Fourth-Ranked Bruins Head to Bay Area to Open Pac-10 Play
March 26, 2009
Friday, March 27
7 p.m. - #4 UCLA at #3 Stanford
Saturday, March 28
1 p.m. - #4 UCLA at #12 California
Sunday, March 29
12 p.m. - #4 UCLA at #12 California
Gametracker and live audio (Stanford game only) at UCLABruins.com
UCLA OPENS UP PAC-10 PLAY AT STANFORD, CALIFORNIA
The fourth-ranked Bruins (25-4) head to the Bay Area this weekend to begin Pacific-10 Conference play, taking on third-ranked Stanford (29-1) and #12 California (23-8). Friday's game with the Cardinal starts at 7 p.m. and will feature Gametracker and live audio on UCLABruins.com. On Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.) at Cal, Gametracker only will be available on the UCLA athletics' website.
The Bruins host the Arizona schools next weekend at Easton Stadium in their first slate of home conference contests. The April 3 game against Arizona State, which begins at 1 p.m., will be televised by Fox Sports Net on tape delay at a time to be determined. UCLA also entertains Arizona on Saturday, April 4 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 at 12 p.m.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
After dropping down to fifth last week, the Bruins moved back up to fourth in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings. UCLA remained at fifth in the USA Today/NFCA poll for the third consecutive week. The Bruins have been in the top six of each poll every week this season. UCLA was also selected first in the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches poll, earning 43 points and three first-place votes.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
Fans can follow UCLA all season long on UCLABruins.com. Gametracker will be featured for all Bruin contests, as will live audio (except 3/28, 3/29 & 4/25) with Darren Preston (home games) and James Ybiernas (road games) at the call.
BRUINS ON THE TUBE
The Bruins will be featured on television twice this season. Both games will be against Arizona State and aired on Fox Sports Net. The April 3 contest at Easton Stadium will begin at 1 p.m., but the broadcast will be tape delayed and shown at a later date. The April 25 game in Tempe, which has been changed to a 1 p.m. start to accommodate TV, will likely be shown live.
BRUINS IN PAC-10 OPENERS
After starting Pac-10 play at home for each of the last three seasons, the Bruins open conference action on the road in 2009. UCLA went 3-0 in its league debut last year against the Oregon schools at home, but went 1-2 in its opening Pac-10 road series at the Arizona institutions. Since 1987, the Bruins are 43-17 (.717) during the first weekend of Pac-10 action. Of the 60 matchups, half of them have come against either Stanford or California, as the Bruins hold a 23-7 (.767) mark in those meetings. In Pac-10 road openers, UCLA is 32-21 (.604) and 19-6 (.760) when it plays Stanford or Cal during the first weekend. The last time the Bruins began Pac-10 play against the Bay Area schools was at home in 2006 when they went 2-1. The last time UCLA faced the Bay Area schools in its opening road conference series was in 2003 when it went 3-0.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
Stanford enters Friday's tilt with UCLA on a program-best, 28-game winning streak. Since a 1-0 loss to Oklahoma State in their second contest of the season on Feb. 6, the Cardinal have not lost, posting shutouts in 14 of their 29 victories. Last week, Stanford went 4-0 at its home invitational, defeating Princeton, Winthrop, Santa Clara and Pacific. The Cardinal then beat Cal Poly 2-1 in 10 innings on Monday. Stanford is hitting .324 as a team with 24 home runs and 37 stolen bases, averaging 6.3 runs per game. Two players are hitting over .400, led by junior Alissa Haber, who is first on the team with a .476 average and 10 stolen bases, adding five homers and 17 RBI. Freshman Ashley Hansen is second with a .438 average and tops on the team with 33 runs batted in. Junior Rosey Neill is the top home run hitter with six. In the circle, senior Missy Penna is 19-1 with a 0.57 earned run average and 167 strikeouts in 134 innings. Sophomore Ashley Chinn is 10-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 65 innings.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UCLA-STANFORD
The Bruins swept the season series with the Cardinal last year, winning 3-1 at Easton Stadium on April 4 and posting 1-0 and 4-1 victories at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on April 26 and 27. In the first game, Megan Langenfeld tossed 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. In the first meeting at Stanford, Donna Kerr and Langenfeld combined on a five-hitter and Samantha Camuso drove in the game's lone run on a double in the fourth. The Bruins finished off the season sweep one day later when Langenfeld hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the only runs UCLA would need. The Bruins lead the all-time series 47-14 and are 24-5 at Stanford. The Cardinal's last win came on May 6, 2007 at Easton Stadium (4-1) and their last triumph at home was on April 20, 2007 (6-4). Each of the last 10 meetings have been decided by three runs or less.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
California has already had a busy week, losing 2-1 in eight innings at Sacramento State on Tuesday and winning at Pacific 11-6 on Wednesday. The Golden Bears lost three of four last weekend at the Capital Classic in Sacramento, beating UNLV, but falling to BYU, Colorado State and Cal Poly. Cal is batting .268 as a team with 31 home runs and 104 stolen bases, averaging 5.2 runs per game. The Golden Bears have three players with at least 20 stolen bases (freshman Jamia Reid - 29, junior Shannon Thomas - 22 and freshman Elia Reid - 22). Four Cal players are batting over .300, led by sophomore Valerie Arioto, who is hitting .345 with six homers and 20 RBI. Elia Reid is hitting .333 with 14 runs batted in, while Jamia Reid is batting .330 with six homers and 19 RBI. Sophomore Sanoe Kekahuna leads the squad with eight home runs to go with a .313 average and 22 RBI. In the circle, junior Marissa Drewrey has pitched in a team-best 132 2/3 innings, holding a 14-7 record, a 1.69 ERA and 159 strikeouts. Arioto is 9-1 with a 1.12 earned run average and 95 strikeouts in 75 innings.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UCLA-CALIFORNIA
The Bruins swept the season series from the Golden Bears last year, winning 2-1 and 5-0 at Easton Stadium (April 5-6) and 7-2 at Levine-Fricke Field on April 25. In the first game in Westwood, Donna Kerr tossed six no-hit innings and the Bruins scored both their runs on bases-loaded walks in a 2-1 victory. In the second contest, Amanda Kamekona went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a homer, while Katie Schroeder went 3-for-4 with a run and a double. In the third matchup in Berkeley, UCLA scored six times in the fourth, as Langenfeld went 3-for-3 with three RBI at the plate and allowed no earned runs in a complete-game, six-strikeout performance in the circle. The Bruins lead the all-time series 75-19 and have won seven of the last eight. UCLA is also 27-11 at Cal, having won five straight in Berkeley. Cal's last win in the series was a 3-1 triumph on May 4, 2007 at Easton Stadium, while its last victory at home was a 2-1 win on April 9, 2005.
BAKER GRANTED MEDICAL HARDSHIP WAIVER
Whitney Baker was granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA on March 12, giving her another year of eligibility. Baker pitched in just three innings last season due to injuries. She began this season as a junior on the roster, but will be referred to as a redshirt sophomore for the remainder of the season.
BRUINS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
As a team, UCLA is ranked in the Top 15 nationally in seven statistical categories, including third with a .579 slugging percentage and fourth with 7.07 runs per game and 1.52 home runs per game. The Bruins are also fifth in winning percentage (.889), sixth in fielding percentage (.978), 10th in doubles per game (1.74) and 13th in batting average (.321). Individually, four Bruins are in the Top 40 in several categories. Junior Kaila Shull is fourth in the country in RBI per game at 1.37, 17th in slugging percentage (.835), 24th in batting average (.443) and tied for second with four sacrifice flies. Sophomore Katie Schroeder ranks 10th in runs per game at 1.15, tied for 10th in home runs per game (0.33), 14th in on base percentage (.538), 33rd in slugging (.790) and tied for 36th with 0.70 walks per game. Sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore sits 20th in runs per game at 1.07 and tied for 16th with three triples. In the circle, sophomore Donna Kerr is ninth in strikeouts per seven innings at 10.5 and tied for 19th with 13 wins. All statistics were as of games completed on March 22.
I GOT YOUR CRAZY
The Bruins belted two more home runs in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, bringing their season total to 43. UCLA has already surpassed its home run total from last year of 36. Sophomore Katie Schroeder leads the way with nine, junior Kaila Shull has eight and senior Amanda Kamekona has six. Every Bruin regular has belted at least two home runs this season. Entering Tuesday's game, the Bruins were tied for fourth in the nation in home runs. The Bruins have hit a home run in 21 of their 29 games this year and at least two in a game 12 times. They hit a season-best four home runs in wins against UNLV (Feb. 13), South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). UCLA set a school record by hitting a home run in 14 consecutive games to start the season. The previous school best was nine, set in 2002 (April 27-May 16) and 2004 (Feb. 20-March 5).
INOUYE-PEREZ REACHES 100 WINS
Third-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez won her 100th career game on Feb. 22 against Maryland. Inouye-Perez accomplished the feat in just 129 games. Sue Enquist, as co-head coach with Sharron Backus, reached her 100th win in 1990 after 109 games. Backus reached the 100-win mark in 1980 after 132 contests.
With their victory against UC Santa Barbara in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader, the Bruins have won 70 straight contests when crossing home plate first. UCLA is 18-0 this year when scoring first, after going 44-0 in 2008. The last time the Bruins lost when crossing home plate first was on April 1, 2007 against Arizona. Not is all lost though when UCLA doesn't score first, as it has posted seven comeback victories. The Bruins have also been undefeated this year when hitting two or more home runs in a game, as they did in the first game of Tuesday's twinbill, to move to 12-0 on the season. UCLA has not lost a lead when ahead after four innings and is 18-0 when scoring at least five runs.
Since moving to the four spot in the Bruin lineup, junior Kaila Shull has indeed been cleaning up. In 20 games in the heart of the potent UCLA order, Shull is batting .483 (28-for-58) with seven home runs, 31 runs batted in and 14 runs scored. The junior has multiple-hit games in five of her last eight, going 2-for-4 with three RBI and her eighth home run of the year in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara. In the nightcap against the Gauchos, Shull drove in both Bruin runs on a single to cap the twinbill with five RBI. The junior will be sorry to see the month of March go, as she is 15-for-30 (.500) this month with 15 runs batted in and three homers. Shull leads the Bruins with a .442 batting average, 42 runs batted in and an .849 slugging percentage. She is second with eight homers and a .475 on base percentage and third with seven doubles. Shull even gets it done when she sacrifices herself for the team, leading UCLA with four sac flies and tying for first with four sacrifice bunts. The junior is tops on the team in multiple-hit games with 13 and multiple-RBI contests with 12. She has a trio of three-hit games this year against Colorado State (Feb. 27), FIU (March 6) and Syracuse (March 7). Shull has driven in four runs on two occasions against San Diego State (Feb. 8) and Simon Fraser (Feb. 17). In the game against SDSU, Shull hit a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning and against Simon Fraser, the junior tied a career best with two home runs. Shull also had three straight games with three RBI against Fresno State (Feb. 22), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25) and Utah (Feb. 27) and has since added three-RBI efforts against FIU and UCSB. Defensively, the catcher has been flawless, committing no errors in 212 chances and only one passed ball behind home plate.
The term double-double is typically used for statistical purposes in basketball, but sophomore Katie Schroeder is just one home run away from recording her own double-double. Schroeder has nine homers and 13 stolen bases, both totals leading the team, and is just one bomb away from becoming the sixth Bruin to post at least 10 home runs and 10 steals in the same season. Yvonne Gutierrez (1992), Christie Ambrosi (1999), Lyndsey Klein (2000), Natasha Watley (2003) and Andrea Duran (2006) are all members of the exclusive club. Schroeder got her ninth jack on March 10 against Notre Dame with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning. The homer extended Schroeder's hitting streak to seven games, marking the second time this season she had hit safely in at least seven straight. The sophomore had an 11-game hitting streak to start the season in which she batted .457 (16-for-35) with six home runs, 13 RBI and 15 runs scored. Schroeder lost her seven-game streak in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against UCSB, but still has hits in eight of nine and is batting .440 (11-for-25) with nine RBI, 11 runs scored, two home runs and five stolen bases during that span. Six of Schroeder's nine homers came during the opening two weekends. She left the yard in each of her first three games against Purdue (Feb. 7), Indiana (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). She then went deep twice against Northwestern on Feb. 13, recording a career-high six runs batted in to become just the 10th player in UCLA history to drive in at least half a dozen runs in a single contest. The sophomore also has homers against Kentucky (Feb. 14), North Carolina State (Feb. 21) and Iowa (March 6), belting a walk-off shot in the eighth inning against the Hawkeyes. Schroeder, the team leader in runs scored with 33, has crossed home plate twice 10 times this season. Along with scoring the runs, Schroeder has been driving them in, ranking tied for third with 23 runs batted in. She has five multiple-RBI games this year, driving in five on March 1 at San Diego. The sophomore also has eight multiple-hit efforts, going 3-for-4 against Maryland on Feb. 22 and 3-for-4 against San Diego. Schroeder sits first on the team in walks with 22 and a .545 on base percentage.
Senior Amanda Kamekona is entering Pac-10 play on a high note after going 4-for-8 with five RBI and a home run in Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara. Kamekona went 3-for-4 in the first game for her eighth multiple-hit contest this season, driving in a season-high five on a two-run single in the second and a three-run homer in the sixth. She went 1-for-4 with a run and a stolen base in the nightcap and comes into conference play with hits in five of her last six. Kamekona sits second on the squad with 27 runs batted in, first with 11 doubles, third with six stolen bases and 23 runs scored and fourth with a .337 batting average and .624 slugging percentage. Kamekona posted a season-long, 11-game hitting streak from Feb. 15-28, batting .425 with 12 RBI, 11 runs scored, eight doubles and four home runs. She had multiple-hit games five times during the streak, including a 3-for-4 effort against Utah (Feb. 27). Kamekona also had another three-hit game on March 1 at San Diego. The senior has seven games with at least a pair of runs batted in, knocking in four against North Carolina State on Feb. 21 on her first career grand slam. She also had three RBI against Northwestern (Feb. 13) and San Diego. Kamekona has left the yard six times this year, hitting balls out against Northwestern, South Dakota State (Feb. 15), Alabama (Feb. 20), North Carolina State and Maryland (Feb. 22). Prior to the start of the season, Kamekona was named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
BATTING 3, NUMBER 3 AT POSITION 3
Sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore enters Pac-10 play third on the team with a .341 batting average, second with 30 runs scored and 10 doubles and fifth with 21 runs batted in. DiSalvatore recently had a career-best, nine-game hitting streak from Feb. 27 to March 8 in which she hit .552 (16-for-29) with eight RBI, 10 runs scored, five doubles and two triples. The sophomore posted her first career four-hit contest against Longwood on March 8, scoring three times, driving in two and falling a homer shy of a cycle with a single, a double and two triples. She also has three-hit games against Michigan (Feb. 14) and Colorado State (Feb. 27) and four more two-hit contests to give her seven multiple-hit games this season. In the RBI department, DiSalvatore has driven in multiple runs seven times and three runs on four occasions against Michigan, Kentucky (Feb. 14), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17) and Utah (Feb. 27). She has also scored at least twice in a game nine times, including two runs or more in five straight contests from Feb. 13-17. DiSalvatore has recorded three home runs this year against Michigan, Kentucky and Simon Fraser. She is first on the team in triples with three, tied for second with 16 walks, third with a .439 on base percentage and fourth with a .615 slugging. DiSalvatore was honored prior to the start of the 2009 season by being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
The walk from home plate to the dugout must be a lonely one for opposing hitters as 165 people have experienced this season against sophomore Donna Kerr, who notched her eighth double-figure strikeout game of the year in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against UCSB. Kerr fanned 10 Gauchos in just five innings after tossing six scoreless frames of four-hit ball in the opener to earn the victory. She has already surpassed her strikeout total from her freshman campaign (132). Along with leading the Bruins in strikeouts, Kerr is first on the team with a 14-3 record. She owns a 2.24 earned run average in 112 2/3 innings, tossing 12 complete games and four shutouts. Kerr set a new career high in strikeouts with 16 against San Diego on March 1. She also had a 15-strikeout game against Northwestern (Feb. 13), 12 against Utah (Feb. 27), 11 versus Notre Dame (March 10) and 10 against Purdue (Feb. 7), Cal Poly (Feb. 8) and Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25). Kerr received Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on March 3 after going 4-0 with a 1.91 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 22 innings from Feb. 25-March 1. Since allowing 16 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings in back-to-back appearances against Northwestern and Michigan (Feb. 13-14), Kerr has given up just 17 earned runs in her last 83 2/3 innings for a 1.42 ERA. She has won 12 of her last 13 starts. Four of Kerr's 14 wins have come against ranked teams (San Diego State - Feb. 8), Northwestern, Alabama - Feb. 20 and Fresno State - Feb. 22).
LANGENFELD BACK IN THE LINEUP
In her first appearance in the UCLA lineup since March 1, junior Megan Langenfeld returned to action in Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, going 1-for-5 with a single in the first game. She started both games at designated player after missing six contests with a sprained left ankle. At the plate, Langenfeld is batting .232 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. She has three multiple-hit games this season, including a 3-for-3, two-RBI effort against Fresno State on Feb. 22. Langenfeld has left the yard twice against UNLV (Feb. 13) and Maryland (Feb. 22). In the circle, the junior has been impressive, posting a 0.86 earned run average in 32 2/3 innings, going 3-0 with 34 strikeouts. Langenfeld also has yet to walk a batter this season and has limited opposing hitters to a .100 batting average, the best total among Pac-10 hurlers. Langenfeld earned her first save of the year on Feb. 28 at San Diego State, giving her seven for her career and tying her with Lisa Longaker for first all-time in UCLA history. On the defensive side of things, Langenfeld has yet to commit an error in 82 chances.
JB AT 3B
Junior Julie Burney drove in what proved to be the game-winning run on March 10 as the Bruins defeated Notre Dame 3-1. It was Burney's RBI infield single in the fourth inning that gave UCLA a 2-1 lead. The junior finished the game with a pair of infield hits for her seventh multiple-hit contest of the season. Burney had a three-hit game at San Diego on March 1, recording a pair of doubles. She also has two-hit contests against Indiana (Feb. 7), Cal Poly (Feb. 8), Michigan (Feb. 14), South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and Fresno State (Feb. 22). On the year, Burney is batting .295 with four homers and 13 runs batted in. She has hit home runs against UNLV (Feb. 13), South Dakota State, Massachusetts (Feb. 21) and Longwood (March 8). Her bomb against South Dakota State was her first career grand slam and tied a personal best for RBI in one game with four. She's also driven in a pair of runs against Fresno State and Longwood. Along with her prowess at the plate, Burney has been just as steady at third base, committing just one error in 89 chances at the hot corner.
Andrea Harrison is quickly proving why she was one of the most highly-touted freshmen entering the collegiate game this year. Harrison begins Pac-10 play with hits in five of her last six games, batting .471 (8-for-17) with five runs batted in. In the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, the freshman recorded her 11th multiple-hit game of the season, which ranks second on the club. All her multiple-hit contests have been two-hit affairs, including consecutive two-hit games against Syracuse (March 7) and Longwood (March 8). Harrison drove in a pair against the Orange and three more against the Lancers to give her eight multiple-RBI games, which also ranks second on the team. She had three at UNLV on Feb. 13 and two against San Diego State (Feb. 8), Northwestern (Feb. 13), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17), Maryland (Feb. 22) and Colorado State (Feb. 27). Harrison is tied for third on the team in runs batted in with 23 and is fifth with four home runs. Her first career bomb was a memorable one. Against San Diego State on Feb. 8, the Bruins were trailing 2-0 with one out in the eighth inning, but Harrison tied it up with a two-run shot to send the game into a ninth frame. The freshman has also left the yard against UNLV, Kentucky (Feb. 14) and Maryland (Feb. 22). On the year, Harrison is batting .322 with 12 runs scored.
BAKER COOKING WITH GAS
Redshirt sophomore Whitney Baker dropped her first game of the season on Tuesday against UC Santa Barbara, but still holds an 8-1 record on the year with a 2.55 earned run average and 56 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. The junior has won eight of her 10 starts, including victories in six consecutive appearances from Feb. 17 to March 8. At the San Diego Classic (Feb. 27-March 1), Baker had two of her best games of the season, striking out a career-high 12 over six innings in a one-hit performance against Colorado State (Feb. 27) and fanning 10 in a complete-game, three-hit victory against #12 Missouri (March 1). Baker has also picked up wins against Indiana (Feb. 7), UNLV (Feb. 13), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17), North Carolina State (Feb. 21), FIU (March 6) and Longwood (March 8). The junior has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of her 10 starts. On March 12, the NCAA granted Baker another year of eligibility after she applied for a medical hardship waiver for her 2008 season. Baker tossed only three innings during her true sophomore campaign due to injuries. She began this season as a junior on the roster, but will be referred to as a redshirt sophomore for the remainder of the season.
SHORTSTOP COMING UP BIG
Sophomore Monica Harrison comes into Pac-10 play with hits in five of her last eight games, batting .304 (7-for-23) during that stretch. Harrison had hits in four of the five games at the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8), batting .429 (6-for-14) with four runs scored, three RBI and her fifth home run of the season. Harrison went deep against FIU on March 6, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. She also had an RBI single in the fourth which proved to be the game-winning run. Harrison went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI against Longwood on March 8 and closed the weekend with a 1-for-2 effort versus Long Beach State, scoring the Bruins' lone run. Harrison is hitting .276 on the season with 14 runs batted in and 18 runs scored. She is tied for the team lead with four sacrifice hits and has also walked 11 times. The sophomore drove in a career-high four runs on a pair of homers against South Dakota State on Feb. 15. She also drove in three, going 2-for-3 with a homer against UNLV (Feb. 13), and belted another home run and had two more RBI against North Carolina State on Feb. 21.
NEWS AND NOTES
Freshman Dani Yudin had hits in both games of Tuesday's doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, recording a pinch-hit single in game one and her first career triple in game two. The hit in the first contest snapped an 0-for-12 slump for the freshman, who is batting .231 on the year with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. She is tied for second on the team with 16 walks and is fifth with a .405 on base percentage ... sophomore Amy Crawford drove in her first collegiate run with a first-inning, RBI single against Syracuse on March 7. She reached in three of her four plate appearances against the Orange, also walking twice. Crawford started seven straight games in right field before sitting in the nightcap of Tuesday's twinbill and is 3-for-17 (.176) with seven runs scored, four walks and three stolen bases ... sophomore Lauren Mirabal, the first pinch-runner off the bench, has stolen nine consecutive bases after getting caught in her first attempt against Cal Poly on Feb. 8. She has stolen two in a game twice against Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25) and Longwood (March 8), having crossed home plate 11 times this year. In one and a half seasons, Mirabal is 17-for-18 in stolen bases ... sophomore Grace Murray has scored in five of her last seven pinch-running appearances, while freshman Marti Reed scored her seventh run of the season in Tuesday's first game.