Jan. 25, 2004
LOS ANGELES - UCLA's annual softball alumnae game was well-attended again on Sunday afternoon at Easton Stadium, with a full grandstand watching over 20 former Bruins play a five-inning game with the current UCLA squad. All five of UCLA's 2004 U.S. Olympians were on hand for the event, as Tairia Mims Flowers, Amanda Freed, Lisa Fernandez and Natasha Watley played in the game and Stacey Nuveman acted as the afternoon's field reporter.
After current UCLA freshman Lisa Dodd posted a 1-2-3 inning in the circle for the White Team, her offense put up the first two runs of the afternoon in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Caitlin Benyi led off for the White team with a single to left field, was sacrificed to second by Amanda Freed, and came around to score on a single by former Bruin Julie Marshall. After current UCLA freshman Tara Henry came in to pinch-run for Marshall, a Claire Sua single advanced Henry to second base, and she would come around to score on a hard-hit single to left field by current freshman Jodie Legaspi. The White team would add another run in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single by Dodd to lead 3-0.
As is generally the case for this Alumnae Game, the White and Blue teams were both a mixture of current and former Bruins. When the fourth inning started with the entire White roster playing defense and two Blue runners on each base, the Blue team was able to put some runs on the board before the game was paused for a home run hitting contest.
Five players from each team participated in the home run hitting contest, which was styled loosely after the format used at the Major League Baseball All-Star game. The star of the contest was Tairia Mims Flowers, who hit five "regular" home runs in the contest, in addition to a "bonus ball" home run, which was worth five points for the White team.
After the home run hitting contest concluded, the teams played another inning and a half before concluding the game in favor of an informal autograph session.
The 2004 UCLA softball team will begin defense of its NCAA Championship on Feb. 7 in Long Beach, CA. The Long Beach Invitational will take place at Mayfair Park in Long Beach. UCLA plays its first game at 11:30 am on Saturday, February 7, against Santa Clara. The Bruins will then have a 4:30 pm first pitch against Washington on Saturday, and will play the final two games of the tournament on Sunday, including a 4:30 pm start against host Long Beach State and a 6:30 pm game against San Diego State.