Top-Ranked UCLA Opens Up Pac-10 Play Against Oregon State and Oregon
March 26, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Oregon State at #1 UCLA
Friday, March 28
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Gametracker, Audio
Oregon at #1 UCLA
Saturday, March 29
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Gametracker, Audio
Oregon at #1 UCLA
Sunday, March 30
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Gametracker, Audio
#1 UCLA OPENS PAC-10 PLAY AGAINST OREGON SCHOOLS
The top-ranked Bruins (28-3) begin Pac-10 Conference play this weekend, hosting Oregon State (21-14) on Friday at 1 p.m. before entertaining Oregon (25-11) on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m. at Easton Stadium. All three games will feature Gametracker and live audio on UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins moved up to the #1 spot in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll, receiving nine first-place votes and two more points than second-place Arizona State. UCLA maintained its #4 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA rankings for the second week in a row, picking up one first-place vote.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
All Pac-10 Conference home games will be broadcast live over the internet at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston and Jeff Knox at the call. In addition, every contest will feature Gametracker on the UCLA website.
OLYMPIC GAME TICKET UPDATE
Only a handful of tickets remain for the highly-anticipated UCLA-USA Softball game. 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 logging on to UCLABruins.com. All tickets are general admission and are $20 for adults and $10 for UCLA students and youths 16 and under.
MORE TICKET INFO
Tickets for all UCLA Softball games can now be purchased in advance by calling (310) UCLA-WIN. To secure your seats to our popular Pac-10 weekend games, advance purchase is recommended. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths 16 and under. UCLA students are free with a Bruin Card ID. Advance tickets for Sunday's game against Oregon have been sold out and only a small quantity of tickets will be available at Easton Stadium on the day of the game.
BRUINS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
Not only are the Bruins the top-ranked team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, but they are also #1 in the country in team earned run average in the initial NCAA rankings that were released this week. The statistics, which do not include Tuesday's doubleheader at UC Santa Barbara, place the Bruins (0.675) one-hundredth of an ERA point ahead of Michigan (0.676). The Bruins are also in the Top 25 in batting average (4th, .335), runs per game (25th, 5.59) and fielding percentage (24th, .974), making them one of six teams that are in the Top 25 in ERA, average, runs scored and fielding. Others on the list include Stanford, Florida, Houston, Fresno State and Arizona. As a team, the Bruins also place ninth in doubles per game (1.76) and 15th in slugging percentage (.483). On an individual note, senior Anjelica Selden is ranked in the Top 15 in earned run average (9th, 0.73), fewest hits allowed per seven innings (6th, 3.06) and strikeouts per seven innings (12th, 10.6). Freshman Donna Kerr is in the Top 30 in the same three categories, ranking fifth in earned run average (0.57), 10th in hits allowed (3.30) and 28th in strikeouts (9.1). Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore is 22nd in the nation in runs batted in per game (1.07) and doubles per game (0.38).
BRUINS IN PAC-10 OPENERS
Since the Pac-10 moved to its current format of three conference games in as many days for the 2000 season, UCLA has a 12-10 record in conference-opening series' (2002 was a two-game series at Washington, 2004 was limited to two games due to a rainout). The last time the Bruins swept their first league series was in 2003 with a 3-0 record at Stanford and California. This weekend marks the third straight year the Bruins have started Pac-10 play at home after starting on the road the previous six campaigns. UCLA is 3-3 over the last two seasons. The Bruins are 14-10 during the opening home weekend of Pac-10 play since 2000, recording sweeps of the Bay Area schools in 2002 and the Arizona squads in 2005.
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 19 times and has won every contest, accomplishing the feat again in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader at UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins have outscored opponents 42-4 in the first inning. Overall, UCLA is 26-0 when scoring first and 2-3 when its opponent plates the first run.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Oregon State brings a 21-14 record into this week's action after dropping a non-conference matchup at Portland State on Tuesday to end a nine-game winning streak. OSU was 9-12 on March 2 until winning 12 of its next 14 to improve to seven games over .500. The Beavers had four common opponents with the Bruins during the preseason. UCLA went 2-0 against Nevada and Georgia, while Oregon State lost both contests. OSU has played Portland State three times and is 2-1, with UCLA beating the Vikings 7-4 in Las Vegas. Each team also fell to Cal State Fullerton. Oregon State is hitting .304 as a team and is led by sophomore Dani Chisholm, who is batting .400 with 20 RBI and 12 stolen bases. The Beavers have three other players batting over .300, including senior Cambria Miranda, who has a team-high six home runs. In the circle, sophomores Kelly Dyer and Stefanie Draper have split the duties. Dyer holds a 12-9 record, a 2.56 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 126 innings, while Draper is 9-5 with a 3.26 earned run average and 51 strikeouts in 105 1/3 innings.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. BEAVERS
UCLA holds a commanding 73-9 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State, winning two of three last season. In the game in Corvallis on April 13, the Bruins were held to four hits in a 7-0 loss. Megan Langenfeld tossed three innings of scoreless relief. However, UCLA rebounded with a pair of wins at home against Oregon State, taking 6-3 and 5-3 decisions (April 28-29). Jodie Legaspi smashed two home runs and had five RBI in the 6-3 victory, as Langenfeld earned the win in the circle. In the 5-3 triumph, Anjelica Selden became UCLA's career strikeout leader, striking out Alana Ford to start off the third for her 1,096th strikeout. Langenfeld was the hero again for the Bruins, driving in the go-ahead run and retiring the final two batters to earn the save. The Bruins are 36-3 at home against the Beavers, having won 12 of the last 13. Oregon State's only win during that span was a 2-0 victory in 2006.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Oregon (25-11) is on an 11-game winning streak entering the start of Pac-10 play and will travel to Washington for a game on Friday before flying down to Los Angeles. Among the Ducks' wins during their streak is a victory over UCLA common opponent UNLV. Both teams have also defeated Cal State Northridge, South Carolina, Oklahoma, San Diego, Cal State Bakersfield and James Madison. The Bruins have also beaten Baylor, San Diego State and Northwestern twice, with Oregon falling to all three teams. The Ducks are batting .289 as a team and are led by sophomore Neena Bryant, who is tops in hitting (.411), home runs (8) and runs batted in (32). She also has 16 stolen bases, which is third on a team that has swiped 79 on the year. Freshman Cortney Kivett leads the way with 27 stolen bases, also holding a .377 average. Senior Joanna Gail is second on the team with seven home runs and 25 runs batted in. In the circle, junior Melissa Rice and senior Alicia Cook have made 32 of the 36 starts. Rice has a 2.11 ERA, an 11-4 record and 73 strikeouts in 93 2/3 innings, while Cook holds a 2.29 earned run average, a 10-7 mark and 97 punchouts in 114 innings.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. DUCKS
The Bruins have swept the season series with the Ducks each of the last two years and hold a 61-12 overall edge. Oregon's last wins came in 2005 when it swept UCLA. Last year, the Bruins claimed 13-3 and 5-1 victories in Eugene (April 14-15). In the first win, UCLA pounded out 15 hits, including three-hit games from Krista Colburn and Kaila Shull, while Anjelica Selden struck out nine in the victory. Colburn added two more hits in the 5-1 triumph, as Langenfeld allowed no earned runs with eight strikeouts in the circle. The Bruins completed the sweep with an 8-0, five-inning victory at Easton Stadium on April 27. Langenfeld tossed five scoreless innings with four strikeouts. The Bruins are 25-7 all-time at home against the Ducks.
STREAKS AND TRENDS
The Bruins have a few unbeaten streaks on the line as they open up Pac-10 play this weekend. Along with its streaks of scoring first and scoring in the first inning, UCLA will try to keep its perfect 10-0 record on Fridays intact against Oregon State in the league opener. The Bruins are also 11-0 this year when hitting a homer.
JELLY ON A ROLL
Chalk up another double-figure strikeout game for senior Anjelica Selden, who recorded her eighth such contest of the season after a 12-punchout performance at UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday. Selden scattered five hits and two runs to earn the win, improving to a team-best 13-2 this season with a miniscule ERA of 0.83. The senior has struck out a club-high 157 batters, which also ranks her fifth among pitchers in the Pac-10. In terms of NCAA leaders, with those statistics coming out for the first time on Monday, Selden is ranked in the Top 15 in three categories. She is ninth in ERA, sixth in fewest hits allowed per seven innings and 12th in strikeouts per seven innings. One of the most decorated pitchers in UCLA history, Selden is a two-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week this season and has earned the honor nine times in her career. The senior has also been bestowed with National Player of the Week awards from the NFCA and USA Softball, while also receiving nominations for the USA Softball Player of the Year and the Lowe's Senior CLASS awards. Selden became the 21st Division I pitcher to record 1,200 strikeouts for a career on March 1 at San Diego State and enters Pac-10 play with 1,263 as a Bruin. She has 96 strikeouts in her last 56 innings, with two milestone punchout games included in that streak. Selden set a new personal best for strikeouts in a seven-inning game with 17 against Northwestern on Feb. 24 and posted a career-high 15 K's against James Madison on Feb. 29, a watershed mark for strikeouts in a five-inning contest. With her 1,200th-strikeout milestone having been reached and number 1,300 on the horizon, Selden is on the verge of another milestone as she approaches 100 career victories. With 94 wins as a Bruin, the senior is just six away from becoming the 33rd Division I pitcher to post 100 victories. Selden's victory against UC Santa Barbara also moved her into fourth on UCLA's all-time wins list. Next up is B'Ann Burns in third with 96 wins.
Speaking of pitchers who are baffling opposing batters, let me introduce you to freshman Donna Kerr. Sure she doesn't yet have as many awards as her pitching counterpart Anjelica Selden, but the important word there is 'yet.' The first-year hurler has already earned one Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award and is showing that the pitcher's circle will be in good hands for the next four years. Kerr notched her third straight double-figure strikeout contest against UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, fanning 10 in the complete-game three-hitter to improve to 11-1 on the season. She owns a team-low ERA of 0.52 and has 107 strikeouts, which is second on the squad. Nationally, Kerr is in the Top 30 in three pitching categories, ranking fifth in ERA, 10th in hits allowed per seven innings and 28th in strikeouts per seven innings. The freshman is in the middle of an amazing stretch in which she has allowed just one earned run in her last 50 1/3 innings (0.14 ERA). She also has 76 strikeouts during that stretch and tossed her first career perfect game against Saint Peter's on March 2. Kerr set down all 15 Peahens she faced, striking out seven to throw the 16th perfect game and 99th no-hitter in Bruin history. The perfecto capped off a great week, as she threw 15 scoreless innings, struck out 21 and allowed only two hits to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors. Kerr has five solo shutouts on the season and has given up one earned run or fewer in 12 of her 13 starts. Along with the shutout of Saint Peter's, Kerr has also blanked San Diego (Feb. 29) and ranked teams Missouri (Feb. 15), Hawai'i (Feb. 23) and Northwestern (March 9).
HERE WE GO, KATIE SCHRO!
There has been nobody carrying a hotter bat for the Bruins than freshman Katie Schroeder. The leadoff hitter is batting .529 (18-for-34) over her last 12 games, raising her average 77 points to .380 on the season, which ranks fourth on the team. The freshman has five double-figure hit games during the last dozen, including a pair of three-hit contests on Tuesday at UC Santa Barbara. Schroeder finished the doubleheader 6-for-9 with three runs scored. Twice this season, Schroeder has posted four-hit games, going 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored against Santa Clara on Feb. 9 and 4-for-5 against Rutgers on March 8. Once reaching base, the speedster is showing her speed, swiping three bases in the last four games, including a pair against Cal State Fullerton on March 12. Schroeder's 12 multiple-hit games tie her for first on the squad.
CAPTAIN CLUTCH CLEANING UP
Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore continues to clean up in the fourth spot of the order and leads the Bruins with 33 runs batted in, eight multiple-RBI games and six game-winning RBI. She is also tied for the top spot in batting average (.398), doubles (11) and multiple-hit games (12). Already a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week, DiSalvatore ranks in the conference Top 10 in four categories, placing third in doubles and triples (2) and seventh in average and RBI. The freshman is also cracking the Top 25 on the national scene, ranking 22nd in both doubles per game and RBI per game. DiSalvatore's most recent game-winner came on March 7 in a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame. The freshman drove in all three runs against the Fighting Irish, including the go-ahead score in the top of the seventh on an RBI double. On Feb. 22 against Georgia, DiSalvatore continued to clutch up, breaking open a 2-2 tie with a bases-clearing double to lift the Bruins to an eventual 5-2 win. The hit capped off a great weekend for the freshman, which led to her second Player of the Week award. The first came following an opening weekend in which DiSalvatore went 10-for-14 (.714) with nine RBI, five runs scored and four doubles at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. DiSalvatore hit her first career home run on Feb. 9 against UC Santa Barbara, a three-run, two-out shot in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game and sent it to extra innings before UCLA won it in the eighth. With all of her offensive skills, DiSalvatore showed her defensive range on Tuesday at UC Santa Barbara, starting at first and third base in the two games of the twinbill, also making an appearance in right field. She has played a total of four positions this season, making five starts at second base during the opening weekend.
Creeping up on GiOnna DiSalvatore for the batting lead is fellow freshman Samantha Camuso. The freshmen are even in numerous offensive categories, including average (.398), doubles (11) and home runs (2). Camuso also stands second on the club with 27 runs batted in, with four of those RBI being game-winners. The freshman posted her first career walk-off RBI on March 9 against Long Beach State, doubling home the game-winning run in the eighth inning to give the Bruins a 1-0 victory. Although it wasn't of the walk-off variety, Camuso added another game-winner eight days prior in a 2-1 win at San Diego State. In another extra-inning affair, Camuso's sacrifice fly in the ninth gave UCLA the one-run victory. The freshman hit both of her home runs during the opening weekend, including a two-run shot against nationally-ranked Oklahoma on Feb. 8 for UCLA's first homer of the season. One day later, Camuso added a grand slam 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.
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. That was no more evident on Tuesday at UC Santa Barbara, when the sophomore started game one at designated player and ended it in the circle, while playing game two at first base. And that's not to mention the 4-for-6, three-RBI effort at the plate. After going 1-for-3 with an RBI single in game one on Tuesday, Langenfeld went 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and a double to extend her hitting streak to seven games. The three-hit game gave Langenfeld her eighth multiple-hit contest of the season. The sophomore is 9-for-19 (.474) during the streak with seven runs batted in, two home runs and six walks. On the season, Langenfeld is third on the team with a .395 average, first in on base percentage (.510), second with four home runs and a .618 slugging percentage and fourth with 19 runs batted in. Meanwhile in the circle, Langenfeld has not allowed a run in any of her last six appearances, posting 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. An even more amazing streak comes with Langenfeld's walk total. The sophomore has not walked anybody since issuing one to the very first hitter of the season, a streak of 90 straight batters without giving up a free pass. Langenfeld set down all six batters she faced in each of her last pair of two-inning stints against Cal State Northridge (March 13) and UC Santa Barbara, striking out seven. Langenfeld holds an ERA of 0.55 and a perfect 4-0 record, limiting opponents to a .129 batting average.
She may only be 5-foot-2, but junior Amanda Kamekona packs a big punch with her bat, leading the Bruins with six home runs. She added two her total on March 13 against Cal State Northridge, hitting solo shots in the first and fourth innings in a 7-0 victory. Kamekona is one of seven Bruins hitting above .300 with a .333 average, holding the top spot with 30 runs scored and seven sacrifice hits and placing third with 24 runs batted in and nine doubles. Along with being handy with the bat, she is also a force once she gets on base, placing second on the team with seven stolen bases. Kamekona has hits in six of her last seven games and also has at least one hit, one RBI and two runs scored in her last three contests. The junior went a combined 4-for-9 in Tuesday's doubleheader at UC Santa Barbara, scoring four times and driving in three. Of Kamekona's 24 RBI, eight came in a Feb. 9 contest against Santa Clara, which set a UCLA single-game record. Breaking the old mark of Julie Marshall, who had seven RBI in a game against Oregon on April 17, 1999, Kamekona had a two-run homer, a two-run double, a three-run double and a sacrifice fly against the Broncos.
KC AT THE BAT
Senior Krista Colburn enters this weekend's action just two hits shy of becoming the 20th member of the 200-hit club at UCLA. The senior saw her consecutive starts streak end at 202 games after sitting against Cal State Northridge on March 13, but came back with hits in both contests in Tuesday's doubleheader at UC Santa Barbara. Colburn drove in a pair with a single in game one and went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks in the nightcap. The senior is batting .349 on the season with 16 runs batted in and a team-best 19 walks. Colburn has drawn at least one walk in seven of her last nine games. She is also third on the team with 22 runs scored and a .458 on base percentage. Colburn ranks fourth with nine multiple-hit games.
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