12 p.m. - #6/#8 Arizona at #3/#3 UCLA
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Live)
Online: Free Audio and Live Stats
PAC-12 RIVALS COLLIDE AS #3 UCLA HOSTS #6 ARIZONA
The third-ranked Bruins open Pac-12 Conference play with a wraparound weekend series against #6 Arizona. Saturday and Sunday’s games are at 12 p.m., while Monday’s contest starts at 5 p.m. All three games will be aired live on Pac-12 Networks. Free audio (Saturday/Sunday only) and live stats will also be available at UCLABruins.com, with updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.
Sunday's game between UCLA and Arizona is sold out. Those who have tickets for Sunday's contest are advised to show up early for the game, as all seats are general admission and first come first serve, and also to avoid long parking lines. Gates open about 90 minutes prior to first pitch. Tickets are still available for Saturday and Monday's games. Tickets may be purchased here, by calling 310-UCLA-WIN or on the day of the game at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins travel to Seattle for another wraparound weekend series versus #5 Washington (Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m.; Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m.; Monday, March 24 at 2 p.m.). The Saturday contest will have free audio at UCLABruins.com, while the Sunday and Monday games will be aired live on Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins are third in both national polls this week. UCLA received 734 points and three first-place votes in the USA Today/NFCA rankings, moving up one spot. The Bruins earned 465 points and four first-place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, coming in at third for the second week in a row. UCLA was ranked fourth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, receiving 42 points.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Bruins opened the year with wins in their first 17 games. It marked the eighth time in program history that UCLA won at least 15 games to start a season. The most recent occasion was in 2004 when UCLA recorded wins in its first 25 in a row and went on to win the National Championship ... in 24 games, the Bruins have already attempted 47 stolen bases, coming up with a steal 30 times. All of last year, UCLA had 38 steals in 49 attempts ... Kelly Inouye-Perez recorded the 300th victory of her head coaching career on Feb. 8 at Hawai’i ... the Bruin pitching staff holds the best earned run average in the Pac-12 Conference and the second best in the nation at 0.96. UCLA is also first in the league in opposing batting average (.173), strikeouts (186) and saves (3). Offensively, the Bruins are first in walks (117) and hit by pitches (21) ... nationally, UCLA is also eighth in slugging (.546) and tied for 16th in homers (27) and doubles (36). The full list of national and Pac-12 team and individual rankings can be found on pages two and five, respectively, of this release ... junior Ally Carda tossed the first no-hitter of her career against Delaware on Feb. 6 and the fourth for the Bruins over the last two seasons (Jessica Hall, two and Paige McDuffee, one). It was the sixth season-opening, no-hitter in UCLA history and the first since Keira Goerl in 2002 ... Carda has started games at five different positions this season at pitcher, first base, left field, center and designated player. Senior Jessica Hall (P/1B/DP), senior Alyssa Tiumalu (1B/RF/DP), junior Stephany LaRosa (C/1B/DP) and sophomore Brittany Moeai (C/1B/DP) have each started three different positions ... Carda tied a career high with a nine-game hitting streak from Feb. 22-March 8, batting .520 with 12 RBI, 11 runs, four doubles and four steals. She hit the second grand slam of the season and of her career on March 7 against Loyola Chicago. In the circle, the junior has five double-figure strikeout contests this season, posting 11 against UC Davis (Feb. 14) and Loyola Chicago (March 8). She did not allow an earned run in 43 1/3 straight innings from Feb. 8-23 ... freshman Gabrielle Maurice returned to the lineup last week and had either a hit, a walk or a sacrifice in all eight games against Michigan and at the UCLA/CSUN Invitational. She totaled five hits, four walks, five sacrifices and her first collegiate home run against Loyola Chicago (March 7) ... sophomore Brittany Moeai has reached base in eight of her last nine contests. She recorded a pair of RBI in three straight games against Michigan on March 5, UNLV on March 7 and Loyola Chicago on March 7. Defensively, she has committed just one error in 150 chances (.993 fielding percentage) ... junior Stephany LaRosa missed all eight games last week with a left leg injury and is day-to-day. In her most recent action, she reached base in all five games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, driving in a run against Oklahoma on Feb. 21 and scoring runs versus Maryland (Feb. 22) and New Mexico (Feb. 23). In a position switch to catcher and first base this season after playing third base as a freshman and shortstop as a sophomore, LaRosa has yet to commit an error in 123 opportunities along with only one passed ball ... sophomore Mysha Sataraka hit four home runs in last weekend’s UCLA/CSUN Invitational, including bombs in three straight against UNLV (March 7) and Loyola Chicago (March 7 and 8). The team leader in multiple RBI games with 10, she set a career high with five against Maryland on Feb. 22. Sataraka is tied for 14th nationally entering the week in RBI (29) and tied for 20th in homers (7) ... after starting the year by not allowing an earned run in 32 consecutive innings, Hall ended last weekend by tossing 16 straight frames without giving up an earned run. At the plate, she has reached base in nine in a row and had hits in all six contests of the UCLA/CSUN Invitational. Hall left the yard three times last week against Michigan (March 4), UNLV (March 7) and Bakersfield (March 9) ... junior Tara Mueller has reached base in seven of her last nine games, including all five at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. She recorded a pair of hits against both Maryland on Feb. 22 and #11 Nebraska on Feb. 23 and had the first two RBI of her career with a pair of bases-loaded walks against New Mexico on Feb. 23 ... junior Gracie Goulder has started all 84 games she has played in at UCLA at second base. She had hits in four of the six games of the UCLA/CSUN Invitational, also scoring three times ... senior Alyssa Tiumalu started at first base against Charleston Southern on March 8, her third career start at first after making a pair of appearances there last year. Tiumalu tied a career high with three hits and three RBI against New Mexico, adding a two-run triple the next day versus #11 Nebraska ... freshman Jelly Felix, after missing the first month of the season with a foot injury, made her collegiate debut against #4 Michigan on March 5 and drew a pinch-hit walk. She would make five starts at the UCLA/CSUN Invitational and picked up six hits in 13 at-bats (.462) with three runs scored, four walks and a two-run homer, the first of her career ... sophomore Paige McDuffee, who is sidelined with a left foot injury, struck out a career-best nine against Robert Morris on Feb. 14. She has thrown eight-inning complete games twice this year versus Hawai’i (Feb. 7) and RMU ... freshman Delaney Spaulding reached base in 23 straight games to start her collegiate career and has hits in 21 of her 24 contests. She has posted hitting streaks of 13 and seven games this season and has recorded at least one RBI 15 times. Spaulding has touched home plate in 19 of 24 contests, scoring in nine in a row from Feb. 16-March 7.
WOMEN’S SOCCER CHAMPION LAVRUSKY ADDED TO ROSTER
2013 UCLA women’s soccer national champion Kodi Lavrusky has been added to the UCLA softball roster as a pinch-runner. She has scored four runs in 10 pinch-running appearances. Lavrusky scored the golden goal in the 97th minute of the NCAA Championship game against Florida State last December. The sophomore forward from Yucaipa scored seven goals in 2013.
SCOUTING THE ARIZONA WILDCATS
The Wildcats (23-3) enter this weekend’s series on a three-game winning streak after losing their first two contests at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton last weekend. Following losses to Michigan and Wisconsin, Arizona defeated Cal State Fullerton, Houston and San Jose State. The loss to Michigan dropped the Wildcats to 4-2 this year against ranked teams. Arizona is batting .389 as a team with 39 home runs and 16 stolen bases, averaging 8.46 runs per game. Six players are batting over .400, led by senior Kelsey Rodriguez’s .492 average with two homers and 21 RBI. Junior Hallie Wilson is hitting .456 with three homers and 24 RBI, while junior Chelsea Goodacre is tops on the squad with 11 home runs and 40 runs batted in. In the circle, five different pitchers have started at least four games. The most innings have gone to senior Estela Pinon (0.48 ERA, 6-2, 54 K’s in 43 1/3 IP), sophomore Nancy Bowling (1.26 ERA, 6-0, 47 K in 39 IP) and senior Kenzie Fowler (2.02 ERA, 3-1, 28 K in 27.2 IP).
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. WILDCATS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with Arizona 75-55 and won last year’s three-game set in Tucson. After falling 8-6 in 10 innings in game one of the series on April 18, UCLA posted 13-3 (April 19) and 9-1 (April 20) blowouts. The Bruins tied a school record with seven home runs, including a pair of bombs by Ally Carda, in the April 19 win. A day later, UCLA posted its first mercy-rule win against Arizona since 2005 and its first in Tucson since 1999. UCLA is 38-21 all-time in Westwood versus Arizona, winning the most recent series at Easton Stadium in 2012 (Win, 10-4; Win, 7-2; Loss, 7-6).