Bruins Defeat Northwestern, Penn State at Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 21, 2004

CATHEDRAL CITY, CA - UCLA improved its record to 13-0 to open the 2004 season with a 5-1 win over Northwestern and a 5-2 win over Penn State at the Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, CA. Keira Goerl earned the win in the opener and recorded a save in the nightcap as Michelle Turner got her first victory of the season against Penn State.

UCLA 5, Northwestern 1
UCLA scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning as Andrea Duran put her third home run of the season over the left field fence at the Easton Showcase Field at Big League Dreams. The home run, which nearly reached the Wrigley Field replica outfield fence beyond the temporary fence set up for this tournament, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Caitlin Benyi led off the inning with a home run of her own, and Duran would follow with a single and score on a home run by Claire Sua, bringing the score to 4-0 in UCLA's favor.

Northwestern would load the bases in the fourth inning with a two-out rally that started with a walk by Eryn Manahan. She would advance to third on a ground-rule double by Garland Cooper. A walk to Kristen Amegin loaded the bases for the Wildcats, and Jamie Dotson pushed a run across on a Bruin error before Stephanie Ramos was able to throw Cooper out at the plate to end the inning, leaving UCLA with a 4-1 lead.

The Bruins scored their final run of the game when Ashley Herrera homered to score UCLA's fifth and final run. Keira Goerl got the win for the Bruins, striking out seven and walking two while allowing just two hits and an unearned run for her seventh victory of the season.

UCLA 5, Penn State 2
Batting as the visiting team, the Bruins opened the scoring in the third inning on a two-run home run by Stephanie Ramos, scoring Andrea Duran who had walked. UCLA added a third run in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out rally that started with a single by Caitlin Benyi, who advanced to third base on Duran's at-bat and scored when Ramos reached on a Penn State error.

Penn State answered in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Leigh Murray led off the inning with an infield single and Katie Stauffer connected on a two-run home run, bringing the score to 3-2 in UCLA's favor. Michelle Turner, who started in the circle for the Bruins for the first time this season, struck out the next two batters and forced a ground-out to complete the inning. Turner would record the first two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning on first-pitch ground-outs before giving up a hit to Jen Williams, at which point she was replaced by Goerl. Barbie Pierce was the first Nittany Lion to face Goerl, and she singled to left field, while Williams tried for the game-tying run. Tara Henry initially mis-handled the ball in left field, but recovered quickly and hit cut-off Jodie Legaspi who gunned Williams down at the plate for the final out of the inning.

The Bruins extended their lead with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, as Jodie Legaspi led off the inning with a double and Kristen Dedmon reached on an error, giving the Bruins runners at the corners with no outs. Sophomore Alissa Eno replaced Legaspi to pinch-run and Turner, who stayed in the game to play right field after finishing her day in the circle, connected on a Texas-League single that dropped in shallow right field, scoring Eno to give UCLA a 4-2 advantage.

After the next two Bruins were retired, Andrea Duran connected on a single to right field, scoring Dedmon for UCLA's final run of the game.

Meanwhile, Goerl struck out the side in the sixth inning, her first full inning of work in the game, and retired the side in order in the seventh inning, including her fourth strikeout in seven batters of work, to earn her first save of the season. Turner struck out six and walked one to earn the victory.

The Bruins complete their Palm Springs Classic schedule on Sunday morning with an 11 am game against No. 6 Georgia, weather permitting.

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