Jan. 23, 2001
The 2001 softball season is less than two weeks away, but the first chance to see the 2001 Bruins comes up this Wednesday, in an exhibition contest against Cal State Fullerton at Easton Stadium. The Bruins return 13 letterwinners and seven starters, including the return of Stacey Nuveman, who redshirted the 2000 season in order to play for the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team in Sydney, Australia.
The two teams are scheduled to play three or four regulation innings, then practice some situational play. The Bruins and Titans will face off in regular-season games on Feb. 7 in Fullerton (doubleheader) and on Feb. 23 at the Texas Invitational in Austin, TX.
Schedule Changes Abound
The Bruins 2001 schedule has undergone numerous changes since the poster and schedule cards went to press, and changes to UCLA's schedule have been made as recently as last week.The following is a rundown of the changes to UCLA's schedule:
- UCLA's Alumni Game has appeared on schedules for two different dates in January. It is now scheduled for March 24.
- Two games were added to UCLA's first tournament, the Early Bird Classic in San Jos?.
- The Feb. 10 doubleheader against San Diego was originally scheduled as an away game. It has been moved to UCLA's Easton Stadium, and is still a 1 pm first pitch.
- UCLA's doubleheader at Southwest Texas State has been moved from Thurs., Feb. 22 to Mon. Feb. 26, but is still a 1 pm start.
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 enters the 2001 season with a 579-115-1 (.834) coaching record, and has 1,006 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 and established the Bruin career batting average record of .401, and is still the only UCLA player to complete her career with a batting average over .400. Enquist's No. 6 jersey was retired on April 29, 2000, joining the No. 16 of Lisa Fernandez and No. 1 of Dot Richardson. Bruin Lineup Up for Grabs
UCLA returns five of eight position players and all three pitchers from last season's NCAA Runner-Up team, including sophomore All-American shortstop Natasha Watley. With the return of 2000 U.S. Olympian Stacey Nuveman to the roster, the Bruins have six former starters returning for 2001, in addition to Courtney Dale, Amanda Freed and Stephanie Swenson in the circle. With the exception of Watley's position, every spot on the diamond is up for grabs during early season play. Dale's return to the circle will depend on her recovery from off-season surgery, which seems to be progressing well.