May 20, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Anjelica Selden fanned 12 batters and retired the final 16 batters of the game and Caitlin Benyi hit a pair of solo homers as UCLA (31-16) officially opened defense of its back-to-back NCAA titles with a 6-1 win over Loyola Marymount (34-19) on Friday afternoon at Easton Stadium.
LMU jumped on the Bruin freshman in the first inning as the visiting Lions had three hits in their first four at-bats to take a 1-0 lead. UCLA responded in the second inning as Kristen Dedmon opened the inning with a single to center field followed two batters later by a two-run blast by Lisa Dodd to give the Bruins a 2-1 edge.
UCLA added solo shots by Benyi in the third and fifth innings to increase the lead to 4-1. The Bruins continued to roll offensively in the bottom of the fifth as, following Benyi's solo homer, Emily Zaplatosch walked and Jodie Legaspi singled to left field, ending the day for LMU starter Tiffany Pagano. After flyouts by Dedmon and Colburn, Dodd came through again with a double to left center field, scoring Zaplatosch. Ashley Herrera then drove one through the middle as Legaspi came around for a 6-1 UCLA lead.
Selden meanwhile was in total control in the circle. After allowing three hits in the first inning and a two-out single in the second inning, Selden would go on to retire the final 16 batters of the game, fanning nine of those 16 to earn her 20th win of the season. Selden (20-10) also did not walk a batter and improved her season strikeout total to 358, just two shy of breaking DeeDee Weiman's UCLA single-season record of 359 set in 1994. Selden's total of 358 also moves her into a tie for ninth on the Pac-10 Conference single-season chart with Stanford's Dana Sorenson, who did it last year.
Offensively, the Bruins pounded 12 hits in the win, getting a 2-for-4 effort from Benyi and a 3-for-3, three RBI afternoon from Lisa Dodd, who hit a homer, single and double in her three plate appearances. Herrera went 2-for-3 in the victory as eight of the nine Bruin starters had at least one hit against LMU. The Lions' Tiffany Pagano (14-7) took the loss, allowing nine hits and six runs in four-plus innings.
UCLA will face Cal State Fullerton on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. CSUF picked up a 5-4 opening day win over UNLV. Here is Saturday's exact schedule at Easton Stadium:
10 a.m.: UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton 12:30 p.m.: UNLV vs. LMU (loser of that game is eliminated) 3 p.m.: UCLA-CSUF loser vs. UNLV-LMU winner (loser of that game is eliminated)