Second-Ranked Bruins Close Regular Season at #3 Arizona State
SECOND-RANKED BRUINS CLOSE REGULAR SEASON AT ASU
The second-ranked Bruins wrap up the regular season this weekend at #3 Arizona State, Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All three games will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks. Live stats will also be available for all three games at UCLABruins.com.
On Sunday, the Bruins will learn where their postseason begins when ESPNU airs the NCAA Selection Show at 7 p.m. NCAA Regional play starts next Thursday at 16 campus sites across the country.
IT’S A RACE
The Pac-12 Conference title will be decided in the Grand Canyon State this weekend, as either second-place UCLA or first-place Oregon will clinch on the road in the desert. The Bruins head to Arizona State looking for their 10th Pac-10/12 title, while the Ducks travel to Arizona in search of their second consecutive league championship. UCLA (17-4) will take the title with three wins coupled with no more than one Oregon (18-2-1) victory or two Bruin victories and an Arizona sweep of the Ducks. The road team will truly earn the title in a hostile environment, as Arizona State is 32-4 at home this season and Arizona is 27-0 in Tucson.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins remained the No. 2 team in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. UCLA earned three first-place votes in the NFCA rankings and one first-place nod in the USA Softball poll. It is the fifth straight week UCLA has been second in the NFCA rankings and the fourth week in a row at No. 2 in the USA Softball poll. The Bruins were ranked fourth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, receiving 42 points.
Junior Ally Carda has started six different positions for the Bruins this season, making 26 starts in the circle, nine at first base, six in left field, five in center, three at designated player and two in right field. Freshman Gabrielle Maurice has started at four different spots, 17 in left, 16 in center, two at second and one in right. Five other Bruins have started three different positions, seniors Jessica Hall (19 at DP, 18 at P, 9 at 1B) and Alyssa Tiumalu (28 in RF, 10 at 1B and 5 at DP), juniors Stephany LaRosa (20 at C, 13 at 1B, 10 at DP) and Tara Mueller (22 in LF, 6 in CF and 1 in RF) and sophomore Brittany Moeai (31 at C, 11 at 1B and 6 at DP).
PUNCHING UNTIL THE END
The Bruins have won five times this season when trailing in their last at-bat, with the latest instance occurring on April 21 in the first game of a doubleheader against Long Beach State. Trailing 6-5 and down to their last strike, junior Ally Carda had a two-out, two-run single to give the Bruins the lead, with three more runs also coming across later in the inning to give UCLA a 10-6 win. The Bruins were also down to their last out at Hawai’i on Feb. 7, but scored one in the seventh and six in the eighth, eventually winning 7-2. On Feb. 14, UCLA scored once in the seventh and once in the eighth on a walk-off single by senior Jessica Hall to post a 3-2 victory over Robert Morris. On Feb. 22, sophomore Mysha Sataraka recorded a two-run double against Missouri to walk off with another win. On March 16, the Bruins were down 4-3 against Arizona going to the bottom of the seventh, but a Sataraka solo homer and a walk-off, grand slam by junior Gracie Goulder clinched an 8-4 win. In addition to the three, non-mercy rule walk-off wins against Robert Morris, Missouri and Arizona, UCLA has also sent its opposition off the field on Feb. 21 against Oklahoma on a walk-off single by freshman Delaney Spaulding and on March 4 versus Michigan on an eighth-inning, three-run walk-off homer from Spaulding. All told, the Bruins have 12 comeback wins this season, including another on Sunday against Stanford.
A GRAND TIME
The grand slams by freshmen Delaney Spaulding and Gabrielle Maurice in game one of an April 26 doubleheader at California were the fifth and sixth of the season for the Bruins. The six grand slams are the second most in one year in school history. The 1999 National Championship team produced nine grannies. Junior Ally Carda has three grand slams (UC Davis, Feb. 16; Loyola Chicago, March 7; Oregon State, April 18), while junior Gracie Goulder had a walk-off granny on March 16 versus Arizona. The single-season record is three by B.B. Bates (2013), Julie Marshall (1999) and Stacey Nuveman (1999).
The Bruins have posted three double-figure win streaks this season. UCLA began the year with 17 straight wins, won 10 consecutive from March 7-22 and 11 in a row from April 6-27. The last time the Bruins had at least three double-figure win streaks in the same year was in their 2010 National Championship season when they had four ... the Bruins are 12-1 this season in games decided by one or two runs ... UCLA has limited its opponents to three runs or less 40 times, all Bruin victories ... the Bruins have 12 comeback victories this season ... UCLA is 24-1 when it doesn’t commit an error ... the Bruins are 39-0 when out-hitting their opponent.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING!
Junior Stephany LaRosa has reached base in a career-high 33 straight games, the second-longest mark in UCLA history. LaRosa’s teammate, junior Ally Carda, holds the school record with 38 straight games reaching base via either a hit, walk or hit by pitch, which was set last season ... sophomore Mysha Sataraka is riding a career-best, 12-game hitting streak, during which she is batting .381 (16-for-42) with four home runs, 13 runs batted in and nine runs scored. Sataraka has also reached base in 22 straight games ... Sataraka’s 12-game hitting streak is the third longest for a Bruin this season. Carda and freshman Delaney Spaulding have each had 13-game stretches. Carda, who currently has a six-game hitting streak, and Spaulding both have posted at least four different streaks of at least six games this season.
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As a team, the Bruins enter the week third nationally in slugging percentage (.567), seventh in batting average (.338), ninth in home runs (67) and 11th in runs per game (6.61). UCLA is also 20th in earned run average (1.90) and 30th in fielding percentage (.971). Individually, junior Ally Carda is tied for sixth in the nation in wins with 27 and tied for 12th in shutouts with nine. Fellow junior Stephany LaRosa is sixth in on base percentage (.556), 16th in walks (39) and tied for 19th in slugging (.811). Freshman Delaney Spaulding is tied for 21st with 53 runs scored, while senior Jessica Hall is 24th with 8.5 strikeouts per seven innings. The full list of Bruins in the national rankings is on page three of this release.
BRUINS IN THE PAC-12 RANKINGS
Entering the week, the Bruins are first among all league teams in on base percentage (.458), walks (243), hit by pitches (45) and sacrifice hits (39), also ranking second in slugging (.567) and home runs (67) and third in batting average (.338), runs scored (337) and runs batted in (313). In the circle, UCLA is first with five saves and third in earned run average (1.90), opposing batting average (.206), strikeouts (348) and fielding percentage (.971). Individually, four Bruins are atop the conference in their respective categories. Junior Stephany LaRosa is first with a .556 on base percentage, junior Ally Carda has been hit a conference-high 15 times and is tied for first with senior Jessica Hall with two saves and freshman Gabrielle Maurice is tied for first with eight sacrifice hits. LaRosa is also third with 39 walks and tied for third with an .811 slugging, while Carda is second with 27 wins and third with 189 strikeouts. Freshman Delaney Spaulding is second in runs scored (53) and stolen bases (17), sophomore Allexis Bennett is second with a .462 batting average and sophomore Mysha Sataraka is tied for third with 15 home runs. The full list of Bruins in the Pac-12 rankings is on page five of this release.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. SUN DEVILS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Sun Devils 90-33, but Arizona State has won each of the last four Pac-12 series, as well as 10 of the last 12 overall. Last season at Easton Stadium (March 22-24), UCLA won game one of the set, 3-2, but dropped 10-3 and 5-4 decisions to lose the series. The last time the Bruins won a season series against ASU was in 2009 (2-of-3). UCLA is 39-16 in Tempe, but the Sun Devils have won five in a row at Farrington Stadium. The Bruins’ most recent win at ASU was a 4-1 triumph on April 15, 2011.