#3 UCLA Steals Its Way to a Victory Over Longwood
March 8, 2009
LAKEWOOD, Calif. - The third-ranked Bruins stole eight bases, including home twice, as they defeated Longwood 12-2 in six innings on Sunday at the Long Beach State Invitational. Sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI, two triples and a double, while junior Kaila Shull, sophomore Monica Harrison and freshman Andrea Harrison each had two hits.
The Bruins win their 18th in a row to improve to 23-2 on the year, while the Lancers fall to 6-9. UCLA plays Long Beach State in its final game of the weekend at approximately 2 p.m.
DiSalvatore's four-hit game was the first of her career, while her two triples marked the 12th time a UCLA player has accomplished the feat in one game. The eight stolen bases for the Bruins were the second-most in a single game, trailing the 10 swipes against Canisius on May 18, 2000.
In the bottom of the second, Longwood had a golden chance to get on the board first after Courtney Long had a leadoff triple down the right-field line. But junior Whitney Baker retired the next three batters, inducing Maggie Margadonna into a pop up to second and striking out Briana Wells and Tricia Nelson to keep the game scoreless.
The Bruins used the defensive stop as momentum to score three in the top of the third. Senior Amanda Kamekona had a one-out single to right and stole second. Sophomore Katie Schroeder then singled to center to put runners at the corners. Schroeder subsequently stole second, and when the throw went down to second, Kamekona scampered to the plate and beat the return throw to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. However, Schroeder was caught rounding third on the play by catcher Emily Radford for the second out of the inning. It would prove to be a big out for the Lancers, as DiSalvatore followed with a triple to right-center. Shull fell behind 0-2 in the next at-bat, but came back and cranked a two-run homer to right on a 2-2 pitch to put UCLA ahead 3-0. It was Shull's sixth home run of the season.
The Lancers got another leadoff runner on base to start the third when Nichole Simmons doubled down the left-field line. But Baker again got out of a jam, getting Ashley Kramer to ground out to short and fanning Camille Ketsdever and Radford to end the inning.
In the fourth, the Bruins took advantage of three Longwood errors to score five runs. Burney reached on an error by shortstop Kramer to begin the inning and was pinch-run for by sophomore Lauren Mirabal, who stole second. One out later, sophomore Amy Crawford reached on an error by first baseman Long as she tried to bunt Mirabal to third. The Bruins then successfully completed their second steal of home in as many innings, as Crawford took second and Mirabal came home to make it 4-0. Monica Harrison followed with a single to left to drive in Crawford to make it a 5-0 lead. One out later, Schroeder walked and DiSalvatore recorded her second triple in as many at-bats to right, plating both Harrison and Schroeder to increase the advantage to 7-0. After a walk to Shull, who then stole second, Andrea Harrison hit a smash to Margadonna at second, which was knocked down but allowed DiSalvatore to score to make it 8-0.
The Lancers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with two runs. Amy Betterton walked to begin the inning and was pinch-run for by Brittany Matthews. Two outs later, Wells laced a triple to right-center to bring home Matthews and make it 8-1. Nelson then singled up the middle to plate pinch-runner Brittany Spencer to cut the deficit to 8-2.
The Bruins got the runs back and then some with four in the top of the sixth. DiSalvatore led off the inning with a double to deep center, her third extra-base hit of the game, and moved to third on an check-swing single to third by Shull. Sophomore Grace Murray came on to run for Shull and moved into scoring position with a steal of second. Andrea Harrison then singled to left, bringing in DiSalvatore and Murray to make it 10-2. Burney gave the Bruins a dozen runs with a two-run bomb to left-center, her fourth home run of the season.
Baker earned the victory to improve to 8-0 on the year, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in four innings. Sophomore Donna Kerr tossed two scoreless innings for the Bruins in the fifth and sixth, allowing just one walk while striking out four.
Wells started for the Lancers and gave up eight hits, eight runs (three earned) and two walks in four innings with three strikeouts. Spencer tossed the last two frames, allowing six hits and four runs.