May 9, 2004
STANFORD, CA - Caitlin Benyi blasted two home runs and Keira Goerl struck out four as UCLA topped Stanford by a score of 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium in Stanford, CA. The Bruins (36-9, 9-8 Pac-10) hit three home runs on the day, as Goerl moves into fourth place on the NCAA's all-time wins list.
UCLA opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, as Jodie Legaspi led off the inning by drawing a walk. She advanced to second base on a successful sacrifice bunt by Emily Zaplatosch, and to third on a foul-out deep to right field by Kristen Dedmon. Freshman left fielder Ashley Herrera then connected on an 0-1 pitch to put her fourth home run of the season just over the left field fence to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Caitlin Benyi then stepped in and worked the count full before putting her team leading 17th home run of the season over the left field fence for a 3-0 UCLA lead.
Defensively, after Bruin starting pitcher Keira Goerl allowed a two-out double to Cataline Morris in the bottom of the first inning, she retired the next 12 batters she faced, helped by a diving catch of a foul ball to lead off the second inning, when Zaplatosch had to negotiate around the umpire to make the play. Another impressive play, this one by Jodie Legaspi, opened the fourth inning for the Bruin defense, as Legaspi scooped up a ground ball on the run to gun down Heather Shook for the first out of the fourth. Through four innings of play, Goerl had thrown 49 pitches, 39 of them strikes.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Elizabeth Bendig connected on a single to center that was over-run in the outfield, allowing Bendig to take second base. Bendig was replaced by pinch runner Shoney Hixon, who came around to score on a chopper up the middle by Meghan Sickler to make the score 3-1. Katherine Hoffman then drew a walk to give the Cardinal runners on first and second with two outs, bringing Stanford's lead off hitter Jackie Rinehart to the plate, but Goerl was able to get Rinehart to ground out to Caitlin Benyi at second base to end the inning and the threat.
The seventh inning saw Kristen Dedmon lead off the inning with a double to left center before being replaced by pinch runner Julie Hoshizaki. Ashley Herrera followed with a walk before Caitlin Benyi blasted a first pitch over the left field fence for her second home run of the game, a three run shot for her 18th of the season. After Dana Sorensen struck out the next two Bruin hitters, Claire Sua connected on a single, followed by a Stephanie Ramos single to give the Bruins pinch runners on first and second with two outs. Jodie Legaspi then delivered with an RBI single to right field, scoring lead runner Tara Henry, before getting caught in a rundown trying to take second base on the play. The final out of the inning would eventually be recorded on pinch runner Alissa Eno at the plate.
Goerl struck out four batters on the day, including the first two she faced in the bottom of the seventh inning, as she improved to 21-7 on the season. She now has 120 career victories, tied for fourth-best on the NCAA's all-time list for Division I.
The Bruins return to action on Friday afternoon with a 1 pm first pitch against No. 1 Arizona at Easton Stadium. UCLA will then conclude regular season play on Saturday with a 1 pm doubleheader against Arizona State before awaiting the announcement of the NCAA Championship field between 5 and 6 pm PT on ESPNews on Sunday, May 16. UCLA's Easton Stadium has already been selected as one of eight host sites for NCAA Division I softball regionals.