligible to sign with her respective franchise until their 2008 season is completed. The NPF season begins following the conclusion of the College World Series.Major League Baseball is the Official Development Partner of National Pro Fastpitch in the category of women's professional fastpitch softball. The partnership, which began the fall of 2002, is part of The Commissioner's Initiative on Women and Baseball, a league-wide effort to help Major League Baseball and the 30 Major League Clubs build stronger relationships with female audiences.National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).

The Bruins set five individual and team records during their 27-1 victory over Santa Clara on Feb. 9 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.

The softball gods can be cruel and that was no more evident on Saturday night when senior Ashley Herrera suffered a dislocated left ankle sliding into third base in the seventh inning against Illinois. Herrera, who redshirted her true senior season last year after suffering a torn left ACL in the first game, was off to a torrid start, batting .586 (17-for-29) with 10 runs scored and four stolen bases. Herrera is out indefinitely and will be re-evaluated this week. Her status for the remainder of the season will be determined in the coming weeks.

She may only be a freshman, but GiOnna DiSalvatore is playing like a seasoned veteran through the first two weekends of the season. Leading the squad with 16 runs batted in and five doubles, DiSalvatore is second with a .500 average with 16 hits in 32 at-bats. Last weekend at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, the freshman went 6-for-16 (.375) with seven RBI. She delivered game-winning RBI against South Carolina and Portland State, going 3-for-4 with four runs batted in against the Vikings. Following an opening weekend in which she hit .625 with nine RBI and a 1.063 slugging percentage, DiSalvatore was named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week. During opening weekend, DiSalvatore's biggest hit came in the bottom of the seventh inning against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 9. 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.

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 is off to a great start in 2008, placing third on the team with a .481 average. She is also tied for the team lead with two home runs and eight walks and fourth with RBI. Langenfeld went 5-for-12 last weekend in Las Vegas with five RBI and her second homer of the year. She staked the Bruins to an early lead against South Carolina on Friday, crushing a first-inning, three-run homer to put the Bruins ahead. Langenfeld had a pair of two-hit games in the tournament to give her five on the year and has at least one hit in eight of nine games.

With 25 more strikeouts last weekend, senior Anjelica Selden is just a few weeks away from becoming the 21st player in Division I history to record 1,200 strikeouts for a career. Already UCLA's all-time strikeout leader, Selden has 40 on the season to give her 1,146 as a Bruin. The senior baffled opposing hitters last weekend at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, going 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 21 innings. After a seven-strikeout performance against South Carolina on Friday, Selden fanned 12 against Portland State on Saturday. On the final day of the tournament, the senior badgered Wisconsin hitters, throwing 5 2/3 no-hit innings before relinquishing a home run in the sixth. Selden finished the game with six strikeouts. Entering this week's play, Selden has an incredible 25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, having issued just one free pass in 30 innings. 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 and moved into second in appearances last weekend, trailing Goerl in all three categories. 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 15 victories away from being the 33rd member of the 100-win club for Division I.

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 has never missed a start for the Bruins. The All-American extended her streak to 184 consecutive games with five more starts last weekend and found her hitting stroke, batting .538 (7-for-13) to raise her season average to .393. The senior had hits in all five games last week, including a pair of two-hit games to bookend the tournament. Colburn drove in what proved to be the game-winning run against Missouri on Friday with her first-inning, RBI double. She also finished the weekend with a 2-for-3 effort against Wisconsin and reached base in all four plate appearances Saturday against Portland State on a double and three walks. Tying for the team lead with eight walks, what's even more amazing is the fact that Colburn has struck out just once in 40 plate appearances. But it isn't just about hits, walks and RBI for Colburn. She also gets it done with the bunt, tallying three sacrifice hits to tie for the team lead.

Freshman Donna Kerr continues to shine in the circle in her first season in Westwood. Leading the team in ERA at 1.04, Kerr pitched the first shutout of the year against 22nd-ranked Missouri on Friday. Kerr fanned eight and allowed only three hits and two walks to start her collegiate career with three straight wins. After recording 13 strikeouts in 12 innings last weekend, Kerr has matched her strikeouts and innings pitched total with 27 each. Kerr's first collegiate start on Feb. 8 against fifth-ranked Oklahoma was a memorable one, as she fanned nine, limiting the Sooners to four hits and one run. In her second start, Kerr held UC Santa Barbara to two earned runs and struck out five, pitching all eight innings in a 160-pitch effort.

Making her debut in the Bruin lineup after missing the first weekend due to injury, freshman Monica Harrison started strong with a 5-for-15 (.333) effort and some sterling defensive plays in the field at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Harrison went 3-for-4 in her second collegiate game against South Carolina on Friday, also scoring her first career run. The freshman added hits against Illinois and Portland State, driving in her first career run against the Vikings. Along with her bat, Harrison made the tough plays look routine at shortstop, registering 15 assists on the weekend.

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