Feb. 18, 2009
THIS WEEKEND'S SCHEDULE
Friday, February 20
8 p.m. - #1 Alabama vs. #6 UCLA
Saturday, February 21
5:30 p.m. - #6 UCLA vs. #15 Massachusetts
8 p.m. - #6 UCLA vs. North Carolina State
Sunday, February 22
11 a.m. - #6 UCLA vs. Maryland
1 p.m. - #6 UCLA vs. #14 Fresno State
First team listed is home team and in third-base dugout
Gametracker available for all games at UCLABruins.com
Broadcasts of all contests (except Maryland) on schedule page of UCLABruins.com
All games at Big League Dreams Park - Fenway Field
THREE-WEEK ROAD TRIP STARTS IN CATHEDRAL CITY
One of the biggest in-season tournaments takes place this weekend, as the sixth-ranked Bruins (8-2) travel to the Cathedral City Softball Classic. UCLA opens the weekend with a showdown against top-ranked Alabama (8-0) on Friday at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the Bruins take on #15 Massachusetts (4-1) at 5:30 p.m. and North Carolina State (2-1) at 8 p.m., while on Sunday, UCLA faces Maryland (0-5) at 11 a.m. and #14 Fresno State (3-1) at 1 p.m. All five games will be at Big League Dreams Park Fenway Field, with Gametracker available on UCLABruins.com. Live internet audio broadcasts will also be available for all contests (except Maryland) on the softball schedule page of UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins dropped two spots to sixth in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls. UCLA was ranked fourth in both the preseason and week one 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.
CATHEDRAL CITY SOFTBALL CLASSIC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
UCLA has taken part in every Cathedral City Softball Classic since its inception in 2004. Named the Palm Springs Classic for its first five years, the Bruins hold a 20-3 (.870) record, posting a perfect 4-0 mark in 2004 and 5-0 records in 2006 and 2008. Last year, UCLA defeated 2009 opponent Massachusetts, Georgia, Baylor, Hawai'i and Northwestern.
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 on Jan. 28.
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.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE
Alabama is a perfect 8-0 entering the Cathedral City Softball Classic, going 4-0 during each of the first two weekends. Last weekend at the Bama Bash, the Tide defeated Notre Dame twice, Wisconsin and East Carolina all by mercy-rule. Alabama is hitting .424 through its first eight games with seven home runs and 31 stolen bases. Senior Brittany Rogers has played in just three games, but is batting .700 with six stolen bases. Eight other players are hitting over .400. Freshman Cassandra Reilly-Boccia leads the team with 11 RBI along with a .550 batting average, while junior Charlotte Morgan and freshman Jennifer Fenton are both hitting .500. Freshman Amanda Locke has a team-leading three home runs. In the circle, sophomore Kelsi Dunne has allowed just one unearned run in 16 innings, striking out 27 with a 3-0 record. Locke is 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 innings, while Morgan is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 18 innings. Head coach Patrick Murphy is in his 11th year at Alabama and holds a 533-157 record. The Bruins have never lost to the Crimson Tide, owning an 8-0 mark. The last meeting came at the 2006 Women's College World Series (June 3) when UCLA defeated Alabama 4-1. The Bruins are 4-0 in neutral-site contests against the Crimson Tide and have outscored them 42-9 in the series.
SCOUTING THE MINUTEWOMEN
Massachusetts went 4-1 during its first weekend of competition, beating Maryland, Long Island, Pittsburgh and Michigan, while losing to Florida Atlantic. The Minutewomen were off last weekend. In the circle, senior Brandice Balschmiter leads the attack with a 3-0 record, a 1.00 earned run average and 20 strikeouts in 21 innings. Offensively, UMass is hitting .298 as a team with two home runs, 20 runs scored and four stolen bases. Senior Whitney Mollica leads the team with a .467 average and five runs batted in, while junior Carly Normandin is batting .353 with five runs scored. Elaine Sortino is in her 30th year as UMass' head coach, posting a 1021-432-5 record. The Bruins own a 4-0 record against the Minutewomen, which includes a 4-2 win at last year's Palm Springs Classic (Feb. 22). Monica Harrison went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Donna Kerr earned the win, striking out seven in six innings. The Bruins have outscored UMass 27-3 in the four meetings.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
North Carolina State opened its 2009 season last weekend at the rain-shortened Houston Classic, beating seventh-ranked Oklahoma and Indiana, while losing to #14 Houston. The Wolfpack hit just .191 last weekend. Leading the way was freshman Stephanie Call, who hit .429, while sophomore Alyssa Allbritten batted .375 with one homer and three RBI. In the circle, junior Lindsay Campana posted a 0.78 earned run average, a 1-1 record and six strikeouts in nine innings, while Call was 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Lisa Navas is in her sixth year at N.C. State and holds a 198-122 record. In 14-plus years of coaching, she is 533-256-1. Saturday's meeting will be the first time the Bruins and the Wolfpack have met.
SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS
Maryland began its 2009 campaign at the Florida Atlantic Kickoff Classic two weeks ago, losing all five games to UMass, FAU, Long Island, Michigan and Pittsburgh. The Terrapins hit .260 as a team, but were outscored 24-5. Leading the way offensively was sophomore Kerry Hickey, who hit .471. Hickey was also the best pitcher for the Terrapins with a 2.55 earned run average, a 0-1 record and eight strikeouts in 11 innings. Freshman Kendra Knight posted a 3.75 earned run average and 16 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. Laura Watten is in her fourth year as Maryland's head coach and holds a 101-81 record. She is 423-288 in 11-plus seasons of coaching. The Bruins are 3-0 all-time against Maryland, last meeting on Feb. 24, 2007 in Cathedral City, with UCLA posting a 6-0 victory. The Terps have yet to score a run against the Bruins, being outscored 26-0.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State was off last weekend after going 3-1 during the season-opening Cathedral City Kick-Off. In their last trip to the desert, the Bulldogs beat Wisconsin, Liberty and Cal State Northridge, while falling to Fordham. Pitching is the name of the game for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Morgan Melloh has yet to allow a run in 15 1/3 innings, striking out 24 with a 2-0 record, while freshman Mackenzie Oakes is 1-0 with seven shutout innings and three strikeouts. Offensively, Fresno is batting .231 with 12 runs scored and two home runs. Sophomore Haley Gilleland is leading the team with a .357 batting average, while sophomore Andrea Ortega is hitting .333 with a team-best three runs batted in. Margie Wright is in her 24th year as Fresno State's head coach and owns a 1147-368-1 mark. She is 1310-460-3 in 29-plus years of coaching. The Bruins have won nine straight from the Bulldogs to take a 38-10 series lead. UCLA's most recent victories against Fresno State came on Feb. 18 and 19, 2006 at Easton Stadium (2-0 and 1-0 in 10 innings). The Bruins have blanked the Bulldogs in seven of the last eight meetings. Fresno State's last victory in the series came on March 12, 2000 (1-0). UCLA holds a 16-3 record in neutral-site matchups against Fresno State.
The Bruins have hit a home run in each game this season, including 15 in five contests at last weekend's UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Sophomores Monica Harrison and Katie Schroeder each hit three, while senior Amanda Kamekona, junior Julie Burney, sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore and freshman Andrea Harrison had two apiece. The Bruins came back on Tuesday with three more home runs against Simon Fraser, giving them 18 in their last six contests. UCLA has a pair of four-homer games against UNLV (Feb. 13) and South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and three contests with three homers against Northwestern (Feb. 13), Kentucky (Feb. 14) and Simon Fraser. With 23 homers on the year, the Bruins lead the Pac-10 in that category and are well on their way to eclipsing last year's total of 36 home runs. Four Bruins, Burney (1 in 2008-2 in 2009), Harrison (1-3), Schroeder (0-6) and Shull (2-3), have already eclipsed their home run totals from last season.
Since being limited to one run in their season-opening loss to Purdue, the Bruins have scored at least four runs in nine straight games, including 10 or more on four 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 2002 Bruins posted four or more runs in 13 straight 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. After belting three home runs during the opening weekend of 2009, Schroeder had three more last weekend at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, belting two against 11th-ranked Northwestern on Friday and another against Kentucky on Saturday. Her power surge continued in Las Vegas after she hit home runs in each of her first three games of 2009 against Purdue (Feb. 7), Indiana (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). Schroeder did not have a home run in any of her first 187 collegiate at-bats, but hit her first out of the ballpark in the seventh inning against Purdue and has six in only 32 at-bats this year. In addition to her power prowess, Schroeder leads the team in average at .469. She has hits in each of the first 10 games this season, tying her career-high hitting streak. The sophomore has two hits in five of her 10 contests. Schroeder set a personal best with six RBI against Northwestern, becoming just the 10th player in UCLA history to drive in at least half a dozen runs in a single contest. Schroeder has also scored a run in each of the last five games, including a pair on four occasions. Along with leading the team in hitting, the sophomore is first in total bases (33), slugging (1.031), walks (8), on base percentage (.585) and stolen bases (4). She is also second in runs scored with 14 and tied for second in runs batted in with 13. Among Pac-10 players, Schroeder ranks in the conference Top 10 in 10 offensive categories, tying for first in home runs. The terrific start to her sophomore season comes after Schroeder was third on the team with a .362 average in 2008. She also tied for first in stolen bases with eight, was second in hits (67) and multiple-hit games (19), tied for second in on base percentage (.434) and third in runs scored (34) and walks (23).
SHULL SHALL HIT THE BALL
Junior Kaila Shull continued her torrid start to the 2009 season, hitting .333 with four runs batted in at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic and belting a pair of home runs, scoring three times and driving in four against Simon Fraser on Tuesday. Shull tied career highs in homers and RBI against Simon Fraser and set a new personal best by crossing home plate three times. On the year, the junior leads the Bruins with 15 runs batted in and is second with a .400 average and .833 slugging percentage. She is also tied for first with four doubles and tied for second with three home runs. During the opening weekend at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Easton Stadium, Shull had hits in each of the last three games, all Bruin wins. After posting two hits against both Indiana (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8), the junior had just one base knock against San Diego State, but it was a big one. With the game tied at two in the bottom of the ninth inning and the bases loaded, Shull hit a walk-off grand slam to send the Bruins to a 6-2 victory. It was her first career grand slam and her second walk-off homer in as many years at the Winsberg Tournament. Shull finished the opening weekend with a .385 average, three doubles and seven RBI. In Las Vegas, she had two more two-hit contests against UNLV (Feb. 13) and Kentucky (Feb. 14). Shull posted RBI in four of the five games. Shull played sparingly last year, appearing in only 22 games. But in her freshman campaign of 2007, she garnered All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades after recording a .274 batting average with seven home runs, 26 runs batted in and 31 runs scored.
You can make a case for many Bruins being the "hottest hitter on the team" right now and the case for GiOnna DiSalvatore is strong. The sophomore is batting .571 (8-for-14) in her last five games with 11 runs scored, 10 runs batted in, three home runs, two doubles and six walks. DiSalvatore has crossed home plate at least twice in five straight contests, including three times against Simon Fraser on Tuesday which tied a career high. She also has three games with three RBI in her last five, driving in a trio of Bruins against Michigan and Kentucky on Feb. 14 and Simon Fraser. DiSalvatore hit home runs in all three of those contests. The sophomore is tied for the team lead with four multiple-RBI games and has scored in eight of the Bruins' 10 contests. Named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List prior to the start of the season, DiSalvatore leads the team in runs scored with 15 and is tied for first with four doubles. She is also tied for second with three home runs, 13 runs batted in and seven walks and third with a .387 batting average. Another of DiSalvatore's great attributes is being able to play anywhere on the diamond defensively. Through 10 games, she has already started at three different positions (right field, second base and first base). DiSalvatore also started one game at third base last season. In 2008, she earned first-team NFCA All-American and All-Pacific Region honors. She was first on the team in hits with 68, second in runs batted in (45) and total bases (100), third in slugging (.532) and tied for third with a .362 batting average. DiSalvatore also led the Bruins in multiple-hit games with 20 and game-winning RBI with 11.
HARRISON HEATING UP PART I
Sophomore Monica Harrison left Las Vegas with the best batting average among UCLA players last weekend, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with six runs scored, three home runs, eight runs batted in and four walks. After going just 2-for-12 (.167) during the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, Harrison more than doubled her season average thanks to her performance at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. The sophomore is fourth on the team with a .348 average and six walks, tied for second with three home runs and first with three sacrifice hits. Harrison reached base in all five games last weekend, hitting three home runs. Her first home run of the year came against UNLV on Feb. 13, a three-run shot in the second inning. After walking three times against Northwestern and posting singles against Michigan and Kentucky, Harrison hit two more homers in a win over South Dakota State on Sunday, recording a career-high four runs batted in. As a freshman, Harrison started in 55 games, batting .234 with a home run and 16 runs batted in. For her efforts, she was named to the All-Pac-10 Conference Freshman first team.
HARRISON HEATING UP PART II
Since starting her collegiate career 0-for-9, freshman Andrea Harrison has been in a zone, recording 10 hits in her last 23 at-bats for a .435 average. The freshman has five, two-hit games to tie for the team lead. The streak started on Feb. 8 against San Diego State. After singling in her second at-bat, Harrison hit her first collegiate home run in her third plate appearance, a two-run shot that tied the game at two in the eighth inning of a contest the Bruins went on to win in nine. She followed that with two more, two-hit performances on Feb. 13 against UNLV and Northwestern. Harrison went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a three-run homer, which proved to be the game-winning score in a victory over the Rebels. Against the Wildcats, she went 2-for-4 again with two more RBI. Last Saturday, Harrison had two hits and another home run against Kentucky and added a two-hit effort in a win over Simon Fraser on Tuesday, driving in a pair on a double. The Orange County Register Player of the Year as a senior at Pacifica High School, Harrison is batting .313 with three home runs (tied for second on the team) and 11 runs batted in (fourth).
BURNEY-ING THE COMPETITION
Junior Julie Burney joined the home run club last weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, hitting a solo shot against UNLV on Friday and belting her first career grand slam on Sunday against South Dakota State. The four RBI against the Jackrabbits tied a career high. Burney had a pair of two-hit games against Michigan (Feb. 14) and South Dakota State to bring her season total to four. She also had two-hit contests during the opening weekend against Indiana on Feb. 7 and Cal Poly on Feb. 8. Burney has crossed home plate twice in two games this season, scoring a pair against Northwestern on Feb. 13 and South Dakota State. The junior enters this weekend's play ranked fifth on the team with a .345 batting average. She also has scored seven runs and driven in five. Burney entered the season with eight career home runs, including seven as a freshman in 2007. 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 10 hits in 29 at-bats this year.
Also hitting her first two home runs of the season in Las Vegas was senior Amanda Kamekona, who hit a three-run bomb against 11th-ranked Northwestern on Friday and a leadoff home run against South Dakota State on Sunday. Kamekona hit .263 (5-for-19) at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic with four runs scored and five runs batted in. The senior has collected hits in eight of the Bruins' 10 games this season, including a pair against Northwestern. She has also scored in seven of UCLA's contests and driven in at least one run in five games. Kamekona is batting .281 on the year with eight runs scored, seven runs batted in and seven walks. During her junior season in 2008, she earned first-team All-Pac-10, second-team All-Pacific Region and third-team All-American honors. Kamekona led the Bruins in home runs (14), runs batted in (46), runs scored (47), doubles (17) and slugging percentage (.663). She also ranked in the Pac-10 Top 10 in eight offensive categories, including tied for third in doubles, sixth in slugging and tied for ninth in homers and RBI. 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 her first home run of the season last Friday at UNLV, a solo shot in the seventh inning. The junior finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and touched home plate two more times against Northwestern later that evening. On Sunday against South Dakota State, Langenfeld recorded her second career triple which drove in a pair of runs. She has scored at least one run in seven of the Bruins' 10 games and is hitting .258 on the season with nine runs and six RBI. In the circle, Langenfeld leads the team with a 1.83 earned run average. She has yet to walk a batter in 15 1/3 innings of work, striking out 13 and posting a 1-0 record. Her lone decision of the season came in relief on Feb. 14 against Kentucky, as she pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to earn the win. In her only start of the season, Langenfeld fanned eight in 7 1/3 innings against San Diego State on Feb. 8, allowing just two unearned runs. Defensively, the junior has been flawless, committing no errors in 35 chances. Langenfeld is coming off a sophomore season in which she earned first-team All-Pacific Region, second-team All-Pac-10 and third-team NFCA All-American honors. She was first on the team in on base percentage (.482), multiple-RBI games (12), hit by pitches (7) and saves (5), also placing second in home runs (5) and walks (34) and third in RBI (41). As a batter, she hit .349, and as a pitcher, she was 8-2 with a 1.58 ERA. Already a two-time All-Pac-10 and All-Region honoree, Langenfeld was honored prior to the start of the 2009 season by being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
Donna Kerr picked up a pair of victories and fanned 30 in 18 1/3 innings last weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Despite an ERA of 6.11, Kerr helped the Bruins to victories over 11th-ranked Northwestern and South Dakota State. Against the Wildcats last Friday, the sophomore tied a career high with 15 strikeouts, ironically equaling a mark she set last year against Northwestern. Kerr fanned nine more in a two-hit shutout of South Dakota State last Sunday. Two weeks ago at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, Kerr went 2-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. The sophomore punched out 10 in a one-hit performance against Purdue (Feb. 7), but the one hit brought in two runs as the Boilermakers upset the Bruins. Kerr bounced back the next night against Cal Poly, tossing a three-hitter and striking out 10 again in a win. Later on Feb. 8 against San Diego State, she came in the game in relief and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings to post her second victory of the evening. Kerr is 4-2 with a 3.91 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 34 innings this season. Her 52 strikeouts rank third among all Pac-10 pitchers. Last season, 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). Kerr tossed the 16th perfect game in UCLA history on March 2 against Saint Peter's and set a career best with 15 strikeouts against Northwestern on March 9 at the Long Beach State Invitational.
NEWS AND NOTES
Head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez is four wins away from reaching 100 for her career ... assistant coach Lisa Fernandez celebrates her birthday on Sunday ... junior Whitney Baker improved to 3-0 on the season with her victory against Simon Fraser on Tuesday. Baker struck out six in 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, two runs and one walk. She holds a 2.52 earned run average, which is ninth among Pac-10 hurlers. In four starts, Baker has fanned 19 in 16 2/3 innings. The junior pitched just 40 innings over her first two seasons due to injuries. Having pitched only three frames in 2008, Baker applied for a medical redshirt, and if granted will receive another year of eligibility ... freshman Dani Yudin broke out of an 0-for-12 slump against Simon Fraser with an RBI single in the second inning. Yudin hit .300 (3-for-10) during the opening weekend with an RBI double against Cal Poly (Feb. 8). She has started nine of the Bruins' 10 games, appearing in the lineup twice as the starting catcher and seven times at designated player ... freshman Marti Reed has started the last two games, starting at designated player against South Dakota State last Sunday and in right field against Simon Fraser. She picked up her first collegiate RBI on a bases-loaded walk against Northwestern on Feb. 13 and recorded her first career hit, a single, against South Dakota State ... sophomore Lauren Mirabal made her first defensive appearance against Simon Fraser. Relegated to pinch-running duties as a freshman and in seven other games this season, 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 recorded her second career at-bat against Simon Fraser, flying out just shy of the warning track in center field in the fourth inning. She is 0-for-2 in her two career pinch-hit appearances, also picking up an at-bat last year against Saint Peter's (March 2). Crawford started in right field against San Diego State on Feb. 8 and has appeared as a defensive replacement in right in four other games ... sophomore Grace Murray has already appeared in one more game than she did all of last season with her sixth pinch-running appearance against Kentucky (Feb. 14). Murray has scored three runs this season ... freshman Brooke Finley has yet to appear in a game this season ... the Bruins have added junior transfer Katie Colln to the roster. The right-handed hitting infielder will wear #13. Colln transferred to UCLA after spending two seasons at Cerritos College, where she played in 97 games (2007-08) and hit .253 with 28 runs scored, six doubles, 14 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. Colln helped the Falcons to a State Championship in 2008 ... sophomore Samantha Camuso underwent surgery for a torn labrum in her right shoulder 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.