April 4, 2001
"Welcome to the Pac-10" was the message for seven of the conference's eight softball-playing schools last weekend, as only No. 2 Arizona remains undefeated in conference play with a 2-0 record. The Bruins are part of a four-way tie for second place in the Pac-10 with a 2-1 conference record, and will play host to three key conference games this weekend after traveling to Cal State Northridge on Wednesday afternoon. The Bruins and Matadors met twice during the first weekend of the season with UCLA winning both games. The Bruins lead that all-time series by a 30-9 margin. Against the Sun Devils, the Bruins hold a 69-14 advantage, and UCLA leads the series against Arizona by a 49-38 margin. This weekend also marks the start of the broadcast schedule for Bruin Softball, as Saturday's game against Arizona will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net, and Sunday's game against the Wildcats can be heard live on www.uclabruins.com with Lou Riggs calling the action.
Bruins Fall to Stanford, Sweep Cal in Pac-10 Openers
UCLA's school record-tying 35-0 start to the season came to a halt on Friday afternoon at Stanford, a pitchers duel resulted in a combined four hits and only one runner crossing the plate as Stanford defeated UCLA, 1-0. UCLA's Amanda Freed and Stanford's Dana Sorensen allowed just two hits apiece in both squad's Pac-10 opener. After the 2-1 Pac-10 start, UCLA leads a four-team log jam for second place in the conference standings.
The Bruins rebounded on Saturday, notching a 2-1 nine-inning win over No. 3 California. UCLA scored the first run of the game in the third inning, when outfielder Lupe Brambila reached on an error to lead off the inning and was advanced to third base by a groundout and a sacrifice bunt before third baseman Tairia Mims doubled to left center, bringing Brambila home. Freshman pitcher Keira Goerl opened the game by retiring the first 11 batters she faced, and did not give up a hit until the sixth inning, when the Bears scored their lone run of the game. Neither team was able to score in the seventh or eighth, but the Bruins started hot in the ninth, with a leadoff double by designated player Courtney Dale. Dale was replaced by pinch-runner Julie Hoshizaki, who advanced to third base on a single by freshman right fielder Marcel Torres. With one out and runners at the corners, sophomore second baseman Monique Mejia hit a clutch single to left to bring home Hoshizaki and earn the game-winning RBI. Goerl allowed a leadoff double in the bottom half of the inning before forcing a pop-out, strikeout and groundout to end the game.
UCLA picked up on Sunday where they left off the day before. After Freed struck out the side in the first inning, junior catcher Stacey Nuveman led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Simpson, who would make her way around the basepaths and score on a long single by first baseman Claire Sua.
A leadoff walk to Freed in the third resulted in a second run for the Bruins, this time on an RBI single by Nuveman. Freed broke the game open in the fourth with a two-RBI bases loaded single. The play actually resulted in three runs, as a throw to third trying to throw out Brambila went into left field, and Brambila scored on an E2. Cal would score their lone run in the bottom of the fourth, just the third earned run of the season allowed by Freed.
She's Baaack!: Nuveman Moves Up NCAA Career Lists
With 11 home runs this season, Bruin slugger Stacey Nuveman currently has 62 career home runs, moving her into fourth place on the NCAA's all-time list. Nuveman now has the best career home run total of any non-Arizona player. Jenny Dalton is next on the list with 76 career home runs (see page 5 of notes).
Through 35 games, Nuveman has walked 41 times, equivalent to 31% of her total plate appearances and a 1.1 per-game average that contributes to an impressive .607 on-base percentage. Nuveman is second among active players on the NCAA's career walks list, behind only Pacific's Adrienne Ratajczak. She has also become the second Bruin in history to record more than 200 career RBI, and is the active leader on the NCAA career list in that category.
Nuveman returns to the Bruins in 2001 after missing the 2000 collegiate season in order to play for the U.S. Olympic Team. Despite the fact that she is in her fifth year as a Bruin, Nuveman has remaining collegiate eligibility for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and is considered an athletic junior in 2001.
Four Bruin starters currently own season batting averages of .400 or above: Nuveman (.444), freshman Claire Sua (.439), sophomore Tairia Mims (.418) and injured freshman outfielder Stephanie Ramos (.405). The Bruins have scored 271 runs while allowing just 34. The Bruins are hitting .363 as a team, and UCLA's offensive power is evident in the team pitching stats, as UCLA has a team ERA of 0.65 while the Bruins have hit their opponents into a 6.28 team ERA.
Freed Continues Domination in the Circle
Junior P/OF Amanda Freed spent her summer as a traveling alternate with the U.S. Olympic Team, and has returned to the Bruins as the same dominant pitcher who tossed UCLA to last year's NCAA Championship Game. Freed leads the Bruins with 99.0 innings in the circle and an 15-1 record with one save. She has struck out 95 and walked 10, good for a stunning K:BB ratio of 8.6:1! The Bruins have allowed just seven runs, three earned, with Freed in the circle for a 0.21 ERA. Offensively, Freed is hitting .331 with one home run, six doubles and three triples with 22 RBI. She has stolen 14 bases on 15 tries.
Head Coach Sue Enquist
The 2001 season marks Sue Enquist's 13th campaign as head coach of the Bruin softball program. It is her 22nd year as part of UCLA's softball coaching staff and her 26th year of involvement with the program as either a coach or player. Enquist has a 616-116-1 (.841) coaching record and 1,043 wins in her Bruin softball career as a player, assistant coach and head coach, combined. As a player from 1975-78, Enquist became UCLA's first All-American while establishing the Bruin career batting average record of .401. She is still the only UCLA player to complete her career with a batting average over .400.
Elementary, My Dear Watley!
Even the masterful detective Sherlock Holmes wouldn't be able to stop Bruin sophomore All-American shortstop Natasha Watley, who became the most prolific base stealer in UCLA history after just one season. Watley's record-setting freshman campaign included team highs of a .426 batting average and stealing 32 bases on 37 attempts. In addition to setting a new Bruin single-season record for stolen bases and taking over the UCLA career lead in that category, Watley set an NCAA Division I postseason record with four steals against Canisius in UCLA's postseason opener on May 18, 2000.
Watley has already improved on that freshman campaign, swiping 33 bases on 36 tries for 65 career steals. Through 26 games, she had already improved on her freshman year total of 11 RBI and is closing in on her 2000 total for runs scored. Watley currently has 27 RBI and 46 runs scored, compared to 48 runs last year.
Forget Waldo, Where's Tairia?
Sophomore Tairia Mims is on the field and producing impressive offensive numbers from the No. 3 spot in the lineup, but you never know where you'll find her on the field defensively.
Mims has started all 38 games for UCLA: 13 games in right field, four games at first base, 12 at third base and nine games behind the plate. UCLA's starting first baseman a year ago, Mims was a catcher and third baseman in high school and ASA ball. Since coming to UCLA, she has learned first base and right field, making her one of Sue Enquist's most versatile athletes defensively.
Mims was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Feb. 12-18 after hitting six home runs with 19 RBI during that stretch. For the 2001 season, Mims currently has a .405 average, going 34-for-84 with six doubles, 10 home runs, 40 RBI, 27 runs scored and 10 walks, for a .480 on-base percentage and a .833 slugging percentage. In comparison, she totalled nine home runs, 32 RBI and eight doubles last year as a freshman.
Claire Sua has started all of UCLA's 38 games and is second on the team with a .439 batting average with six home runs -- including two grand slams -- 38 RBI and 16 runs scored. Sua entered the lineup as the designated player in UCLA's first five games (at the Early Bird Classic) before making her defensive debut at first base in the doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 7.
Pitcher Keira Goerl has pitched in 14 of UCLA's games and has a 0.86 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched. Goerl pitched a five-inning perfect game against UC Riverside on March 6. Batters are hitting .140 against Goerl, and she is 13-0 on the 2001 season. She is second on the team in innings pitched to Amanda Freed (99 IP).
Freshman outfielder Stephanie Ramos started UCLA's first 29 games before breaking a bone in her left hand. She was hitting .405 with seven doubles, 12 RBI and 22 runs scored, and had 18 putouts and an assist when the injury occured.
Three of Marcel Torres' five game starts came in last weekend's road series at Stanford and Cal and she responded accordingly, turning a .625 (5-for8) weekend batting average. Torres earned a single in her first collegiate at-bat, entering the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of the Cal State Fullerton doubleheader. She went 1-for-1 with an RBI against San Diego, and made her defensive debut at third base. Torres hit her first career home run on Feb. 16 against Portland State, and is hitting .435 with 12 games played going 5-for-15 at the plate.
Baserunning specialists Amanda Simpson and Julie Hoshizaki both have seen game action, with Simpson stealing two bases with 12 runs scored. She has appeared as a pinch runner in 35 of UCLA's 38 games. Hoshizaki has pinch-run in 26 games with 10 runs scored.
Freshman outfielder Stephanie Ramos broke the fourth metacarpal bone in her left hand while sliding into second base on March 8 against Colorado State at the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic. She will most likely return to the lineup for this weekend's Pac-10 series against the Arizona schools. Sophomore Toria Auelua tore her right meniscus while warming up Courtney Dale in game one of UCLA's doubleheader at Southwest Texas State on Feb. 26. Auelua underwent surgery on February 28 and will be out for at least of 6-8 weeks. Junior Casey Hiraiwa has torn a tendon in her left hand, and is awaiting surgery to repair the injury. No timetable has currently been set for her return.