Feb. 8, 2012
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Thursday, Feb. 9
6 p.m. - #13/#18 Kentucky at #19/#13 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
Friday, Feb. 10
2 p.m. - #13/#18 Kentucky vs. Pacific
Online Coverage: Gametracker
6 p.m. - #13/#18 Kentucky at #19/#13 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
Saturday, Feb. 11
12 p.m. - Pacific at #19/#13 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
2:30 p.m. - #13/#18 Kentucky at #19/#13 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
BRUINS OPEN SEASON WITH WINSBERG TOURNAMENT
UCLA opens the 2012 season at Easton Stadium this weekend, hosting the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. The Bruins play Kentucky on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday against Pacific (12 p.m.) and Kentucky (2:30 p.m.). All games will feature Gametracker and free audio at UCLABruins.com.
The following are ticket promotions for this weekend's games: Faculty/Staff Appreciation (Four free admissions for UCLA Faculty and Staff when they show their Bruin Card or paycheck stub at the Easton Stadium entrance); Veterans and Armed Forces Appreciation (Four free admissions for military personnel when they show their identification); Public Safety Appreciation (Four free admissions when Southern California public safety personnel show appropriate identification); UCLA Recreation Members (Four free admissions for all UCLA Rec Card holders when they present their Rec ID); Alumni Association (Four free admissions with presentation of Alumni Association card); Little League (Three free admissions when a player shows up in their official Little League uniform).
In addition, members of the Bruin Kids Club will receive two complimentary admissions (one adult, one child) upon showing their Kids Club card at the front entrance. On Saturday, 2012 softball posters will be handed out to all fans, as well as Meet the Freshmen posters for all three days.
The Bruins have a busy week with seven games next week. UCLA travels to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 12 p.m. and Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. The Bruins then head further south for the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, facing UC Davis (9 a.m.) and Boise State (3 p.m.) on Friday, Feb. 17, UCF (10:30 a.m.) on Saturday, Feb. 18 and UC Santa Barbara (11:30 a.m.) and San Diego State (2 p.m.) on Sunday, Feb. 19.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins are ranked 13th in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, receiving 247 points, and come in at 19th in the initial USA Today/NFCA rankings, earning 235 points. UCLA is fourth in the preseason Pac-12 rankings, receiving 40 points.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
All four games this weekend will be broadcast live for free at UCLABruins.com and will also feature Gametracker. Mike Kaufman will handle the play-by-play duties.
HONORING STACY WINSBERG
This weekend's tournament honors former UCLA softball player Stacy Winsberg. Winsberg was a four-year letterwinner with the Bruins (1982-85) and played for three national championship teams (`82, `84, `85). She was also a two-time ASA All-American and played internationally in the Tri-National Tournament and the Japan Cup in 1985. Winsberg lost her battle with cancer in December 2001, and beginning with the 2002 edition, this tournament has been named in her honor. A ceremony honoring Winsberg, which will include members of her family, will be held prior to the UCLA-Pacific game on Saturday.
WINSBERG TOURNAMENT HISTORY
In the previous 10 years of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, the Bruins hold a 42-5 record. UCLA went undefeated in the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011 editions, while losing once in 2003, `05, `07, `08 and `09. The Bruins defeated North Dakota State twice, Utah State, UCF and San Diego State to go 5-0 last season. Kentucky and Pacific are appearing at the Winsberg Tournament for the first time.
HARRISON AND FOX NAMED TO PRESEASON POY WATCH LIST
Senior Andrea Harrison and sophomore Kellie Fox are two of 50 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America last Wednesday.
Now in its 11th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is designed to recognize outstanding achievements by female collegiate softball players across the country. Past recipients of the POY award include former Bruin Stacey Nuveman (2002).
While an athlete does not have to be on the Watch List to be considered for the Top 25 list, which will be announced on April 11, the eventual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will come from the Top 25 finalists. The Top 10 finalists will be announced May 9 and the top three will be announced on May 23. On May 29 prior to the start of the 2012 Women's College World Series, the POY will be revealed.
Harrison was named a first-team NFCA All-American, first-team NFCA All-West Region and first-team All-Pac-10 in 2011 after leading the Bruins in batting average (.409), home runs (15), runs batted in (52), total bases (126), hits (67), slugging (.768) and on base percentage (.512). She was also tied for first with 29 walks, tied for second with 12 doubles and third with 39 runs scored and seven hit by pitches.
Fox earned All-Pac-10 first team and Pac-10 All-Freshman squad accolades after placing tied for second on the team with 11 home runs, solo second with 45 RBI, a .608 slugging, eight sacrifice hits and six stolen bases, tied for first with 29 walks and third with a .342 batting average, 96 total bases and a .445 on base percentage.
SCOUTING THE KENTUCKY WILDCATS
The Wildcats return 15 letterwinners, five starters and four pitchers from last year's team that went 40-16 and finished sixth in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky, preseason ranked 13th by the NFCA and 18th by USA Softball, advanced to the Super Regional round, where they lost to California in three games. Junior infielder Kara Dill led the Wildcats last season with a .377 batting average and 20 stolen bases. Two others, senior pitcher/infielder Rachel Riley (.354) and senior catcher/infielder Brittany Cervantes (.329), also hit over .300 a year ago. Cervantes was first on the team with 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 2011, while Riley added eight homers and 28 runs batted in. Senior Chanda Bell led Kentucky in wins (15), strikeouts (205) and innings pitched (149.2) last season. Sophomore Lauren Cumbess was 6-2 with a 1.99 earned run average and 52 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings, while Riley was 13-5 with a 2.56 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 112 innings. Rachel Lawson is in her fifth season at Kentucky and has a record of 123-103 in four years in Lexington and a 215-187 mark in seven seasons as head coach.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. WILDCATS
The Bruins and the Wildcats have met just once before, as UCLA recorded a 9-6 victory in Las Vegas on Feb. 14, 2009. Andrea Harrison and Katie Schroeder each had two hits and a home run.
SCOUTING THE PACIFIC TIGERS
The Tigers return eight starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's Big West Conference winning squad. Pacific went 37-19, but dropped both Regional contests. Six players who hit over .300 are back, led by sophomore catcher/utility player Kelsey Rodriguez, who hit .381 with two homers and 25 RBI. Junior pitcher/utility Nikki Armagost and junior outfielder Megan Hom both hit .367, while senior Nicole Matson (.325) led the Tigers with 11 homers and 50 RBI. Armagost was 19-11 last year with a 2.66 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 192 innings, while sophomore Tori Shepard was 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 133.1 innings. Brian Kolze is in his 20th season at Pacific and holds a 580-485-1 record.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. TIGERS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Tigers 11-1 and have won eight in a row, but the two teams haven't met since Feb. 18, 2000 when UCLA recorded a 9-3 win in Poway, Calif. The Bruins are 4-0 at home against Pacific, winning doubleheaders on March 8, 1984 and March 4, 1987. The Tigers' lone win against the Bruins was a 3-1 victory in Santa Maria, Calif. in the NCAA Regionals on May 16, 1985. UCLA rebounded with two wins in a row to advance to the Women's College World Series.
2012 SEASON PREVIEW
The Bruins return 14 letterwinners, eight starters and three pitchers from a 2011 team that fell short of their ultimate goal of defending their 2010 National Championship. UCLA went 36-19 and tied for sixth in the Pac-10 with a 9-12 record. However, the Bruins displayed their never say die attitude at last year's NCAA Regionals in Gainesville, Fla., taking a Florida team, which advanced to the WCWS Finals, to a winner-take-all game seven.
UCLA returns a bevy of offense, with six of its top seven hitters in batting average coming back in 2012, led by 2011 first-team All-American Andrea Harrison. The senior led the Bruins in batting average (.409), home runs (15), runs batted in (52), total bases (126), hits (67), slugging (.768) and on base percentage (.512) a year ago and was also tied for first with 29 walks, tied for second with 12 doubles and third with 39 runs scored. She started all 55 games, making 36 starts in left and 19 at first base, and will continue to split duties at those two positions this season.
Also returning in the outfield are redshirt senior Katie Schroeder and junior B.B. Bates. Schroeder, a stalwart in center field, was named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team a year ago, leading the Bruins in runs scored (44), tying for second in doubles (12) and tying for fourth in batting average (.324). She was also second on the team with 18 multiple-hit games, third with five stolen bases and fourth with 27 walks.
Bates, who can play any of the outfield spots but predominantly played right her first two years, was also named All-Pac-10 honorable mention, tying for second on the squad with 11 home runs, finishing third with 44 RBI and tying for fourth with a .324 batting average. She led the Bruins with seven homers and 13 multiple-RBI contests, was second with 99 total bases, third in slugging (.563) and sacrifices (6) and fourth in runs scored (37) and multi-hit contests (14).
One of the more versatile Bruins is junior Devon Lindvall, who made 27 starts at five different positions a year ago, starting 13 games in left, five in center, one in right, seven at designated player and one at first base. She hit .266 with three home runs, 16 RBI, 17 runs scored, 11 walks, five hit by pitches and two stolen bases.
Rounding out the depth in the outfield is freshman Tara Mueller, who was a four-sport athlete at Clovis High School in Clovis, Calif. She played the outfield for two years and was also a member of the soccer, volleyball and track and field squads.
Sophomore Kellie Fox returns to anchor the shortstop position after collecting All-Pac-10 first team and All-Freshman squad honors. She was tied for second on the team with 11 home runs, solo second with 45 RBI, a .608 slugging, eight sacrifice hits and six stolen bases, tied for first with 29 walks and third with a .342 batting average, 96 total bases and a .445 on base percentage, starting all 55 games up the middle.
To Fox's right on the left side of the diamond will be freshman Stephany LaRosa, who will move over a position after spending four years as the shortstop at Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, Calif. LaRosa was Hacienda League MVP, DBHS Female Athlete of the Year, and first-team All-CIF, All-Valley and All-Max Preps as a senior, hitting .508 with eight home runs, 26 RBI and 16 stolen bases in helping the Brahmas to a league title.
Leading the number of candidates at second base is redshirt senior Samantha Camuso. With the first half of last season lost to injury, Camuso hit .190 with two RBI and two doubles in 22 games. However, she is not far removed from a 2010 season that saw her hit .326 with 16 homers and 53 RBI, culminating in a national title and a spot on the WCWS All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore Talee Snow played 33 games at second base last season and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention squad after leading the Bruins and all league players with 12 sacrifice hits. She hit .239 with 14 RBI, 13 runs scored and 15 walks.
Senior Marti Reed has started five games at second base during her three-year career in Westwood, also seeing time at designated player and right field. She made 10 starts a year ago and had six hits in 42 at-bats (.143) with nine runs scored, two RBI and six walks.
Freshman Sam Duran, who can play three of the four infield positions, was named All-Del Rio League every year at California High School in Whittier, Calif., including first team her final three years, and league co-MVP as a senior.
Sophomore Alyssa Tiumalu was named to the All-Pac-10 Freshman Team and was fourth on the team with nine homers and a .556 slugging percentage. She added a .302 batting average, 24 runs batted in, 21 walks and five doubles, also posting a .993 fielding percentage behind the plate with only two errors in 286 chances. Tiumalu tore her ACL in game two of the Gainesville Regional and will be sidelined to start the season as she continues her recovery.
Filling in behind the plate will be senior Dani Yudin, who was no slouch either defensively, committing no errors in 184 chances between catcher and first base. She was second on the team with a .453 on base percentage a year ago, reaching base in a team-best 23 games at one point. She hit .264 with three home runs, 19 runs batted in and 26 walks as a junior.
Another sophomore who had a fantastic first year was Jessica Hall, who was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team after leading the Bruins in wins (16), while holding a 2.59 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 137 2/3 innings. A triple threat in the circle, at the plate and at first base, Hall also hit .284 with five homers and 10 RBI last season.
Joining Hall in the pitcher/first base category is freshman Ally Carda, who is coming off a gold-medal performance with Team USA at the 2011 ISF Junior Women's World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa (Dec. 6-17). She went 2-1 with 23 strikeouts in 13 innings and also hit .500 with seven RBI. At Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, Calif., Carda was a three-time all-league and all-city selection, posting a 1.14 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 117 innings as a senior to go with a .500 average and seven homers.
Junior Destiny Rodino begins her third season in Westwood and has a 4-1 record in 14 career appearances. Last year, she went 2-0 with a 3.36 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.
Senior Aleah Macon has a 17-1 record in two seasons in Westwood, going 4-0 a year ago with a 2.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 38 innings in 2011. The winning pitcher in both games of the 2010 WCWS Finals, Macon will begin the year sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Rounding out the pitching staff is freshman Courtney Rivera, who played three years of pitcher and first base at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, Calif. During her time at CCHS, she earned All-Western League second-team honors.