Bruins To Compete At National Invitational Softball Tournament

March 7, 2002

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This weekend features UCLA's final regular season tournament, as the Bruins travel to Pleasanton, CA, for the National Invitational Softball Tournament, hosted by San Jose State. The Bruins will open on Friday with pool-play games against Long Beach State and UNC Greensboro before advancing into tournament championship play. Unless the Bruins lose both pool play games, UCLA's third game of the day on Friday will take place at 6 pm. Further scheduled game times are dependent upon game results, although UCLA is guaranteed at least two games on Saturday.

Amanda Freed Named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
UCLA's Amanda Freed was named Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Freed allowed just one earned run in 26 innings in the circle last week, finishing with an 0.27 ERA to go along with a record of 4-0. Opponents hit just .114 against Freed, who allowed only 10 hits on the weekend, and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 8:1 (31 strikeouts, four walks). Freed also helped herself offensively by hitting .308 for the week with four doubles and two stolen bases.

Freed is 11-1 with an 0.48 ERA this season. She has struck out 72 batters and given up just 36 hits in 73.2 innings of work. Additionally, opposing batters are hitting a mere .142 against her this year. She was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week on Feb. 18 following the UNLV Classic Tournament.

UCLA Wins Winsberg Tournament, Posts 6-1 Week
UCLA posted a 5-0 record at last weekend's Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, sweeping Texas A&M Corpus Christi in a pair of run-rule games on Friday, sweeping Purdue on Saturday, and defeating Florida on Sunday. A second game against the Gators was not completed due to impending darkness. The tournament was named in honor of former Bruin Stacy Winsberg, who was a member of three UCLA NCAA Championship teams. Winsberg died in December, 2001, following a battle with lung cancer.

Highlights from the weekend included a no-hitter by sophomore Keira Goerl against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday, and a home run by senior Stacey Nuveman on Sunday, which leaves her needing seven home runs to tie and eight to break the NCAA career home run record. In addition, junior shortstop Natasha Watley stole the 100th base of her career on Saturday against Purdue. She is the first Bruin to reach that career milestone.

Earlier in the week, the Bruins split a doubleheader with Cal State Fullerton at Easton Stadium with the Titans winning game one by a 3-1 margin with the Bruins coming back for a 5-2 win in the nightcap.

Head Coach Sue Enquist
The 2002 season marks Sue Enquist's 14th campaign as head coach of the Bruin softball program. It is her 23rd year as part of UCLA's softball coaching staff and her 27th year of involvement with the program as either a coach or player. Enquist has a 664-123-1 (.843) coaching record and 1,091 wins in her Bruin softball career as a player, assistant coach and head coach, combined. As a player from 1975-78, Enquist became UCLA's first All-American while establishing the Bruin career batting average record of .401. She is still the only UCLA player to complete her career with a batting average over .400.

78 Gone, Eight to Go!
With eight home runs this season, Bruin slugger Stacey Nuveman currently has 78 career home runs, giving her third place on the NCAA's all-time list. Nuveman now has the best career home run total of any non-Arizona player, and is quickly approaching the NCAA career record of 85 home runs, held by Arizon'as Leah Braatz and Laura Espinoza. She needs seven home runs to tie and eight to break the NCAA career home run record.

Although Cal's Veronica Nelson has broken the previoius NCAA record for walks, Nuveman is close on her heels. Nuveman enters the NIST with 199 career walks. Finally, Nuveman ranks fourth on the NCAA's Division I career RBI list with 269. Once again, she is the top non-Arizona player on that list, and needs 47 RBI to move up on that list (#3 Laura Espinoza had 315 career RBI).

Watley Streaks Through Record Books
With three stolen bases in game one against Purdue on March 2, junior All-America shortstop Natasha Watley became the first Bruin in history to record 100 stolen bases in her UCLA career. Watley currently has 102 career swipes.

In addition, she has continued another streak, having hit safely in all of UCLA's 25 games during the 2002 season. With a 1-for-3 performance in last May's NCAA Championship game, Watley is currently riding a 26-game hitting streak, just eight games shy of her Pac-10 record 32-game streak a year ago (March 2-May 2). Last year's streak is tied for the fifth-longest in on the NCAA Division I list.

Throw Some Ground Balls, They're More Democratic
As Crash Davis said to Nuke La Loosh in the movie Bull Durham, 'Strikeouts are boring, besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls, it's more democratic.' Bruin pitchers Amanda Freed and Keira Goerl could be given that same piece of advice.

In 2001, each had one double-figure strikeout performance, with Goerl's coming in a 14-inning game. Freed had one game with nine K's, while Goerl had two. This year, however, strikeouts have been the popular path to outs, as Goerl has five double-figure srikeout games with one 9-K performance, while Freed had a 12K day against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 27 and has three 9K performances. Both have impressive strikeout-to-walk ratios in the circle, with Freed checking in at nearly 5:1 (72K, 15 BB) and Goerl just over 5:1 (107K, 20BB).

In relation to innings pitched, Goerl is picking up nearly 1.5 strikeouts per inning (73.0 IP) this season, while Freed is just under one K/IP.

Five Current Bruins in USA Softball's Core Group
Five current and two former UCLA softball players have been chosen by USA Softball as members of its 22-player core group of athletes to move on to its upcoming World Championships camp in May/June 2002. Current players include Toria Auelua, Amanda Freed, Stacey Nuveman, Tairia Mims and Natasha Watley, while volunteer assistant coach Lisa Fernandez and 2001 senior Courtney Dale round out the Bruin contingent. USA Softball will be going for its fifth consecutive World Championship at the 2002 ISF World Championships in July in Saskatoon, Canada. The USA will also be looking to qualify as the top seed for the 2004 Olympic Games for the third consecutive time.

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