Feb. 24, 2009
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wednesday, February 25
4 p.m. - #3 UCLA at Cal State Fullerton
Friday, February 27
11:30 a.m. - Utah vs. #3 UCLA
7 p.m. - Colorado State vs. #3 UCLA
Saturday, February 28
7 p.m. - #3 UCLA at San Diego State
Sunday, March 1
9 a.m. - #12 Missouri vs. #3 UCLA
2 p.m. - #3 UCLA at San Diego
San Diego Classic I - Gametracker at UCLABruins.com
Utah and San Diego State games at SDSU
Colorado State, Missouri and San Diego games at USD
First-team listed in first-base dugout, home team in bold
SIX GAMES ON TAP FOR THIRD-RANKED BRUINS
The third-ranked Bruins (13-2) play six times this week, starting things off with a Wednesday game against Cal State Fullerton (5-6) at 4 p.m. UCLA then travels to the San Diego Classic on the campuses of San Diego State and San Diego. The Bruins play Utah (7-8) at 11:30 a.m. and Colorado State (9-6) at 7 p.m. on Friday, San Diego State (5-8) on Saturday at 7 p.m. and 12th-ranked Missouri (8-0) at 9 a.m. and San Diego (1-8) at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Utah and San Diego State contests will be played on the SDSU campus, while the Colorado State, Missouri and San Diego games will be on the USD campus. Gametracker will be available for all UCLA games at UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins moved into a tie for third in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll, while jumping up to fourth in the latest USA Today/NFCA rankings. Last week, UCLA was ranked sixth in both polls. UCLA earned two first-place votes in the NFCA poll this week and one in the USA Softball rankings. The Bruins were also selected first in the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches poll, earning 43 points and three first-place votes.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
Fans can follow UCLA all season long on UCLABruins.com. Gametracker will be featured for all Bruin contests, while live audio with Darren Preston at the call will be available for all home games on UCLA's website.
BRUINS ON THE TUBE
The Pac-10 softball television schedule has been released and the Bruins will be featured once against Arizona State on Friday, April 3 at 1 p.m. at Easton Stadium. The broadcast will be tape delayed and more information regarding showtimes will be announced at a later date.
SAN DIEGO CLASSIC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Bruins have played in eight tournaments in San Diego since 1995, owning a 35-5-1 (.866) record. Over the last four trips to San Diego (2004-06, 2008), UCLA is 16-0. Last year at the San Diego Classic, the Bruins went 5-0, defeating James Madison, San Diego, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State and Saint Peter's. UCLA outscored its five opponents 38-1.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Cal State Fullerton is 5-6 entering Wednesday's game after going 2-3 at the Cathedral City Softball Classic last weekend. The Titans beat North Carolina State and Nebraska, while losing to #20 North Carolina, Long Island and Mississippi. Fullerton is batting .213 as a team with 10 home runs, averaging 3.5 runs per game. Leading the way offensively is junior Francesca Gonzalez, who is batting .344 with three home runs and four RBI. Senior Courtney Martinez is hitting .333 with a team-best four homers, while sophomore Torrie Anderson is tops on the squad with 10 runs batted in. In the circle, sophomore Ari Cervantes has a team-best ERA of 2.92, a 2-2 record and 17 strikeouts in 24 innings. Freshman Krystal Heinle is 3-2 with a 3.13 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in 38 innings. The Bruins, who lead the all-time series 36-32-1, have won five of the last six against the Titans, splitting a pair of meetings last year. On March 12 at Easton Stadium, Cal State Fullerton score the game's lone run in the top of the eighth to record a 1-0 victory. UCLA exacted revenge during the Regionals in Westwood on May 16, winning 8-3. Amanda Kamekona hit a pair of home runs against her former team. The Bruins are 13-12 all-time in Fullerton, last playing at Anderson Family Field on March 7, 2007. UCLA came away with an 8-1 victory. The Bruins and the Titans have played at least once a year since 2001.
SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah went 0-5 last weekend at the Wildcat Invitational to drop to 7-8 on the year, falling to 11th-ranked Arizona three times and North Dakota State twice. Utah is batting .237 as a team with 17 home runs and 3.6 runs per game. Junior Kara Foster leads the Utes with a .341 average and six home runs, adding 10 RBI. Sophomore Brooke Olson is second with a .321 average, while freshman Whitney Holm is third at .310 with five homers and a team-best 12 runs batted in. The pitching has struggled for the Utes, but junior Ashley Smuda holds a 6-1 record with a 4.57 earned run average and 20 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. Three other pitchers have started at least two games. UCLA owns a 15-1 all-time advantage against Utah, having won nine straight. The last meeting between the two teams came on March 13, 2004 in Fresno, a 7-2 UCLA win. Utah's lone victory in the series came on March 3, 1990 in Las Vegas (3-1). The Bruins are 11-1 in neutral-site contests.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Colorado State is coming off a successful 4-1 weekend at the University of San Diego Tournament, defeating USD twice, Boise State once and splitting a pair of games with Long Beach State. They come back to San Diego again this weekend with a 9-6 overall record. The Rams are batting .296 as a team with three home runs, averaging 4.1 runs per game. Sophomore Caitlan Stem leads the way with a .434 average, one home run and nine RBI. Freshman Christin Thomsen (.395) and junior Ashley Munoz (.341) are also hitting better than .300, with Munoz leading the squad with two homers and 14 runs batted in. In the circle, freshmen Kelli Eubanks and Danielle Chaplin have started 11 of the 15 contests. Eubanks is 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings, while Chaplin is 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. The Bruins are 5-0 all-time against the Rams, outscoring Colorado State 34-6. The last meeting came on Feb. 16, 2007 in Las Vegas, as UCLA came away with a 10-2, five-inning victory. The Bruins are 3-0 in neutral-site contests against Colorado State.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
Since starting the season 2-0, San Diego State has dropped eight of its last 11, including three of four last weekend at the Mardi Gras Invitational in Lafayette, La. The Aztecs beat Connecticut, but lost to Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette twice, getting no-hit by the Ragin' Cajuns on Saturday. San Diego State's offense has struggled to a .188 average with three home runs. The Aztecs have 14 stolen bases and are averaging 2.5 runs per game. Senior Erin Floros is the lone player batting over .300, hitting at a .375 clip with one home run and a team-best eight runs batted in. In the circle, sophomore Samantha Beasley is 3-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 48 innings, while freshman Bailey Micetich is 2-4 with a 3.50 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 44 innings. UCLA increased its winning streak to 50 in a row against San Diego State with a 6-2, nine-inning victory on Feb. 8 at Easton Stadium. Andrea Harrison hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth and Kaila Shull jacked a walk-off grand slam in the ninth to give the Bruins the win. Megan Langenfeld allowed no earned runs in 7 1/3 innings, while Donna Kerr picked up the win in relief. The Bruins are 16-1 all-time at San Diego State, winning their last meeting on March 1, 2008 (2-1 in nine innings). UCLA leads the series 57-2.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Missouri, ranked 12th in the nation with an 8-0 record, went 5-0 last weekend at the Florida Atlantic Tournament, beating FIU twice, FAU, Arkansas and Providence by a combined score of 34-1. The Tigers are averaging 6.8 runs per game and are batting .338 as a team with 18 stolen bases. Junior Gina Schneider leads a group of seven players with a .300-plus batting average, hitting .643 with four RBI. Sophomore Shana White leads Missouri with six stolen bases, while senior Micaela Minner has a team-high nine runs batted in. The Tigers, who made the Super Regionals last year, are led in the circle by freshman Chelsea Thomas, who has thrown a team-high 23 2/3 innings and has 20 strikeouts a 4-0 record and a 0.59 earned run average. Senior Stacy Delaney has not allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts, while junior Jana Hainey is 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and nine punchouts in 14 frames. The Bruins improved to 9-0 against the Tigers with a 4-0 victory on Feb. 15, 2008 in Las Vegas. Donna Kerr struck out eight in a three-hit shutout. The Bruins, who have blanked the Tigers four straight times, are 5-0 against Missouri in neutral-site games.
SCOUTING THE TOREROS
San Diego is 1-8 on the season, going 1-4 at its own tournament last weekend. The Toreros split a pair with Boise State and lost once to Long Beach State and twice to Colorado State. No overall statistics for San Diego were available at the time of this release. The Bruins hold a 6-0 advantage all-time against the Toreros and have outscored them 36-1. Last year, UCLA bested San Diego 10-0 in six innings. Kaila Shull homered and Donna Kerr fanned 11 in a one-hitter.
I GOT YOUR CRAZY
The Bruins saw their streak of 14 games with at least one home run end against Fresno State on Sunday. However, UCLA set a school record in the process with its streak. The previous school best for consecutive games with at least one home run was nine, set in 2002 (April 27-May 16) and 2004 (Feb. 20-March 5). UCLA leads the nation and the Pac-10 in home runs with 32. The Bruins are the only team above 30, with Campbell and New Mexico State tied for second at 29. UCLA is just four home runs shy of tying last year's mark of 36. The Bruins are on a pace to hit 109 home runs this year, which would shatter the school single-season record of 95 set in 1999.
Since being limited to one run in their season-opening loss to Purdue, the Bruins have scored at least four runs in 14 straight games, including 10 or more on six occasions. UCLA recorded double figures in runs just five times in 2008. The nine straight games with at least four runs scored are the most since the 2001 Bruins posted four or more runs in 18 straight contests.
INOUYE-PEREZ REACHES 100 WINS
Third-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez won her 100th career game on Sunday against Maryland. Inouye-Perez accomplished the feat in just 129 games. Sue Enquist, as co-head coach with Sharron Backus, reached her 100th win in 1990 after 109 games. Backus reached the 100-win mark in 1980 after 132 contests.
I'VE GOT THE POWER
In baseball parlance, a five-tool player is one who has great speed, has a great throwing arm, is excellent defensively, hits for average and hits for power. As a freshman, Katie Schroeder displayed four of those tools. But as a sophomore, she has added the fifth tool of power to her repertoire. Schroeder remained atop the team and Pac-10 lead (tied) in home runs after hitting her seventh of the season on Saturday against North Carolina State. Schroeder did not have a home run in any of her first 187 collegiate at-bats, but had three during each of the first two weekends of 2009. The sophomore started the year with home runs in three straight contests against Purdue and Indiana on Feb. 7 and Cal Poly on Feb. 8. Schroeder hit two homers in a game for the first time and set a new career high with six runs batted in against #11 Northwestern on Feb. 13, becoming just the 10th player in UCLA history to drive in at least half a dozen runs in a single contest. She added another bomb against Kentucky one day later. Schroeder opened the year with hits in 11 straight games, which was a career-long hitting streak. After going hitless against Massachusetts on Saturday, Schroeder battled back with hits in each of her next three games, including a season-best three against Maryland on Sunday. The sophomore has six multiple-hit games and has scored at least twice in seven contests. Schroeder leads the team in average (.457), hits (21), total bases (43), slugging (.935), on base percentage (.569) and stolen bases (6). She is also tied for first in walks with 11, second in runs scored with 18 and fourth in RBI with 14. Among Pac-10 players, Schroeder is in the Top 10 in 10 offensive categories. Along with being tied for first in homers, she is tied for second in runs scored, fourth in slugging and on base percentage and fifth in batting average.
SHULL SHALL HIT THE BALL
Since moving up to the number four spot in the lineup, junior Kaila Shull has definitely been cleaning up to take the team lead in runs batted in. In six games last week, Shull had nine runs batted in and hit .438 from the #4 spot. Last Tuesday against Simon Fraser, the junior tied a career best with two home runs, drove in four and scored three times. She continued to clutch up against top-ranked Alabama on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a two-run single in the top of the first inning that gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead. Shull came through again versus Fresno State, this time with two outs in the second inning, driving in a pair on a single to give UCLA a 3-2 advantage. Both instances proved to be the game-winning RBI in those wins. Of her team-best 20 runs batted in, six have come with two outs. She also leads the team with a .563 average with runners in scoring position. Shull is second on the squad with a .386 batting average and a .705 slugging percentage. She also ranks tied for first with five doubles and has hit three home runs. Along with her two-homer game against Simon Fraser, Shull hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth against San Diego State on Feb. 8 to give the Bruins a 6-2 victory. The junior has seven multiple-hit contests, which is second on the team. She has also driven in at least two runs five times, which is tied for the top spot. Shull ranks in the Pac-10 Top 10 in six offensive categories, including tied for first with two sacrifice flies and third with 20 RBI. Defensively, the catcher has been flawless, committing no errors in 121 chances.
Look out opposing pitchers. Amanda Kamekona has found her home run stroke. After going her first five games of 2009 without leaving the yard, the senior has five in her last 10 contests, including three last weekend at the Cathedral City Softball Classic. Kamekona got the Bruins off on the right foot against top-ranked Alabama on Friday, belting a leadoff homer to put UCLA up 1-0. On Saturday against #15 Massachusetts, she drove in the go-ahead runs on a two-run double in the fourth, and later that day, she belted her first career grand slam against North Carolina State. Kamekona completed the weekend with hits in both of Sunday's victories, including a two-run homer against Maryland. Kamekona holds a seven-game hitting streak in which she is batting .360 (9-for-25) with six runs scored, 11 RBI and four home runs. She currently sits fifth on the team with a .314 average, second in home runs and runs batted in (16) and third in slugging percentage (.667). Kamekona's first two home runs of the season came two weekends ago at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic when she went deep against #11 Northwestern (Feb. 13) and South Dakota State (Feb. 15). The senior drove in three against Northwestern, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Kamekona has hits in 13 of the Bruins' 15 games, runs scored in 11 of the 15 and RBI in nine of the 15. A third-team All-American a year ago, Kamekona is tied for fourth in the Pac-10 in home runs and runs batted in and eighth with 34 total bases. Prior to the start of this season, Kamekona was one of three Bruins named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
Junior Megan Langenfeld continues to contribute in a variety of ways for the Bruins, at the plate, in the circle and defensively at first base. At the plate, Langenfeld hit .429 (6-for-14) at the Cathedral City Softball Classic, ending the weekend with a 3-for-3, two-RBI performance against Fresno State on Sunday. She also starred in the circle, throwing 10 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just two hits while striking out 10. The junior had a great all-around game against Maryland on Saturday, hitting a solo home run, her second of the season, to give herself the only run support she would need. In the circle, Langenfeld tossed six perfect innings before giving up a single to start off the seventh. She finished the game with a one-hitter, striking out six. On the year, Langenfeld is batting .311 with two home runs and 10 runs batted in. She has also scored 12 runs, which is third on the team, crossing home plate in 10 of the Bruins' 15 games. The junior has been just as impressive in the circle, leading the team with a 1.09 earned run average. Langenfeld is 3-0 and has 23 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings, but the most important number for the junior is the 0 next to the walks column. She ranks second in the Pac-10 in opposing batting average (.112) and fourth in ERA. Defensively, Langenfeld has been perfect, committing no errors in 57 chances. She was honored prior to the start of the 2009 season by being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
Andrea Harrison is quickly proving why she was one of the most highly-touted freshmen entering the collegiate game this year. Harrison is batting .447 (17-for-38) in her last 12 games after starting her career hitless in her first nine at-bats. The freshman leads the Bruins with eight multiple-hit contests, recording three more at the Cathedral City Softball Classic. Harrison had two hits against #15 Massachusetts, North Carolina State and #14 Fresno State. She had only one hit against Maryland on Sunday, but it was a long one that landed on the other side of the fence for her fourth home run of the season. Harrison's first career bomb was a memorable one. Against San Diego State on Feb. 8, the Bruins were trailing 2-0 with one out in the eighth inning, but Harrison tied it up with a two-run shot to send the game into a ninth frame. That game marked the first of three straight two-hit contests for the freshman, who also went 2-for-4 against UNLV and #11 Northwestern on Feb. 13. Harrison drove in three against the Rebels, scoring twice and hitting a homer and also had two RBI against the Wildcats. The freshman also had a home run against Kentucky on Feb. 14. Harrison has five multiple-RBI games this season to tie for the team lead. On the year, Harrison is third on the squad in batting average (.362) and runs batted in (15) and tied for third with four home runs. She ranks tied for sixth in RBI among Pac-10 players and tied for eighth in home runs.
Sophomore and San Diego native Donna Kerr returns to her hometown this weekend and looks to produce similar results from her 2008 trip as a freshman. Last year, Kerr allowed just one hit in 11 scoreless innings, winning twice and throwing a five-inning perfect game against Saint Peter's. She struck out 18 in her two starts, including seven in the perfect game, the 16th in UCLA history, as well as the 99th no-hitter. This year, Kerr leads the Bruins with a 6-2 record, having started eight of 15 contests and five of the Bruins' six games against ranked squads. She is also tops on the team in strikeouts with 71, which places her third among Pac-10 pitchers. Last weekend at the Cathedral City Softball Classic, Kerr defeated a pair of ranked teams in #1 Alabama and #14 Fresno State. Against the Crimson Tide on Friday, Kerr struck out seven in a three-hit performance. She fanned six more against the Bulldogs on Sunday, allowing seven hits, two runs and two walks. Kerr has four wins over ranked teams this season, also beating then-#25 San Diego State in relief on Feb. 8 and then-#11 Northwestern on Feb. 13. Against the Wildcats, she struck out 15, which tied a career high that was also set against Northwestern last year. It was the third double-figure strikeout performance this season for Kerr, who had 10 apiece against Purdue (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). She has not struck out fewer than six in any of her eight starts this season. Last year, Kerr led the Bruins in earned run average (0.93), posting a 14-2 record and 132 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings. For her efforts, she was named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention and All-Pac-10 Freshman teams. Kerr was seventh in the nation in ERA and fewest hits allowed per seven innings a year ago. She was also second among conference hurlers in ERA and third in opposing batting average (.153).
BURNEY-ING THE COMPETITION
Junior Julie Burney remains one of the most consistent Bruins through the first three weekends of the season, coming in to the final week of February at fourth on the team with a .341 batting average. Burney has five multiple-hit games this season, including a two-hit performance on Sunday against Fresno State. The junior drove in a pair against the Bulldogs on an RBI single and an RBI double. Burney had another two-RBI contest against Massachusetts on Saturday, hitting her third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the second inning. Burney hit her first bomb of the year on Feb. 13 at UNLV and added another on the same weekend on Feb. 15 against South Dakota State. The homer against the Jackrabbits was a grand slam, the first of her career. Burney is tied for fifth on the team with her three home runs, 10 runs scored and seven walks. After posting only 19 hits in 105 at-bats as a sophomore, Burney is an early candidate for most improved player on the team, already sporting 14 hits in 41 at-bats this year.
Last weekend at the Cathedral City Softball Classic, if freshman Dani Yudin was at the plate, there was a great chance that she was going to get on base. In 15 plate appearances, Yudin reached base 11 times, recording four hits in eight official at-bats with six walks and a hit by pitch. With walks in seven straight games, as well as nine of 10, Yudin is tied for the team lead with 11 free passes. That total ranks her tied for fifth among Pac-10 players. Yudin hit her first collegiate home run on Saturday against North Carolina State, a three-run shot during an 11-run second inning. In the Bruins' next contest against Maryland, Yudin reached base three times, going 2-for-2 with a walk. She drove in her fourth run of the weekend later that afternoon against Fresno State on a single in the sixth that invoked the mercy rule. Yudin raised her season average from .150 following the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic to .267 entering this week's play.
BAKER COOKING WITH GAS
Junior Whitney Baker improved to 4-0 on the season last weekend at the Cathedral City Softball Classic, throwing a complete-game, four-hitter in a five-inning victory over North Carolina State on Saturday. Baker fanned five and did not walk a batter, allowing just one run. Baker has won four of her five starts, picking up victories against Indiana (Feb. 7), UNLV (Feb. 13) and Simon Fraser (Feb. 17). In each of those contests, the junior has allowed either one or two earned runs. After walking nine in her first two appearances, Baker has had great control in her last three starts, giving up just one walk. She also has 11 strikeouts in her last 9 1/3 innings. On the season, Baker has a 2.26 earned run average and 24 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Limited to only three innings last season, Baker has applied for a medical redshirt and if granted will earn another year of eligibility.
THREE BRUINS NAMED TO PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Senior Amanda Kamekona, junior Megan Langenfeld and sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore have been named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association. The pre-season watch list is comprised of 50 players. The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 1. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered a top 25 finalist. However, once the top 25 finalists are named the winner of the award will come from that list. Freshmen qualify for the top 25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level. Just days before the start of the postseason, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 6. The final three finalists will be announced on May 20, while the winner of the USA Softball Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Past winners of the award include former Bruin great Stacey Nuveman. Last year, Anjelica Selden and Samantha Camuso were top 25 finalists for the award.
NEWS AND NOTES
Next month's home game against Notre Dame will be played on Tuesday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at Easton Stadium. Some publications erroneously had the game scheduled for March 12 ... the Bruins scored 11 runs during the second inning of their win against North Carolina State on Saturday. It marks the sixth time in UCLA history that the Bruins have scored at least 10 runs in one inning ... sophomore Lauren Mirabal scored four times in five games at the Cathedral City Softball Classic, bringing her season runs scored total to seven. Mirabal has crossed home plate in more than half of the 12 contests she has appeared in as a pinch-runner. On Feb. 17 against Simon Fraser, the sophomore made her first defensive appearance. Mirabal played at second base in the fifth inning for the final two batters. She did not have a putout or assist ... sophomore Amy Crawford reached base for the first time in her career after walking against North Carolina State on Saturday. In her previous two at-bats, Crawford had flied out each time ... freshman Marti Reed stole her first career base against Maryland on Sunday ... sophomore Samantha Camuso underwent surgery for a torn labrum in her right shoulder in January and will miss the entire season. Camuso, who was one of three Bruins to start all 60 games last year, led the team with a .366 batting average as a freshman in earning second-team All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 honors. She plans to apply for a medical redshirt and return as a third-year sophomore in 2010 ... senior Jennifer Schroeder is currently not with the team for an undisclosed violation of a team rule.