Feb. 13, 2004
HENDERSON, NEV. - UCLA softball opened its UNLV Classic schedule in style, posting run-rule victories over No. 9 Nebraska and No. 13 DePaul. In the day's opener against Nebraska, the Bruins set a single-game school record with six home runs in a five-inning 10-1 victory. In UCLA's second game of the day, the Bruins had two more home runs and five doubles as they run-ruled DePaul 10-2 in six innings.
UCLA 10, Nebraska 1 (5 innings)
The Bruins were able to get out of a defensive jam in the top of the first inning, as Nebraska loaded the bases with one out, but the second strikeout of the game by UCLA junior Keira Goerl combined with a fly-ball out ended the threat.
In the bottom of the first, Caitlin Benyi drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrea Duran. With two outs and first base open, the Huskers elected to intentionally walk Claire Sua, bringing sophomore catcher Emily Zaplatosch to the plate. After fighting for a full count, Zaplatosch hit her second home run of the season, clearing the center field fence to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead after one inning.
Two defensive errors by the Bruins in the top of the second inning yielded the first run of the game for the Huskers. The rally started with a lead-off walk by Brittney Yolo. With one out, the first Bruin error of the inning left Nebraska with runners on first and second. An infield single by Nicole Trimboli loaded the bases for Nebraska before Goerl recorded her fourth strikeout of the game to give UCLA two outs. Sheena Lawrick then hit an infield ground ball that was mis-handled by the Bruins, scoring pinch-runner KoKo Tacha from third base. Bruin shortstop Jodie Legaspi was able to track down the ball and throw to Zaplatosch at the plate for the final out of the inning with UCLA still leading 3-1.
A lead-off home run in the bottom of the third inning by Andrea Duran gave the Bruins a 4-1 lead. The pattern repeated in the fourth inning when Legaspi led off with her first career home run to give UCLA the 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Zaplatosch homered again, her third of the season, this time a two-run shot to left field. That gave Zaplatosch her fourth and fifth of the game, and tying her for the fifth-highest RBI total for a Bruin in a single game since the start of the 1997 season. Zaplatosch's home run gave the Bruins a 7-1 lead, and was followed by the first career home run by Lisa Dodd, giving the Bruins an 8-1 lead and tying the school record of five home runs in a single game. UCLA's only other five-home run game since the start of the 1997 season came on Apr. 18, 1999, as UCLA defeated Oregon State 10-0 in Corvallis, OR.
With two outs and Tara Henry on first base after an infield single, her second hit of the game, Caitlin Benyi stepped in and hit a two-run home run to left field, giving UCLA a 10-1 lead and invoking the run rule to end the game at that point.
Keira Goerl got the win in the circle for the Bruins, pitching five innings and striking out seven while walking three. She allowed three hits and one unearned run for her third win of the season.
UCLA 10, DePaul 2 (6 innings)
UCLA batted as the home team in the second game of the day, and posted the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. The rally started when Emily Zaplatosch led off the inning with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Kristen Dedmon and scored when Ashley Herrera's first career at-bat resulted in an RBI double.
DePaul countered with an unearned run in the bottom of the frame, as Jenny Doezie reached base on a one-out error, advanced to second on a Dana Kenney strikeout, and came around to score during the at-bat of Sara Polensky when she stole third base and advanced home when the ball was not handled cleanly at third base.
In the top of the third, Stephanie Ramos started a two-run Bruin rally with a one-out double to left field. Claire Sua followed by drawing a walk, and Tara Henry came in to pinch-run for Sua. Jodie Legaspi pushed UCLA's go-ahead run across on a two-out double to score Ramos and advance Henry to third base. A Blue Demon error extended the Bruin rally, allowing Henry to score to give UCLA the 3-1 lead.
Again, the Blue Demons trimmed UCLA's lead in the bottom of the frame, as Ashley Parker drew a two-out walk and scored on a double to right by Saskia Roberson. Roberson would eventually be thrown out at the plate on a single hit by Christina Douglas.
The 3-2 UCLA lead would hold until the top of the fifth inning, when the Bruins sent eight batters to the plate and extended an 8-2 lead. The inning opened with a hard-hit single up the middle by Claire Sua, who advanced to second on a single by Zaplatosch. Jodie Legaspi reached on a fielders choice with Sua out at third base before Lisa Dodd loaded the bases with a single up the middle. Zaplatosch would score and the two runners behind her would advance on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Kristen Dedmon, who eventually connected on a two-RBI double to left center, scoring Legaspi and Dodd.
The five-run rally closed with a two-run home run by Ashley Herrera, bringing the score to 8-2 in UCLA's favor. The Bruins put themselves in position for the run-rule victory in the sixth inning as Ramos led off with a double and came around to score on the third home run of the day by Zaplatosch. Lisa Dodd earned the win in the circle for the Bruins, her third of the year, striking out five and walking one while allowing five hits.
On the day, Zaplatosch finished with an impressive stat line, going 4-for-6 (.667 batting average) with a walk, three home runs, five runs scored and seven RBIs for a 2.167 slugging percentage and .714 on-base percentage.
UCLA continues UNLV Classic action on Saturday with games against Portland State and Wisconsin before concluding weekend play with a Sunday game against Michigan.