UCLA Opens FAU Worth Invitational With Win Over Rutgers

Feb. 21, 2003

BOCA RATON, FL - UCLA (11-1) opened the FAU Worth Invitational on Friday afternoon with an 8-1 victory over Rutgers (1-2). Freshman Michelle Turner struck out eight and did not issue a walk while earning her third victory of the season.

UCLA opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, when Natasha Watley sprinted out an infield single and advanced to second on a stolen base before scoring on a two-out single to centerfield by Tairia Mims.

Wild pitches aided the Bruin cause in the second inning. With two outs and Andrea Duran on first base, a base hit to left by Caitlin Benyi gave the Bruins runners on first and second with Natasha Watley at the plate. The first wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, and a second wild pitch scored Duran and put Benyi on third. Watley drew a walk and stole second. Monique Mejia then hit a ground ball to the Scarlet Knights shortstop, who bobbled and then threw away the ball, scoring both runners and giving the Bruins a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half.

Freshman Michelle Turner pitched four perfect innings before a rocket back to the circle by lead-off hitter Jenny Card hit Turner and still had enough power to roll to the grass in left for a base hit.

Rutgers used that hit to start a rally of their own, as pinch-runner Nicole Casey advanced to third on a double to right by Megan Antonucci, but Antonucci tried to advance to an occupied third base, and in the ensuing rundown Antonucci returned to second base when Casey was drawn off of the bag at third. Antonucci did not come around to score, as the next batter grounded out to Watley at shortstop to end the inning.

UCLA added a run in the sixth inning as Emily Zaplatosch walked, pinch-runner Amanda Simpson stole second and came home on a triple to right field by Caitlin Benyi. Benyi would score on a single by Watley, bringing the Bruin lead to 6-0. Monique Mejia then reached safely on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and Watley and Mejia advanced to third and second on a double steal during Tairia Mims' at-bat. Mims would reach on a single to the left side that held the runners, loading the bases for Claire Sua.

Sua dropped a fly ball between the second baseman and right fielder for a two-run single, giving UCLA an 8-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth inning.

Turner's shutout lasted until the bottom of the sixth inning when Rutgers pushed across an unearned run. For the game, Turner struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk, earning her third win of the season.

UCLA returns to action tonight with a 7 pm ET matchup against host Florida Atlantic.

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