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Top-Ranked Bruins Travel to Vegas
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  02/17/2011

Feb. 17, 2011

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Friday, Feb. 18
9 a.m. - UCLA vs. Southern Illinois Edwardsville
Online Coverage: Gametracker

1:30 p.m. - UCLA vs. Arkansas
Online Coverage: Gametracker

Saturday, Feb. 19
1:30 p.m. - UCLA vs. Utah
Online Coverage: Gametracker

3:45 p.m. - UCLA vs. Portland State
Online Coverage: Live Audio | Gametracker

Sunday, Feb. 20
9 a.m. - UCLA vs. Utah State
Online Coverage: Gametracker

TOP-RANKED BRUINS HEAD TO VEGAS
The defending national champion and top-ranked Bruins look to keep their momentum going following a 5-0 opening weekend as they head to Las Vegas for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. On Friday, UCLA plays Southern Illinois Edwardsville (9 a.m.) and Arkansas (1:30 p.m.) at UNLV's Eller Media Stadium. The final two days of the tournament will take place at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Henderson, Nev. On Saturday, the Bruins face Utah (1:30 p.m.) and Portland State (3:45 p.m.) and close the weekend on Sunday against Utah State (9 a.m.). Gametracker will be available for all games at UCLABruins.com.

FIVE GAMES, THREE DAYS, TWO FIELDS
Weather permitting, the Bruins will play five times over three days at two different fields. Both of Friday's games will take place at UNLV's Eller Media Stadium, which is located on the southeast corner of Swenson Street and Harmon Avenue on the UNLV campus. On Saturday and Sunday, the Bruins play at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Henderson, which is located at 1725 Galleria Drive, Henderson, NV 89014.

ON DECK
The Bruins have a six-game week on tap, starting with a Wednesday contest at Cal State Northridge, whose coaching staff features former UCLA greats Tairia (Mims) Flowers, Caitlin Benyi and Natasha Watley. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. UCLA then travels to the Cathedral City Classic for the biggest tournament of the year, facing #5/#5 Florida and #6/#6 Oklahoma on Friday, #3/#7 Tennessee on Saturday and Northwestern and Ohio State on Sunday.

BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins are first in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls this week. UCLA received 742 points and 29 of 30 first-place votes in the NFCA rankings and 484 points and 13 first-place nods in the USA Softball poll. UCLA tied Arizona for first in the Pac-10 preseason rankings, with each team receiving four first-place votes and 46 points.

BRUINS ON THE WEB
Gametracker will be available for every contest this season at UCLABruins.com. The next internet broadcast will be on March 21 when the Bruins host UC Santa Barbara in a doubleheader.

SCOUTING THE SIU EDWARDSVILLE COUGARS
The Cougars played at the Hampton Inn Invitational last weekend in Buies Creek, N.C., posting a 2-2 record. SIUE, which is out of the Ohio Valley Conference, beat Drexel and split a pair of games with Campbell, while falling to Virginia. The Cougars hit .219 in the four contests with a home run and 12 runs scored. Sophomore Taylor Tooley had a team-best .417 average, three RBI and three stolen bases, while freshman Rachel Coonrod hit .364 with one run batted in. In the circle, senior Ali Downing picked up one of the wins, sporting a 0.60 ERA and five strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. Sophomore Lindsey Coleman got the other win, recording a 2.00 ERA and four strikeouts in seven innings. Sandy Montgomery is in her 23rd year at Southern Illinois Edwardsville and holds a record of 800-371-2. The Bruins have never faced the Cougars.

SCOUTING THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
The Razorbacks went 3-2 last weekend at the Louisiana Classic in Lafayette, La., splitting a pair of games with Sam Houston State, defeating Prairie View A&M and Rhode Island and losing to nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. Arkansas hit .370 last weekend with four home runs, six stolen bases and 37 runs scored (7.4 runs per game). Sophomore Courtney Breault, Arkansas' top hitter a year ago, had seven hits in 11 at-bats (.636) with two homers and four RBI. Five others hit at least .300 last weekend, including juniors Brittany Griffiths and Tori Mort, who each had six hits in 10 at-bats (.600). Sophomore Hope McLemore picked up two wins last weekend and had 12 strikeouts in 11 innings to go with a 6.36 ERA. Senior Layne McGuirt pitched the next most innings, tossing 8 1/3 and striking out six with a 5.04 ERA. Mike Larabee is in his second year at Arkansas and holds a record of 31-31. The Bruins have never faced the Razorbacks.

SCOUTING THE UTAH UTES
The Utes, who will be joining the Pac-10 when it becomes the Pac-12 next year, went 3-2 last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, upsetting Arizona State 3-1 in eight innings. Utah also knocked off Mississippi and Western Michigan, while losing to two nationally-ranked squads Arizona and Oklahoma State. The Utes hit .222 last weekend with three homers and four steals, averaging 5.0 runs per game. Junior Tia Palauni hit all three homers in Arizona to go with eight RBI and a .583 average (7-for-12). Freshman Naomi Amu went 3-for-8 (.375). Amu also split time in the circle, posting a 1.66 ERA with nine strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. Junior Generra Nielson recorded all five decisions last weekend, striking out 23 in 19 2/3 innings with a 2.85 ERA. Amy Hogue is in her fourth year at Utah and holds a record of 79-89. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Utes by a 16-1 margin and have won 10 in a row. The teams let met in San Diego on Feb. 27, 2009, with the Bruins posting a 7-1 victory. UCLA has scored at least five runs in eight straight meetings against Utah and is 12-1 in neutral-site contests. The Utes' lone win was a 3-1 triumph in Las Vegas in 1990.

SCOUTING THE PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS
The Vikings went 3-3 last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic, beating nationally-ranked BYU, Nevada and San Jose State, while losing to Nebraska, Stanford and Cal State Northridge. Portland State hit .252 as a team with three homers, averaging 4.0 runs per game. Junior Lacey Holm hit a team-best .444 (4-for-9) with a homer and five RBI. Sophomore Sadie Lopez batted .316 (6-for-19) with a homer and three RBI. In the circle, sophomore Anna Bertrand went 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 26 innings, while senior Nichole Latham went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and seven strikeouts in 14 innings. Tobin Echo-Hawk is in her third year at Portland State and holds a record of 62-56. The Bruins are a perfect 5-0 against the Vikings. The teams met last season at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, with the Bruins posting an 11-0, six-inning victory. UCLA has outscored Portland State 56-14 in the five wins and is 4-0 in neutral-site contests.

SCOUTING THE UTAH STATE AGGIES
This will be the second straight weekend that the Bruins and the Aggies will play at the same tournament. Utah State went 1-4 at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, beating North Dakota State and losing to UCLA, UCF and San Diego State twice. The Aggies hit .235 as a team with two homers, averaging 2.6 runs per game. Senior Kelly Kaneshiro hit both homers and had three RBI and a .455 average (5-for-11). Freshmen Krista Bava (.385) and Kassandra Uchida (.364) also hit above .300. In the circle, sophomore Mandy Harmon went 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA and nine strikeouts in 17 innings. Sophomore Shelbi Tyteca went 0-1 with a 12.09 ERA and four K's in 11 innings. The Bruins improved to 13-4 all-time against the Aggies with a 19-0 victory in the season opener last Friday. UCLA has won eight in a row and is 7-2 in neutral-site contests.


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