Second-Ranked Bruins Host UNLV, Travel to Long Beach State Invitational
March 4, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
UNLV at #2 UCLA
Wednesday, March 5
Los Angeles, Calif.
#2 UCLA vs. #24 Virginia Tech
Friday, March 7
#2 UCLA vs. Notre Dame
Friday, March 7
#2 UCLA vs. Rutgers
Saturday, March 8
#2 UCLA vs. #8 Northwestern
Sunday, March 9
#2 UCLA vs. Long Beach State
Sunday, March 9
BRUINS HOST UNLV, TRAVEL TO LBSU INVITE
The second-ranked Bruins (19-2) have a six-pack of games on tap for this week, starting Wednesday when they host UNLV at 1 p.m. UCLA then finishes up its regular-season tournament schedule this weekend at the Long Beach State Invitational at Mayfair Park in Lakewood. The Bruins take on #24 Virginia Tech at 11:15 a.m. and Notre Dame at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, Rutgers at 6 p.m. on Saturday and #8 Northwestern (11:15 a.m.) and Long Beach (1:30 p.m.) on Sunday.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins continued their climb up the polls, moving up two spots to second in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll. UCLA also moved up one position to sixth in the USA Today/NFCA rankings.
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. The next broadcast will be on Wednesday, March 12 when the Bruins host Cal State Fullerton.
Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour before you go to sleep Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time, otherwise you'll be one hour late to the Bruins' games Sunday against Northwestern and Long Beach State.
OLYMPIC GAME TICKET UPDATE
A third of the tickets for the highly-anticipated UCLA-USA Softball game have already been sold just five days after tickets went on sale. In 2004 when the Bruins last hosted Team USA, tickets sold out in a month. The game will be played at Easton Stadium on Tuesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling (310) UCLA-WIN or by clicking here. All tickets are general admission and are $20 for adults and $10 for children 16 and under.
KERR NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Donna Kerr was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week as announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen on Tuesday. Kerr allowed just two hits in 15 scoreless innings last week and pitched her first career perfect game against Saint Peter's on Sunday. Kerr went 3-0 on the week with two complete-game shutouts, striking out 21.Against Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday, Kerr tossed the first four innings and gave up one hit, striking out three to earn the victory. The San Diego native returned home last weekend as the Bruins took part in the San Diego Classic. Against the host Toreros on Friday, the freshman allowed just one hit in six innings, fanning a season-high 11 in the Bruins' victory. Kerr retired 11 in a row at one point, as well as the final six of the game, striking out the side in the sixth inning.On Sunday against Saint Peter's, Kerr hurled the 16th perfect game and 99th no-hitter in UCLA history. The freshman set down all 15 batters she faced, striking out seven, including the side in the fifth inning. The perfect game was the first for the Bruins since 2003 and marked the first no-hitter since 2005.Kerr, who is 8-1 on the season, has not allowed a run in 24 straight innings and leads the team with a 0.64 earned run average and four shutouts.The Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award is the second straight for the Bruins after senior Anjelica Selden earned the honor last week. Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore has also received two Pac-10 Player of the Week honors to give the Bruins four POW's this season and 102 all-time.
GETTING OFF TO A GREAT START
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 15 times in 21 games this season and has won all 15 contests. The Bruins did it in four of their six games last week and have now outscored opponents 32-4 in the first inning. Overall, UCLA is 17-0 when scoring first and 2-2 when its opponent plates the first run.
15 UP, 15 DOWN
Freshman Donna Kerr pitched the 16th perfect game and 99th no-hitter in UCLA history on Sunday against Saint Peter's. Kerr struck out seven, including the side in the fifth inning, and did it all in a scant 58 minutes. It was the first Bruin perfect game since May 15, 2003 when Keira Goerl and Michelle Turner combined for a six-inning perfecto against Colgate in the NCAA Regionals. It also marked the first no-hitter since March 6, 2005 against Fresno State when a freshman named Anjelica Selden blanked the Bulldogs. The last freshman to toss a perfect game was Goerl on March 6, 2001 against UC Riverside.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
After getting off to a 9-1-1 start which included wins against Arizona State and Washington, UNLV is 4-7 in its last 11 games, bringing a 13-8-1 mark into Wednesday's contest. The Rebels had four common opponents with the Bruins during the first month of the season. UCLA beat Cal State Bakersfield, Georgia and Hawai'i and lost to Illinois, while UNLV defeated Bakersfield and Illinois and fell to Georgia and Hawai'i. The Rebels are hitting .259 with 14 home runs and 26 stolen bases as a team, averaging 4.8 runs per game. Leading the way offensively is sophomore Jaci Hull, who has eight of the team's 14 homers, along with a team-best .444 average and 23 runs batted in. Also batting above .300 are sophomores Alyssia De La Torre (.352) and Laura Briones (.344). In the circle, sophomore Stephanie Bregante has pitched 60 percent of the innings, posting a 2.47 ERA, a 6-5 record and 79 strikeouts in 88 innings. Freshman Traci Odegard has thrown 39 2/3 innings, owning a 2.12 ERA, a 5-3 mark and 22 strikeouts. The Bruins are 21-1 all-time against the Rebels, dropping the only game in 1994 during NCAA Regional play, 1-0 in nine innings. Following that loss, UCLA won two straight against UNLV to advance to the World Series and has claimed seven in a row from the Rebels, including an 8-0, five-inning victory in Las Vegas last Feb. 17. The Bruins are a perfect 10-0 against the Rebels at home, with the last meeting coming on March 14, 2006, an 11-4 win at Easton Stadium.
SCOUTING THE HOKIES
Virginia Tech opened its Spring Break trip last weekend at the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., winning its first three games before falling to Arizona and South Florida to end the weekend. The game against the Wildcats featured a great pitcher's duel between Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher and Arizona's Taryne Mowatt. The duo set an NCAA record with 41 strikeouts between them, with Tincher totaling 21 in the 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Wildcats. The only common opponent between the Bruins and the Hokies is Missouri, which UCLA beat 4-0 on Feb. 15. Virginia Tech split two games with the Tigers during the opening weekend. Tincher is the top player for the Hokies, posting a 0.42 ERA, a 6-2 record and 136 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings. At the plate, Virginia Tech is batting .254 with two home runs and 27 runs batted in, averaging 3.2 runs per game. Junior Charisse Mariconda is the only hitter above .300 with a .397 average and nine runs batted in. Junior Jenna Rhodes is batting .298 and is a perfect 12-for-12 in stolen bases. The Bruins have never faced Virginia Tech and are 15-1 all-time against teams from the eight-team Atlantic Coast Conference.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame (6-6) began its California swing last week, going 2-1 at the Worth Invitational in Fullerton. The Fighting Irish defeated Pacific and UC Davis before falling to the host Titans and will play their fourth straight Big West Conference opponent on Tuesday when they play at UC Riverside. Notre Dame is hitting .232 as a team with four home runs, averaging 3.4 runs per game. Freshman Sadie Pitzenberger leads the team with a .341 average, two RBI and a team-high five stolen bases, while senior Katie Laing is batting .333 with a home run and a team-best 10 runs batted in. In the circle, junior Brittney Bargar has seen most of the action, going 5-4 with a 1.21 earned run average and 50 strikeouts in 52 innings. The Bruins and the Irish have met just four times, with UCLA coming out on top in all four meetings. Last year (March 11) at this same tournament, UCLA bested Notre Dame 9-3. Three of the four matchups between the two teams have come on neutral sites.
SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
Rutgers holds a 6-3 record as they come west, following a 4-1 performance at the Florida Atlantic Tournament last weekend. The Bruins and the Scarlet Knights have one common opponent, with both squads falling to Illinois. Rutgers is batting .298 with two home runs as a team, averaging 5.2 runs per game. The top hitter is junior Amanda Heller, who is batting .471 with five runs batted in. Senior Mallory Miller (.429) and junior Kate Valiante (.400) are also hitting at .400 or better. Three pitchers have tossed at least 15 innings for Rutgers, led by sophomore Nicole Lindley, who has a 1.87 ERA and a 2-0 record in 15 innings. Freshman Katye Hamlin holds a 3-1 mark and 2.47 earned run average in 22 2/3 innings. The Bruins are 2-0 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, defeating them 8-1 and 8-0 on Feb. 21 and 23, 2003 in Boca Raton, Fla.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
For the second time in two weeks, the Bruins and the Wildcats will do battle on the diamond. On Feb. 24 at the Palm Springs Classic, UCLA fell behind 2-0 in the top of the fourth before scoring five in the bottom of the inning and one in the fifth to pull out a 6-2 victory. Senior Anjelica Selden struck out 17, a career high for a seven-inning game, while junior Amanda Kamekona and sophomore Julie Burney each had two-run homers in the five-run fourth. Northwestern went 3-1 last weekend at the Southern Illinois Tournament to improve to 10-3 on the season. The Wildcats are batting .281 as a team with 16 home runs, averaging 5.6 runs per game. All-American Tammy Williams is the top hitter, batting at a .590 clip with three home runs and seven RBI. Sophomores Nicole Pauly (.326) and Kelly Dyer (.308) are also hitting above .300 with three home runs apiece. In the circle, sophomore Lauren Delaney has pitched nearly 75 percent of the innings and owns a 2.67 ERA, an 8-2 record and 98 strikeouts in 63 innings. With their earlier victory over the Wildcats, the Bruins are 9-3 all-time and have won two in a row in the series. UCLA is 6-1 on neutral sites against Northwestern.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State (12-7) went 4-1 last weekend at the UNLV Tournament, routing the host Rebels 10-0 in its final game. The 49ers tagged Top 10 team Florida with its only loss this season and is 3-2 against common UCLA opponents. Long Beach State has faced Hawai'i four times, going 2-2, while also beating San Diego. UCLA has defeated both Hawai'i and San Diego once each. A couple of Brooke's lead the pitching and hitting for the 49ers. Freshman Brooke Turner is 8-2 with a 0.59 earned run average and 89 strikeouts in 71 innings, while senior Brooke LeSage is hitting a team-best .389 with a club-leading five stolen bases. Junior Jennifer Griffin (.314) and seniors Jessica Beaver (.313) and Franciska Morlet (.308) are also hitting above .300. As a team, Long Beach is batting .259 with four home runs, averaging 3.9 runs per game. The Bruins and the 49ers have faced each other 70 previous times, the most of any UCLA non-conference opponent. The Bruins hold a 62-8 advantage and have won four straight, including two mercy-rule victories last season. UCLA claimed a 11-0 win on March 2 and a 12-1 triumph on March 10. Long Beach State's last win in the series came at the 2006 Invitational, a 1-0 victory.
K TO THE 1,200TH POWER
Senior Anjelica Selden made history last Saturday at San Diego State, becoming the 21st Division I pitcher to record 1,200 strikeouts for a career. The milestone punchout came in the second inning on a strikeout of Jen Wisneski. Finishing the game with 13, Selden enters this week's play with 1,211 strikeouts for her career. The senior has double-figure strikeout totals in each of her last three games, as well as four of her last five, to give her 59 as a Bruin. The streak started at the Palm Springs Classic when she fanned 13 Georgia Bulldogs on Feb. 22. After a seven-inning strikeout performance against Baylor the next day, Selden set a career mark for punchouts in a seven-inning contest against Northwestern on Feb. 24. The senior set down 17 Wildcats to lead the Bruins to a 6-2 victory. In two games last weekend at the San Diego Classic, Selden set a new personal standard for strikeouts in a five-inning game with 14 against James Madison on Friday before her 13-strikeout effort against San Diego State. Against the Dukes, the senior had a part in all 15 outs, also fielding a grounder to end the first inning. Selden has 44 strikeouts over her last 21 innings and holds a ridiculous 26-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, issuing only four walks compared to 105 strikeouts. On Feb. 26, Selden hit the awards trifecta, being named NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week, as well as Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. It is the second time Selden has received NFCA and USA Softball POW honors (2005) and the eighth Pac-10 POW award of her career. On the season, Selden leads the team with a 9-1 record, posting a slim 1.06 earned run average while holding opponents to a .137 batting average. With her strikeout milestone having been reached, Selden is on the verge of another as she approaches 100 career victories. With 90 wins as a Bruin, the senior is just 10 away from becoming the 33rd Division I pitcher to post 100 victories. Selden's win against San Diego State also vaulted her to fifth on UCLA's all-time wins list. With four more victories, she will move into fourth place, passing current assistant coach Lisa Fernandez (93).
PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY
Speaking of pitchers who are baffling opposing batters, let me you introduce you to freshman Donna Kerr. The San Diego native returned to her hometown and capped off a great weekend with her first career perfect game against Saint Peter's on Sunday. Kerr fanned seven in the five-inning contest to record UCLA's 16th perfect game and the 99th no-hitter in the school's history. It was the culmination of an outstanding week for Kerr that saw her go 3-0 with 15 strikeouts in 21 scoreless innings to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors. The freshman earned the win in four innings of work against Cal State Bakersfield last Wednesday, allowing just one hit. Kerr then threw another one-hitter against San Diego last Friday, striking out a career-high 11 Toreros in a six-inning win. The freshman has not allowed a run in her last 24 innings, giving up just three hits during that time. Leading the team with a 0.64 earned run average and four shutouts, Kerr also has an 8-1 record with 63 strikeouts in 55 innings. She has given up one earned run or fewer in eight of her nine starts, including a nine-strikeout performance in her first career start against highly-ranked Oklahoma on Feb. 8. Kerr also shutout ranked teams Missouri (Feb. 15) and Hawai'i (Feb. 23), fanning eight in both contests.
Another week, another 11 hits and seven RBI. This has become the standard for freshman Samantha Camuso, who hit .611 last week to help the Bruins to six wins. Camuso began the week with a three-hit game against Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday and never stopped hitting. Compiling hits and RBI in five of the six games, the freshman had one of each against James Madison to open up the San Diego Classic on Friday. Camuso then had her second three-hit game of the week, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI against the host Toreros. Saturday was the biggest day for Camuso, as she went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including the one that invoked the mercy rule in the sixth in a victory over Eastern Michigan. But her biggest at-bat came against #20 San Diego State later that day, and although she would go hitless in that game, Camuso drove in the game-winning run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly to plate senior Krista Colburn. The freshman wrapped up the weekend with a 2-for-2 effort against Saint Peter's, scoring twice and driving in a run on an RBI double. One of four players to have started all 21 games this season, Camuso is fourth on the team with a .422 average, second with seven doubles and 22 RBI and tied for second with two home runs. Camuso hit UCLA's first homer of the season against Oklahoma on Feb. 8 and then hit a grand slam the next day against Santa Clara. She went 4-for-4 with seven runs batted in against the Broncos and touched home plate five times to set a new school record for runs scored in a single game. Camuso would have tied another single-game record with her seven RBI, but she was eclipsed by teammate Amanda Kamekona's eight runs batted in.
KC AT THE BAT
There are three things in life you can be certain of: death, taxes and Krista Colburn in the UCLA softball starting lineup. Colburn has never missed a start for the Bruins and will look to extend her streak over the 200 mark, entering this week's play with a consecutive games streak of 195. The All-American is one of eight Bruins hitting above .300, with Colburn posting a .391 average, ranking her fifth on the team. The senior raised her average 50 points last week, going 10-for-20 (.500) with five runs scored and seven runs batted in. Colburn opened play at the San Diego Classic with a 3-for-3 effort, scoring twice and driving in a run against James Madison on Friday. The senior then had back-to-back two-hit, two-RBI games against San Diego and Eastern Michigan before jump-starting a rally to help the Bruins to a win over #20 San Diego State. In the ninth, Colburn led off with a double and came around to score one out later on freshman Samantha Camuso's sacrifice fly to put UCLA ahead 2-1. The senior ended the weekend with another two-hit, two-RBI contest against Saint Peter's to give her eight multiple-hit games (51 for her career) and four multi-RBI contests (29 career). Colburn is fourth on the team with 13 RBI, tied for first with 10 walks and third with 16 runs scored.
She may only be 5-foot-2, but junior Amanda Kamekona packs a big punch with her bat, leading the Bruins with four home runs through the first month of the season. Kamekona hit a pair of home runs two weeks ago at the Palm Springs Classic and continued her great hitting with a 7-for-16 (.438) performance last week, scoring seven times and driving in five. The junior scored twice in each of the Bruins' first three games at the San Diego Classic against James Madison, San Diego and Eastern Michigan. She also had two-hit games against JMU and Saint Peter's and drove in two and three, respectively, in those contests. Along with leading the team in home runs, Kamekona, who is hitting .344, is tops in runs scored with 23 and sacrifice hits with four, second in stolen bases with five, third in doubles (6) and runs batted in (19) and tied for first with 10 walks.
She may only be a freshman, but GiOnna DiSalvatore is playing like a seasoned veteran through the first month. Already a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week, DiSalvatore leads the team with 26 runs batted in, five game-winning RBI, eight doubles and a .714 slugging percentage and is second with a .460 batting average and 17 runs scored. The freshman had her team-leading seventh multiple-RBI game of the season with a 2-for-4, three RBI performance against San Diego on Friday. DiSalvatore also had RBI against James Madison and Saint Peter's. The freshman scored a run in each of the first four games last week to give her runs scored in seven straight contests from Feb. 23 to Mar. 1. DiSalvatore earned her first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Feb. 12 after hitting .625 with nine RBI and a 1.063 slugging percentage during the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. Her second POW came following her performance at the Palm Springs Classic, as the freshman went 8-for-12 (.667) with six runs scored, five runs batted in and a 1.250 slugging percentage. DiSalvatore also leads the team with nine multiple-hit games.
You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Not only a line from the movie 'Bull Durham', but something that sophomore Megan Langenfeld is able to do equally well. Langenfeld is third on the team with a .447 batting average, is 2-0 with a 0.93 earned run average in the circle and is one of the top fielding first baseman in the nation. The multi-talented sophomore hit .389 (7-for-18) last week, while also throwing nine scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in the circle, picking up a win and a save. The Bakersfield native faced her hometown school last Wednesday and went 2-for-3 at the plate against the Roadrunners, also throwing three scoreless innings of relief to earn her first save of the year. In her second pitching appearance of the week on Saturday, Langenfeld tossed six one-hit innings and struck out six in a victory over Eastern Michigan. The sophomore was great at the plate too, going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in, a run scored and a double.
TAKING A BITE OUT OF THE COMPETITION
Freshman Monica Harrison had another fantastic week at the plate, going 5-for-14 (.357) with four runs scored and two runs batted in during six games. Harrison got her week off to a good start, driving in a run in the Bruins' 3-0 victory over Cal State Bakersfield last Wednesday. On Friday during the first day of the San Diego Classic, the freshman went 1-for-2 with a run scored and a double against James Madison and had a hit, a run and an RBI in the nightcap against San Diego. On Saturday against San Diego State, Harrison recorded her fourth multiple-hit game of the year, going 2-for-3 with a run scored in UCLA's 2-1 victory over the Aztecs. Harrison is one of eight players hitting over .300 this season, batting at a .326 clip.
NEWS AND NOTES
Sophomore Kaila Shull's hitting as heated up, as she went 3-for-6 with three runs scored, two RBI and her second homer of the season at the San Diego Classic. Shull jacked one off the right-field foul pole against San Diego on Friday, also driving in another run on a single and scoring twice. Against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Shull went 1-for-3 with a run scored and her second stolen base of the season ... freshmen Amy Crawford and Lauren Mirabal each made their collegiate debuts at the plate against Saint Peter's on Sunday. Crawford, who also made her first career start in left against Eastern Michigan, popped up, while Mirabal grounded out. The two have mainly been used as pinch-runners, with Mirabal scoring nine runs with a team-best six stolen bases and Crawford crossing home plate five times.
SELDEN NOMINATED FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Anjelica Selden has been selected as a nominee for the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award is given to the nation's outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I softball.Selden is one of 30 nominees who along with their resumes as elite college softball players also excel in the classroom and make an impact in their respective communities. The award, presented to NCAA Division I student-athletes each year in eight sports, focuses on the 'Four C's' of classroom, character, community and competition.An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched in 2001 to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who fulfill their entire athletic eligibility and pursue their degree. Since that time, Lowe's, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, has expanded the award to include other NCAA sports and the award has developed into the nation's premier tribute to college seniors.From the list of 30 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in late March. Those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote that will include coaches, media and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2008 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.