Feb. 16, 2010
Back in California until the start of Pac-10 season, the fourth-ranked Bruins travel to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday for a doubleheader that starts at 12:30 p.m. at Campus Diamond. Gametracker for the doubleheader will be available at UCLABruins.com.
The Bruins are coming off a 3-1 weekend at the season-opening Dot Richardson National Collegiate Softball Invitational in Clermont, Fla. After a Friday washout due to rain, UCLA busted out the bats with 22 runs on Saturday, defeating Florida Atlantic 11-0 in five innings and #16 Tennessee 11-1 in six.
Nine different Bruins had hits on Friday, as junior Katie Schroeder went 4-for-7, junior Monica Harrison and sophomore Samantha Camuso each had three hits and senior Megan Langenfeld went 2-for-3 with three walks, a home run and four runs batted in. Harrison and senior Kaila Shull also homered on Friday, as did Camuso, who returned to the Bruin lineup after missing last season with a shoulder injury.
Three UCLA pitchers allowed no earned runs in 11 innings of work. Langenfeld tossed five scoreless frames against Tennessee, striking out four, while junior Donna Kerr fanned 11 in four innings of work against Florida Atlantic. Sophomore Aleah Macon pitched the final inning of both Friday games, striking out five.
Sunday was all about pitching and endurance, as the Bruins played 20 innings of softball over two games. UCLA came out on the hard-luck end of a 4-2, 13-inning loss to #3 Michigan in Sunday's first game, but rallied back to defeat #7 Georgia 3-2 in the tournament finale.
Against Michigan, the game was scoreless going into extra innings and the international tiebreaker rule. The Wolverines scored in the top half of the ninth and 12th innings, but the Bruins responded with a run in each of their halves of the ninth and 12th. However, the 13th inning was unlucky for the Bruins, as Michigan scored twice and won the game 4-2.
The Bruins again rallied against Georgia, coming back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to score two in the sixth and win it 3-2. A two-out, RBI triple by freshman B.B. Bates tied the score at two and the Bruins went ahead on a Georgia fielding error. Kerr earned the win, striking out nine, while Langenfeld, who threw 182 pitches in a career-high 13 innings against Michigan earlier in the day, struck out two in a scoreless seventh to pick up her first save of the season.
With their two victories over ranked teams, the Bruins moved up two spots from sixth to fourth in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll and up one position from eighth to seventh in the latest USA Today/NFCA rankings.
Wednesday's opponent, UC Santa Barbara, went 4-1 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah last weekend. The Gauchos had two wins to start the weekend against Northern Colorado (6-4) and Tulsa (3-1), lost to BYU 13-3, and then finished the tournament with one-run victories against Maine (3-2) and Utah Valley State (4-3).
The Gauchos hit .258 with two home runs and nine stolen bases last weekend, averaging 3.8 runs per game. Senior catcher Kelsey Anderson hit .429 with a homer and four RBI, while freshman utility Kelly McDonald batted .412 with a home run and six runs batted in. In the circle, senior Lindsey Correa was the best of the four pitchers the Gauchos used, allowing two runs and striking out four in seven innings in her lone victory. Senior MeLinda Matsumoto also picked up a pair of wins.
The Bruins hold a 63-4 advantage all-time against the Gauchos and the teams split a doubleheader last season at Easton Stadium on March 24. UCLA won the first game 8-0 in six innings, but fell 7-2 in the second contest. The Bruins are 23-1 all-time in Santa Barbara, sweeping a doubleheader by scores of 7-2 and 8-1 in 2008. The Gauchos' lone win against the Bruins at home came on April 23, 1986 (1-0).
Following their games against the Gauchos, the Bruins open up their home schedule with the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament this weekend. UCLA plays five games in three days, beginning Friday with a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. against Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly. On Saturday, the Bruins entertain UC Davis and Cal State Northridge starting at 4 p.m. and conclude the tournament on Sunday against Portland State at 12:30 p.m. Gametracker will be available at UCLABruins.com, as will live audio for Saturday's doubleheader.