Feb. 3, 2010
Part two of a three-part season preview continues Wednesday, as UCLABruins.com takes a look at the 2010 softball infield.
The Bruins return three-fourths of their infield from last season. On the left side, senior Julie Burney and junior Monica Harrison will handle the duties at third and short, respectively, while senior Megan Langenfeld will be at first when she is not in the circle. Although UCLA lost its two-time All-American second baseman Amanda Kamekona to graduation, the Bruins won't have to look far for her replacement, as junior GiOnna DiSalvatore will start at second base.
Burney was one of five Bruins to start all 56 games last season, ranking third on the team with 11 homers and tying for fourth with nine doubles. She hit .250 with 30 RBI and a .526 slugging percentage. Defensively, her six errors were tied for the fewest among Pac-10 third baseman.
"Julie will hold down the hot corner with great confidence in 2010," fourth-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. "She has a great glove and strong arm, which compliments her impressive offensive skills."
Harrison had the fewest errors among conference shortstops with six and was also a force with her bat. She posted a .299 batting average with 29 runs batted in, 30 runs scored and 10 home runs, which was fourth on the team, en route to earning All-Pac-10 second-team honors.
"Monica is one of the top shortstops in the country and has unbelievable range. She will also add solid consistency to the offense."
With all of her accolades in the circle, Langenfeld was just as big of a star at the plate, ranking second on the team with a .369 average and .471 on base percentage and third with a .589 slugging percentage. She added seven home runs and 30 runs batted in.
DiSalvatore has earned a pair of NFCA All-American and All-Region honors in her first two campaigns. Last season, she hit .323 with five home runs and 39 runs batted in, which was third on the team. DiSalvatore was also second with 48 runs and 13 doubles, seeing action at first, second and right.
"GiOnna is our most versatile infielder. She was an All-American at first base last year and could very well be one again at second this year. She will provide great power to the lineup as well."
Adding to the Bruins' depth at first and second base, as well as the designated player position, will be redshirt sophomore Samantha Camuso, who returns after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury. She was an All-Region and All-Pac-10 honoree as a freshman in 2008 after hitting .366 with four homers and 36 RBI.
"After taking a year off, Samantha will be back and ready to make an impact in the lineup immediately," Inouye-Perez said.
Junior Grace Murray and sophomore Marti Reed will also provide depth at second base. Reed saw action in 25 games last year, making four starts at DP and one in right, but played in the infield during the fall. Murray, who was the first pinch-runner off the bench for most of the 2009 campaign, scored 15 runs in 36 appearances last year and also saw action during the fall at second.
"Marti is very athletic and a hard worker and swings the bat with great confidence. Grace is a valuable utility player who has a great work ethic and provides speed off the bench."
Junior Lauren Mirabal also adds to the team's versatility. She appeared in 47 games last year, scoring 19 runs and ranking third on the team with 11 stolen bases.
"Lauren provides the versatility and speed we need to add even more depth to our team," Inouye-Perez said.
When Langenfeld attends to her duties in the circle, Camuso and Dolan are among the Bruins' options at first base.
The 2010 season preview concludes on Friday with a look at the Bruin outfield.