April 27, 2002
STANFORD, CA - UCLA senior catcher Stacey Nuveman tied the NCAA career home run record on Saturday night at Stanford's Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium, with a third-inning blast to left center field off of Stanford pitcher Maureen LeCocq. That blast gave the Bruins a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning, before the Bruins went on to score 10 more runs in the frame.
With the victory, UCLA remains in first place in the Pac-10 race, holding a 43-6 overall record with an 11-3 Pac-10 mark. Stanford, which has now lost eight straight Pac-10 games, falls to 37-13 (4-10 Pac-10).
UCLA posted an offensive explosion in the third inning, befuddling the Smith Family Stadium scoreboard with a 10-run frame. The offense started with the top of the order, as Natasha Watley opened with a slap-hit infield single, followed by an RBI double from Amanda Freed. Tairia Mims followed with an RBI double of her own, bringing Nuveman to the plate. Nuveman crushed Maureen LeCocq's first pitch well over the fence in left center field, giving her 15 home runs this season and, more significantly, tying the NCAA career home run record with the 85th long ball of her UCLA career. She ties Arizona's Leah Braatz and Laura Espinoza for the NCAA career record.
The Bruins certainly did not stop there, as 14 Bruins stepped to the plate in the frame, knocking out nine hits, including a home run from Claire Sua and a triple by Watley.
In the fourth, UCLA added three more runs, a lead-off shot to dead center by Sua, her second of the night, followed by a walk to Crissy Buck and an RBI triple by Watley.
Meanwhile, pitcher Amanda Freed started her evening in the circle by tossing six straight strikes, and took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth inning, when Kira Ching hit a ball through the right side of the infield for the first Cardinal hit of the game.
Stanford did get on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, with a home run to center by Leah Nelson, her third of the year. Freed completed her night with six strikeouts, having allowed just two hits in the run-rule victory. The win, her 18th of the season, gives her sole possession of second place on UCLA's all-time pitching victories list, passing Lisa Fernandez. Freed has a career 94-17 record at UCLA.
Stanford and UCLA complete their regular season series on Sunday afternoon, with a scheduled 1 pm first pitch at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on the campus of Stanford University.