Bruins Finish Regular Season With 9-0 Run-Rule Win Over ASU
May 11, 2003
TEMPE, AZ - UCLA finished its regular season on a positive note on Saturday night, completing the doubleheader sweep of Arizona State with a 9-0 run-rule victory. Michelle Turner pitched a four-hit shutout as the Bruins took advantage of home runs by Caitlin Benyi and Stephanie Ramos as UCLA finishes the season with a record of 45-6 (17-4 Pac-10, second place).
UCLA picked up where it left off to start the second game of the doubleheader, sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning. Natasha Watley led off the game by drawing a full-count walk. After Watley stole second base, Caitlin Benyi (Scottsdale, AZ) advanced the runner with a single to left field, giving the Bruins runners on the corners.
Benyi would steal second base and advance on a sacrifice fly by Tairia Mims, a fly ball to right field that scored Watley. A single through the right side by Claire Sua brought home Benyi, giving UCLA a 2-0 lead. Sua was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Simpson, who went to second base on a single up the middle by Stephanie Ramos. Another single up the middle, this time by Toria Auelua, scored Simpson and Ramos. Auelua and Andrea Duran, who reached on a single up the middle, would come around to score on a single up the middle by Natasha Watley before the Sun Devils could close out the inning with the Bruins having scored six runs on seven hits.
Michelle Turner, fresh off of her first career no-hitter, came back to start the game for UCLA in the circle, and retired the first two batters on a ground-out to Tairia Mims at third base, an impressive play by Monique Mejia that recorded another ground-out, before surrendering her first hit of the day on an infield pop-up that was nearly caught by a charging Natasha Watley.
UCLA added a run in the second inning on a solo home run by Stephanie Ramos, and put up two more runs in the third inning on a two-run home run by Benyi, bringing the score to 9-0 UCLA.
Nicole Sandberg made her first career defensive appearance for the Bruins, coming in to replace Emily Zaplatosch behind the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning. Despite the change in her battery-mate, Turner continued her impressive evening in the circle, retiring eight in a row at one point in the game. Turner finished with one strikeout in game two.
The Bruins will return to Westwood on Sunday, and anticipate the announcement of the 2003 NCAA Softball Tournament field. The committee's selections will be announced at 7 pm Pacific Time on ESPNEWS. The Bruins know that they will not be playing at home this postseason, and will learn their destination and opponents on Sunday night.
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