Softball Takes Home Hallowell Chevrolet Classic Title
March 11, 2001
FRESNO, CA - The top-ranked UCLA softball team improved to 34-0 on the season on Sunday afternoon, defeating host Fresno State by an 8-2 margin in the final game of the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic. The seventh-ranked Bulldogs fall to 14-4 with the loss.
Fresno State opened the scoring with two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Becky Witt reached on an error by Bruin second baseman Crissy Buck, and an error on pitcher Keira Goerl while throwing to first gave the Bulldogs runners on second and third with nobody out. Pitcher Lori Hoffman hit into a fielders choice that scored Witt, and left fielder Tiffany Whipple came home on a single to right center by second baseman Pam Perez.
Freshman first baseman Claire Sua opened the second with a single to right, but Hoffman sat down the next six batters. Goerl countered for the Bruins by striking out the side in the second and notching three additional strikeouts before being replaced by Courtney Dale in the bottom of the sixth inning.
UCLA's offense all came in the fourth inning. Junior catcher Stacey Nuveman led off with a solo shot to right field, her 11th home run of the season and the 62nd of her career. From there, the floodgates opened. Dale singled up the middle, and pinch-runner Julie Hoshizaki was eliminated on a fielders choice on Sua's at-bat for the first out of the inning. A double to right field by right fielder Lupe Brambila gave the Bruins runners at second and third for Buck.
Buck hit a long foul ball to left field that was caught by Fresno's Whipple, but Sua was able to score on the sacrifice fly for the second run of the inning. After a walk to left fielder Erin Rahn, a single by Freed plated Brambila. Rahn and Freed would score on the ensuing double by shortstop Natasha Watley. In all, seven different Bruins crossed the plate on eight hits in the inning, with Nuveman coming across twice.
Goerl earned the win for the Bruins, pitching five innings and striking out seven without allowing a walk. Head coach Sue Enquist would use two additional pitchers in relief, as Dale would pitch the sixth and Freed pitched the seventh.
The top-ranked Bruins have now extended their season-opening win streak to 34 games. The school record for consecutive softball victories is 36 games, which includes the final game of the 1998 season and the first 35 games of the 1999 season. UCLA returns to the diamond on Wednesday, March 14, with a single game at UC Santa Barbara.