This Week in Pac-10 Softball
April 30, 2002
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, UCLA and ARIZONA have started to separate themselves from the rest of the Conference. After losing three consecutive Pac-10 games to drop to 1-3 in the Conference, the Bruins have rattled off 11 consecutive Pac-10 wins to take sole possession of first place. The Wildcats sit just one-half game behind. . . In Pac-10 play this week, Arizona battles ARIZONA STATE before the two teams host CALIFORNIA and STANFORD. UCLA and WASHINGTON will travel to the Oregon schools. . . Outside the Conference, OREGON will host Hawai'i and Stanford will make the trip up to the East Bay to play Saint Mary's. . . UCLA senior catcher/first baseman Stacey Nuveman tied the NCAA all-time home run record in last Saturday's victory over Stanford (Apr. 27) with the 85th blast of her career (Arizona's Laura Espinoza and Leah Braatz also have 85 career homers). . . UCLA sophomore pitcher Keira Goerl threw her fifth solo no-hitter of the season against California last Friday (Apr. 26). She became the first Pac-10 pitcher to accomplish that feat since Bruin great DeeDee Weiman did so in 1994. . . Seven teams continue to be ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll this week. UCLA regained the top spot, followed by No. 2 Arizona, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 6 California, No. 7 Stanford, No. 8 Washington and No. 16 OREGON STATE.
THIS WEEK's SCHEDULE
Tue., Apr. 30*ARIZONA STATE @ ARIZONA, 7 p.m.Hawai'i @ OREGON, 2-4 p.m. (DH)STANFORD @ Saint Mary's, 2-4 p.m. (DH)
Fri., May 3*CALIFORNIA @ ARIZONA, 7 p.m.*STANFORD @ ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m.*UCLA @ OREGON, 2 p.m.*WASHINGTON @ OREGON STATE, 2 p.m.
Sat., May 4*STANFORD @ ARIZONA, 7 p.m.*CALIFORNIA @ ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m.*WASHINGTON @ OREGON, 2 p.m.*UCLA @ OREGON STATE, 2 p.m.
Sun., May 5*STANFORD @ ARIZONA, 1 p.m.*CALIFORNIA @ ARIZONA STATE, 1 p.m.*WASHINGTON @ OREGON, 1 p.m.*UCLA @ OREGON STATE, 1 p.m.
All times local to site
LAST WEEK's RESULTS
Tue., Apr. 23OREGON STATE 5, Portland State 0 (GM 1)OREGON STATE 2, Portland State 0 (GM 2)
Wed., Apr. 24CALIFORNIA 3, Saint Mary's 0 (GM 1)CALIFORNIA 4, Saint Mary's 0 (GM 2)OREGON 7, Portland State 1 (GM 1)OREGON 4, Portland State 2 (GM 2)STANFORD 3, Sacramento State 0 (GM 1)STANFORD 7, Sacramento State 1 (GM 2)*UCLA 5, WASHINGTON 3
Fri., Apr. 26*ARIZONA 11, OREGON 3*OREGON STATE 2, ARIZONA STATE 0*UCLA 3, CALIFORNIA 0*WASHINGTON 1, STANFORD 0
Sat., Apr. 27*ARIZONA 7, OREGON STATE 0*OREGON 4, ARIZONA STATE 2*WASHINGTON 6, CALIFORNIA 3*UCLA 13, STANFORD 2
Sun., Apr. 28*ARIZONA 2, OREGON STATE 1*ARIZONA STATE 6, OREGON 0*CALIFORNIA 3, WASHINGTON 2*UCLA 2, STANFORD 0
Mon., Apr. 29OREGON STATE 2, Portland State 0 (GM 1)OREGON STATE 2, Portland State 0 (GM 2)
* - Pac-10 Conference Game
PAC-10 PLAYER/PITCHER OF THE WEEK
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week, while her teammate Keira Goerl was named Pitcher of the Week for April 22-28.
Nuveman, a senior from LaVerne, Calif., posted a .667 batting average (8-for-12), one home run, five RBI, two doubles, a slugging percentage of 1.083 and two walks while helping the Bruins take over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.
Goerl, a sophomore from Moreno Valley, Calif., earned three of UCLA's four wins last week, posting a 3-0 record. Goerl struck out 28 batters in 21.0 innings pitched. She gave up just six hits and three runs while opponents hit a mere .085 against her.
It is the ninth weekly honor for Nuveman while Goerl garners the fifth award of her career. UCLA has now received 67 honors all-time.
USA TODAY/NFCA TOP 25 POLL (Apr. 24)
1. UCLA (25) 2. ARIZONA (2) 3. LSU 4. Nebraska 5. ARIZONA STATE 6. CALIFORNIA 7. STANFORD 8. WASHINGTON 9. CS Fullerton10. Florida Atlantic11. Michigan12. Oklahoma13. Fresno State14. Texas15. Alabama16. OREGON STATE17. Pacific18. DePaul19. Louisiana-Lafayette20. Ohio State21. Florida State22. Baylor23. Iowa24. Texas A&M25. Georgia
AROUND THE PAC-10
ARIZONA - The 'Cats played host to the Oregon schools last weekend, going 3-0. The 11-3 victory over the Ducks on Friday (Apr. 26) snapped Arizona's first two-game losing streak in nearly two years. In that game, junior Lovieanne Jung went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. The following day (Apr. 27), senior Jennie Finch struck out 12 OSU Beavers to win 7-0. Finch also went on to hit her 14th home run of the season (second grand slam of the year) in that game. The Wildcats closed out the weekend with a 2-1 victory over Oregon State (Apr. 28) as freshman Courtney Fossatti went 2-for-3 with one RBI. . . Arizona pinch hitters lead the league with a .300 batting average (9-for-30). . . UofA has outscored opponents 317-64. . . After posting 17 home runs and 58 RBI in February and March combined (span of 37 games), sophomore Leneah Manuma has yet to homer in the month of April, while posting just four RBI (span of 14 games). Her last home run came against Arizona State on March 30. Manuma will face the Sun Devils today.
ARIZONA STATE - ASU is 22-9 during the day and 16-4 under the lights. . . When the Sun Devils score first, they are 33-3. . . Arizona State has a team batting average of .280 (second in Pac-10) and a team ERA of 1.35 (tied for first in Pac-10) in Conference play. . . Nearly half (99) of the team's 208 RBI have come with two outs. . . ASU has has outscored its opponents 76-21 in the first two innings and 46-17 in the fourth inning. . . Sophomore Phelan Wright continues to sparkle as she is hitting .449 (third in Pac-10) with 15 doubles (second in Pac-10). Wright also leads the team in multi-hit games (21), multi-RBI games (11) and has posted the team's longest hitting streak of the year (10 games). Additionally, Wright is second on the team in home runs (seven) and RBI (35). . . Senior Kirsten Voak is 7-3 with a career-high five saves. Voak averages nearly nine strikeouts per seven innings and has an 0.88 ERA (third in Pac-10). . . Senior Erica Beach is batting .417 in Pac-10 play with four home runs and seven RBI. In the circle, Beach is 7-6 with a 1.03 ERA in Conference play. . . Junior Kara Brun needs one more home run (nine) and one more RBI (49) to set a new single season school record.
CALIFORNIA - The Bears' nine Conference wins this season are the most since 1999, when they finished 13-14 in the Pac-10. . . Cal has yet to record a pinch hit (0-for-6). . . Opposing leadoff batters only reach base 24.5 percent of the time (101-for-412) against the Bears, which is tops in the league. . . Senior Jocelyn Forest earned her 20th win of the year against Washington last Sunday (Apr. 28). Forest, who has 20 or more wins in all four seasons is in select company. She is just the second pitcher in Cal history to win 20 games a year in all four seasons with Michele Granger being the other. Forest now has 1,123 strikeouts in her career. . . Junior Jen Deering is 12-2 with a 2.39 ERA. She is second on the team with 88 innings pitched. Deering has also contributed eight complete games and four shutouts this year. . . Freshman Cassie Bobrow is 6-1 with a 1.06 ERA in seven starts. . . With 85 walks in 59 games, junior Veronica Nelson is just nine walks shy of breaking the NCAA mark for the third consecutive season. . . Senior Candace Harper leads the Pac-10 in doubles and sacrifice flies with 16 and nine, respectively.
OREGON - Last weekend, the Ducks snapped a 32-game Pac-10 losing streak by knocking off Arizona State, 4-2 (Apr. 27). In fact, both Conference wins in the last one-plus seasons (span of 36 games) have been against the Sun Devils (the other came on Apr. 1, 2001). . . The Ducks win over ASU also broke a 21-game road Conference losing streak (last win was at Stanford on Apr. 16, 2000). . . After losing 12 consecutive games earlier in the season, Oregon is now 4-3 in its last seven contests. . . Freshman Lindsey Kontra (6-10) has received the win in all three Oregon victories against ranked opponents this season. In those games, Kontra has given up just four earned runs in 21.0 innings pitched. . . Junior Alyssa Laux is hitting .333 (14-for-42) in Conference play. Laux ignited the Duck comeback last Saturday versus Arizona State when she hit a key two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning as Oregon went on to score four runs. . . Junior Andrea Vidlund hits .386 (27-for-70) with runners on base.
OREGON STATE - The Beavers have 21 shutouts on the season. . . Last Friday's victory over ASU (Apr. 26), broke a four-game Conference losing streak. In that contest, sophomore Monica Hoffman tossed the first four innings, scattering three hits with four strikeouts. Senior Crystal Draper finished the final three innings, allowing one hit for the 2-0 win. . . The Beavers lost their first game under the lights last Saturday night at Arizona (Apr. 27). OSU is now 6-1 while playing at night this season. . . The Beavers outscored Portland State 11-0 in four games this past week. . . Oregon State has a .971 fielding percentage (third in Pac-10). . . Opponents are hitting just .188 against Beaver pitching. . . OSU has turned 19 double plays (first in Pac-10) . . . Junior Clare Burnum has five stolen bases in Conference play. . . Burnum also has 16 doubles overall (tied for first in Pac-10). . . Senior Michelle Chariton needs two stolen bases to break the all-time OSU mark of 32, set by Lianne Watanabe (1984-87). . . Junior Jessica King is 2-for-4 as a pinch hitter.
STANFORD - The Cardinal has lost nine straight Conference games (first time since 1996). . . Stanford hit .145 in three losses last weekend to No. 8 Washington and No. 1 UCLA after hitting at a .271 clip in two wins against Sacramento State. . . The Cardinal are 14-13 versus ranked opponents and 7-7 in one-run games. . . Stanford is 32-6 when it scores first. . . The Cardinal has not reached double-digits on the scoreboard since an 11-2 win over Hofstra on March 8, at the Speedline Invitational. Stanford has scored at least 10 runs six times this season, matching last year's mark. . . Freshman Leah Nelson currently holds the longest hitting streak on the team at three games. Nelson accounted for three of Stanford's nine hits over the weekend, including a two-run home run off of UCLA's Amanda Freed (Apr. 27). . . Senior Jessica Mendoza is 8-for-8 in stolen bases in Pac-10 play. . . Junior Maureen LeCocq has played at five different positions this season (pitcher, second base, third base, outfield, designated player). . . Junior outfielder Cassi Brangham continues to excel on the field for the Cardinal as she has yet to commit an error in 51 games this year. . . Head coach John Rittman is just three wins shy of reaching the 250-win plateau.
UCLA - The Bruins are hitting .304 with a 1.35 ERA in Conference play (tops in Pac-10). . . UCLA is batting .339 with runners on and .337 with the bases loaded. . . The Bruins are in the midst of their second longest win streak of the season at 11 (all against Pac-10 opponents). . . In addition to tying the NCAA all-time home run mark, senior Stacey Nuveman also became the Bruins' career leader in games played with 247 against Washington (Apr. 24). She currently stands at 250 games played. . . With Saturday's win over Stanford, Amanda Freed now has a 94-17 career record, giving her second place on UCLA's all-time career pitching victories list. She entered the game tied with Lisa Fernandez for second place, and needs two more wins to tie B'Ann Burns for UCLA's career pitching victories record (96). . . Sophomore Claire Sua entered last weekend's Oregon series in a hitting slump. She has since reversed the trend in a big way, hitting five home runs in the team's last six games, including a grand slam last Wednesday that provided the game-winning RBI over eighth-ranked Washington and a two home run performance on Saturday (Apr. 27) at seventh-ranked Stanford. . . Sophomore Keira Goerl pitched two shutouts last week, giving her 16 on the season.
WASHINGTON - After starting the Pac-10 season with no shutouts in its first six games, Washington has blanked Conference foes four times in the last nine contests. . . The Huskies 45 home runs are the third most in school history. . . Washington ranks second in the league with a .348 batting average (23-for-66) with the bases loaded. . . Junior Jaime Clark has 180 career RBI, which ranks fourth on the UW all-time list. . . Clark is also 7-for-7 in stolen bases in 15 Conference games. . . Sophomore Tia Bollinger has an 0.64 ERA in 54.1 innings pitched in Conference play. . . Freshman Kristen Rivera is tied for first in the Pac-10 with 7 home runs in Pac-10 play. Overall, Rivera is hitting .374 (10th in Pac-10) with 12 doubles (10th in Pac-10), 16 home runs (second in Pac-10), 58 RBI (third in Pac-10), 118 total bases (fifth in Pac-10), a slugging percentage of .761 (fifth in Pac-10) and an on-base percentage of .470 (10th in Pac-10). . . Senior Becky Simpson has eight doubles on the year, half of which have come in the Pac-10 season.
The Pac-10 continued to excel and prove that it is still the nation's premiere softball Conference in 2001. Seven teams went to the NCAA Regionals while four Conference squads advanced all the way to the Women's College World Series (ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, STANFORD and UCLA). For the eighth time in Conference history, two Pac-10 teams met in the National Championship Game with Arizona defeating UCLA in a 1-0 thriller. The Conference has now claimed 14 titles in the 20 years the event has been in existence, including 11 of the last 14 years.
Overall, the Pac-10 finished strong, as Conference teams finished 1-2-3 in the final USA Today/NFCA Poll, including five teams in the top nine and seven teams in the top 20 (1. Arizona, 2. UCLA, 3. Stanford, 6. California, 9. ARIZONA STATE, 13. WASHINGTON and 20. OREGON STATE). Additionally, 17 student-athletes were named Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Americans, of which 10 were named to the first team.
Arizona concluded the regular season by winning its sixth Pac-10 crown in school history and eventually finished the year with a 65-4 overall record and its first national title since 1997. UCLA closed its season in second place in both the Pac-10 and nation as the Bruins felt the heartbreak of losing in the NCAA title game for the second consecutive year. The Bruins were impressive, nevertheless, posting a 35-game winning streak to begin the season. Stanford posted its best record in school history (54-16-1) while making its first trip to Oklahoma City. Washington put up an impressive 40-23 mark during the year and finished tied for third in the Conference with the Cardinal. The Huskies were led by freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger, who was honored at the end of the year as the team MVP. Oregon State also put together one of its best seasons in history as the Beavers finished at 10-10 (.500) in Conference play, only the second time an OSU squad has finished at .500 or better in the Pac-10. Arizona State went to its 14th NCAA Regional in 2001. Junior Erica Beach and freshman Phelan Wright were instrumental in the Sun Devils winning two games in one of the tougher NCAA Regionals last season (Baton Rouge, La.). For the second straight year, California proved that seventh in the Pac-10 is still good enough to get you to the WCWS. The Bears knocked off NCAA Regional host Florida State en route to the 'Big Dance.' Unfortunately for Oregon, its run of three consecutive NCAA tournaments came to an end. The Ducks, however, found a gem in transfer Alyssa Laux, who will return as the biggest UO offensive threat in 2002.
The 2001 campaign was a definitive year for Pac-10 softball. There were 14 no-hitters thrown from 10 different pitchers (seven of which were perfect games). Last year also marked the first time in NCAA softball history that three teams from the same Conference had posted an undefeated record through its first 30+ games of the season (UCLA, 35-0; CAL, 32-0; ARIZ, 31-0). Arizona hit an NCAA record 126 home runs, averaging nearly two homers per contest (1.83). California's Veronica Nelson broke her own single season NCAA walk record set the previous year with 93 free passes. Nelson's teammate, pitcher Jocleyn Forest, also set a milestone by throwing 88 consecutive scoreless innings during the season, a mark that ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history.
On the awards front, UCLA's Stacey Nuveman won Conference Player of the Year honors after taking a year off to play with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics. Nuveman was also named NFCA Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year. Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year went to Arizona's Jennie Finch. Finch went 32-0 on the season, breaking former UCLA star Lisa Fernandez's mark (29-0) of most wins without a loss in a season. Finch also went on to garner the Honda Award, which goes to the nations' most outstanding softball player. Rounding out the honors, Washington's Tia Bollinger won Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Bollinger posted UW season records for wins (36), innings pitched (287.0) and games started (39).