March 23, 2009
Tuesday, March 24
1 p.m. - UC Santa Barbara at #5 UCLA (DH)
Gametracker and live audio at UCLABruins.com
BRUINS END NON-CONFERENCE PLAY WITH DOUBLEHEADER VS. UCSB
After a two-week layoff from game action, the fifth-ranked Bruins (24-3) return to the diamond on Tuesday when they host UC Santa Barbara (13-11) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Easton Stadium. Gametracker and live audio will be available at UCLABruins.com.
The Bruins open up Pacific-10 Conference play in the Bay Area against fellow Top 10 squads #4 Stanford and #7 California. UCLA plays at Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Cal on Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.). Gametracker will be available for all games, as well as live audio for the Stanford matchup at UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins are ranked fifth in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls. UCLA maintained its fifth spot in the NFCA rankings this week, but dropped from fourth to fifth in the USA Softball poll. The Bruins have been in the top six of each poll every week. UCLA was 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, as will live audio (except 3/28, 3/29 & 4/5) with Darren Preston (home games) and James Ybiernas (road games) at the call.
BRUINS ON THE TUBE
The Bruins will be featured on television twice this season. Both games will be against Arizona State and aired on Fox Sports Net. The April 3 contest at Easton Stadium will begin at 1 p.m., but the broadcast will be tape delayed and shown at a later date. The April 25 game in Tempe, which has been changed to a 1 p.m. start to accommodate TV, will likely be shown live.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS
Like the Bruins, UC Santa Barbara will have a long hiatus between games, having last played on March 11, sweeping a home doubleheader against San Diego. The pair of wins snapped a four-game losing streak for the Gauchos. As a team, UCSB is batting .295 with 12 home runs and 29 stolen bases, averaging 4.7 runs per game. Three batters are hitting over .300, led by senior Christine Ramos, who holds a .372 average with 10 RBI and a team-best 10 stolen bases. Junior Jessica Ziegler is batting .368, while sophomore Jessica Beristianos is hitting .329 with three home runs and 18 runs batted in. In the circle, five pitchers have seen action, led by junior MeLinda Matsumoto, who holds a 2-4 record, a 2.61 earned run average and 24 strikeouts in 51 innings. Freshman Krista Cobb is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UCLA-UC SANTA BARBARA
The Bruins won all three meetings against the Gauchos last year, posting a 7-5, eight-inning victory at Easton Stadium on Feb. 9 and sweeping a doubleheader at UCSB by scores of 7-2 and 8-1 on March 25. In the first matchup, GiOnna DiSalvatore hit a game-tying, three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, while Kaila Shull launched a walk-off, two-run shot in the eighth to give the Bruins a 7-5 win. In game one of the March twinbill, Amanda Kamekona and Katie Schroeder each went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in a 7-2 victory. In the nightcap, Schroeder had three more hits, as did Megan Langenfeld, in an 8-1 triumph. Donna Kerr struck out 10 in a complete-game victory. The Bruins pounded out 25 hits in the doubleheader. UCLA leads the series 62-3, with UC Santa Barbara's last win coming at Easton Stadium on March 27, 2007 (3-1). It was the Gauchos' first victory at UCLA, where the Bruins hold a 23-1 record.
BAKER GRANTED MEDICAL HARDSHIP WAIVER
Whitney Baker was granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA last Thursday, giving her another year of eligibility. Baker pitched in just three innings last season due to injuries. She began this season as a junior on the roster, but will be referred to as a redshirt sophomore for the remainder of the season.
HONORARY BRUIN PASSES AWAY
Cheyenne Broswell, a nine-year-old girl from Yucaipa who was adopted as an honorary Bruin for the 2009 season, passed away on Monday of complications from an inoperable brain stem tumor. She was diagnosed in December 2006 and was told by doctors that she would have only 12-15 months to live. But she defied the odds and survived for 27 months, passing away just three days after her ninth birthday. As an honorary Bruin, the softball team bestowed a locker in the UCLA clubhouse to Cheyenne. To make a donation for Cheyenne's funeral arrangements, please click here.
I GOT YOUR CRAZY
The Bruins belted two more home runs against Notre Dame last Tuesday to bring their season total to 41. UCLA has already surpassed its home run total from last year of 36. Sophomore Katie Schroeder leads the way with nine, while junior Kaila Shull has added seven. Every Bruin regular has belted at least two home runs this season. Nationally, UCLA ranks second in home runs to Pac-10 rival Arizona, which has hit 70. Two other teams, Campbell and Florida Gulf Coast, have hit 40 home runs. The Bruins have hit a home run in 20 of their 27 games this season and at least two in a game 11 times. They have hit a season-best four home runs in wins against UNLV (Feb. 13), South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). UCLA set a school record by hitting a home run in 14 consecutive games to start the season. The previous school best was nine, set in 2002 (April 27-May 16) and 2004 (Feb. 20-March 5).
IT'S BOUND TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER
The Bruins were so close to the 100th no-hitter in school history on March 7 against Syracuse, but for the seventh time this season, UCLA took a no-no into the fifth inning or later and saw its opponent get a hit. Against the Orange, sophomore Donna Kerr retired the first 14 batters she faced. With the Bruins ready to mercy-rule Syracuse, Kerr needed just one more out, but Jorden Rosen smashed a comebacker off the UCLA pitcher's glove for an infield single. Kerr finished with a one-hitter, her second, complete-game one-hitter of the year. At the San Diego Classic, Kerr took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Utah (Feb. 27) and into the fifth against San Diego State (Feb. 28). She also took a no-no into the fifth against Purdue (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). Junior Megan Langenfeld took a perfect game into the seventh inning against Maryland on Feb. 22 before giving up a hit and tossed four hitless innings against San Diego State on Feb. 8. UCLA has 99 no-hitters, with the most recent being last March 2 when Kerr tossed the 16th perfect game in school history against Saint Peter's.
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS
Junior Kaila Shull and sophomore Katie Schroeder both rank in the Pac-10 Top 10 in nine offensive categories. Shull is third in RBI with 37, fourth in average (.443), fifth in slugging (.835) and tied for first in sacrifice flies with four. Schroeder is tied for third with nine home runs, fifth in on base percentage (.538) and walks (19), tied for sixth in stolen bases (11) and eighth with a .407 batting average. In the circle, sophomore Donna Kerr is second in strikeouts with 152 and tied for fourth in wins with 13. Junior Megan Langenfeld is first in opposing batting average (.100) and fourth in ERA (0.86), while redshirt sophomore Whitney Baker is tied for ninth with eight wins. As a team, the Bruins are first in pitching strikeouts with 239 and fielding percentage at .978. UCLA also ranks second in home runs (41) and slugging (.579), tied for second in doubles (47) and sacrifice hits (19) and third in runs scored (191), hits (228), RBI (177), total bases (412) and walks (108).
INOUYE-PEREZ REACHES 100 WINS
Third-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez won her 100th career game on Feb. 22 against Maryland. Inouye-Perez accomplished the feat in just 129 games. Sue Enquist, as co-head coach with Sharron Backus, reached her 100th win in 1990 after 109 games. Backus reached the 100-win mark in 1980 after 132 contests.
Since moving to the four spot in the Bruin lineup, junior Kaila Shull has indeed been cleaning up. In 18 games in the heart of the potent UCLA order, Shull is batting .490 (25-for-51) with six home runs, 26 runs batted in and 13 runs scored. The junior has multiple-hit games in four of her last six, including a 2-for-3 effort against Notre Dame last Tuesday. Shull scored twice and hit her seventh home run of the season in the sixth inning. At the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8), Shull hit .615 (8-for-13), hitting a home run, driving in seven and scoring three times. She had a pair of three-hit contests, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and a triple against FIU (March 6) and 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored against Syracuse (March 7). On March 8 against Longwood, Shull went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. Shull leads the Bruins with a .443 batting average, 37 runs batted in and an .835 slugging percentage, is second with seven home runs and a .478 on base percentage and third with six doubles. She even gets it done when she sacrifices herself for the team, leading UCLA with four sacrifice flies and tying for first with four sac bunts. Three of Shull's team-best 12 multiple-hit games have been three-hit affairs, including a 3-for-3 performance against Colorado State on Feb. 27. She is also in the top spot in multiple-RBI contests with 10. Shull tied a career high with four against San Diego State (Feb. 8) and Simon Fraser (Feb. 17) and also had three RBI in three straight games against Fresno State (Feb. 22), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25) and Utah (Feb. 27). On the home run front, Shull had a pair against Simon Fraser and has also left the yard against San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton and Utah. Defensively, the catcher has been flawless, committing no errors in 209 chances.
The term double-double is typically used for statistical purposes in basketball, but sophomore Katie Schroeder is just one home run away from recording her own double-double. Schroeder has nine homers and 11 stolen bases, both totals leading the team, and is just one bomb away from becoming the sixth Bruin to post at least 10 home runs and 10 steals in the same season. Yvonne Gutierrez (1992), Christie Ambrosi (1999), Lyndsey Klein (2000), Natasha Watley (2003) and Andrea Duran (2006) are all members of the exclusive club. Schroeder got her ninth jack last Tuesday against Notre Dame with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning. The homer extended Schroeder's hitting streak to seven games, marking the second time this season she has hit safely in at least seven straight. The sophomore had an 11-game hitting streak to start the season in which she batted .457 (16-for-35) with six home runs, 13 RBI and 15 runs scored. During her current seven-game streak, Schroeder is batting .476 (10-for-21) with nine RBI, nine runs scored and a pair of home runs. She snapped a nine-game home run drought with a two-run, walk-off jack in the bottom of the eighth to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory over Iowa on March 6. Six of Schroeder's nine homers came during the opening two weekends. She left the yard in each of her first three games against Purdue (Feb. 7), Indiana (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). She then went deep twice against Northwestern on Feb. 13, recording a career-high six runs batted in to become just the 10th player in UCLA history to drive in at least half a dozen runs in a single contest. The sophomore also has homers against Kentucky (Feb. 14) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). Schroeder, the team leader in runs scored with 31, has crossed home plate twice 10 times this season. Along with scoring the runs, Schroeder has been driving them in, ranking tied for second with 23 runs batted in. She has five multiple-RBI games this year, including five on March 1 at San Diego. Schroeder is also first on the team in walks with 19 and a .538 on base percentage.
GiONNA ONNA FIRE
Sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore has continued her hot hitting of late, recording hits in nine of her last 11 games and posting a .457 average (16-for-35) with eight runs batted in, 10 runs scored, five doubles and three triples during that span. At the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8), DiSalvatore had hits in four of the five games, batting .444 (8-for-18) with six runs scored, four RBI, four doubles and two triples. DiSalvatore had her first career four-hit game against Longwood on March 8, driving in two runs and scoring three times. She fell a home run shy of the cycle, posting a single, a double and two triples. On March 7 against Syracuse, DiSalvatore had another multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. She had a double in each of her first four games of the tournament to give her 10 on the year, which is tied for the team lead. DiSalvatore had a career-long, nine-game hitting streak snapped against Long Beach State on March 8, but batted .552 (16-for-29) during the streak with eight RBI, 10 runs scored, five doubles and two triples. The sophomore has seven multiple-hit contests this season, going 3-for-4 with three RBI, two runs scored and a homer against Michigan on Feb. 14 and 3-for-3 against Colorado State on Feb. 27. In the RBI department, DiSalvatore has driven in multiple runs seven times and three runs on four occasions against Michigan, Kentucky (Feb. 14), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17) and Utah (Feb. 27). She has also scored at least twice in a game nine times, including two runs or more in five straight contests from Feb. 13-17. DiSalvatore has recorded three home runs this year against Michigan, Kentucky and Simon Fraser. For the season, she is third on the team with a .357 batting average, .655 slugging and .455 on base percentage, second with 29 runs scored and first with three triples. DiSalvatore was honored prior to the start of the 2009 season by being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
The walk from home plate to the dugout must be a lonely one for opposing hitters as 152 people have experienced this season against sophomore Donna Kerr, who struck out 11 against Notre Dame last Tuesday for her seventh double-figure strikeout game of the year. Kerr has fanned at least seven in seven of her last eight starts and has already surpassed her strikeout total from her freshman campaign (132). Along with leading the Bruins in strikeouts, Kerr is first on the team with a 13-3 record. She owns a 2.27 earned run average in 101 2/3 innings, tossing 11 complete games and three shutouts. Kerr had 29 strikeouts in 22 innings of work at the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8), going 2-1 with a save and a 0.64 ERA. After pitching a scoreless inning of relief on March 6 against FIU to earn her first career save, Kerr pitched all eight innings of a 2-1 victory over Iowa, striking out nine and allowing just four hits and an unearned run. In her second victory of the weekend on March 7, Kerr struck out seven in a one-hit win over Syracuse, tossing 4 2/3 perfect innings. She also struck out four in two innings of scoreless relief against Longwood on March 8 before fanning eight more in six innings against Long Beach State. Kerr set a new career high in strikeouts with 16 against San Diego on March 1. She also had a 15-strikeout game against Northwestern (Feb. 13), 12 against Utah (Feb. 27) and 10 against Purdue (Feb. 7), Cal Poly (Feb. 8) and Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25). Kerr received Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on March 3 after going 4-0 with a 1.91 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 22 innings from Feb. 25-March 1. Since allowing 16 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings in back-to-back appearances against Northwestern and Michigan (Feb. 13-14), Kerr has given up just 14 earned runs in her last 72 2/3 innings for a 1.35 ERA. She has won 11 of her last 12 starts. Four of Kerr's 13 wins have come against ranked teams (San Diego State - Feb. 8), Northwestern, Alabama - Feb. 20 and Fresno State - Feb. 22).
Senior Amanda Kamekona has been one of the steadiest players on the team this year and enters the final four games of non-conference play with a .323 batting average, five home runs and 22 runs batted in. She ranks fourth on the team in average, tied for third in homers and fourth in RBI. Kamekona posted a season-long, 11-game hitting streak from Feb. 15-28, batting .425 with 12 RBI, 11 runs scored, eight doubles and four home runs. She had multiple-hit games five times during the streak, including a 3-for-4 effort against Utah (Feb. 27). Kamekona also had another three-hit game on March 1 at San Diego to give her seven multiple-hit contests. The senior has six games with at least a pair of runs batted in, knocking in a season-best four against North Carolina State on Feb. 21 on her first career grand slam. She also had three RBI against Northwestern (Feb. 13) and San Diego. Kamekona has left the yard five times this year, hitting balls out against Northwestern, South Dakota State (Feb. 15), Alabama (Feb. 20), North Carolina State and Maryland (Feb. 22). She is tied for the team lead in doubles with 10 and is third with 21 runs scored. Kamekona is also fourth in slugging (.591) and third with five stolen bases. Prior to the start of the season, Kamekona was named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
BAKER COOKING WITH GAS
Redshirt sophomore Whitney Baker remained undefeated on the season after picking up two wins at the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8). Baker was 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA and seven strikeouts in 10 innings, recording victories against FIU and Longwood. The junior has won eight of her nine starts, including victories in six consecutive appearances. At the San Diego Classic (Feb. 27-March 1), Baker had two of her best games of the season, striking out 12 over six innings in a one-hit performance against Colorado State (Feb. 27) and fanning 10 in a complete-game, three-hit victory against #12 Missouri (March 1). Baker has also picked up wins against Indiana (Feb. 7), UNLV (Feb. 13), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). The junior has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of her nine starts. On the year, she is 8-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. Last Thursday, the NCAA granted Baker another year of eligibility after she applied for a medical hardship waiver for her 2008 season. Baker tossed only three innings during her true sophomore campaign due to injuries. She began this season as a junior on the roster, but will be referred to as a redshirt sophomore for the remainder of the season.
It may be considered a road game for the Bruins on Sunday at Cal State Bakersfield, but there promises to be a lot of support for UCLA and specifically Megan Langenfeld. The junior is slated to play in her hometown for the first time as a Bruin this weekend. Langenfeld has missed the last six games with a sprained left ankle, but appears ready to return to the UCLA lineup. At the plate, Langenfeld is batting .234 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. She has three multiple-hit games this season, including a 3-for-3, two-RBI effort against Fresno State on Feb. 22. Langenfeld has left the yard twice against UNLV (Feb. 13) and Maryland (Feb. 22). In the circle, the junior has been impressive, posting a 0.86 earned run average in 32 2/3 innings, going 3-0 with 34 strikeouts. Langenfeld also has yet to walk a batter this season and has limited opposing hitters to a .100 batting average, the best total among Pac-10 hurlers. Langenfeld earned her first save of the year on Feb. 28 at San Diego State, giving her seven for her career and tying her with Lisa Longaker for first all-time in UCLA history. On the defensive side of things, Langenfeld has yet to commit an error in 82 chances.
JB AT 3B
Junior Julie Burney drove in what proved to be the game-winning run last Tuesday as the Bruins defeated Notre Dame 3-1. It was Burney's RBI infield single in the fourth inning that gave UCLA a 2-1 lead. The junior finished the game with a pair of infield hits for her seventh multiple-hit contest of the season. Burney had a three-hit game at San Diego on March 1, recording a pair of doubles. She also has two-hit contests against Indiana (Feb. 7), Cal Poly (Feb. 8), Michigan (Feb. 14), South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and Fresno State (Feb. 22). On the year, Burney is batting .311 with four homers and 13 runs batted in. She has hit home runs against UNLV (Feb. 13), South Dakota State, Massachusetts (Feb. 21) and Longwood (March 8). Her bomb against South Dakota State was her first career grand slam and tied a personal best for RBI in one game with four. She's also driven in a pair of runs against Fresno State and Longwood. Along with her prowess at the plate, Burney has been just as steady at third base, committing just one error in 81 chances at the hot corner.
Andrea Harrison is quickly proving why she was one of the most highly-touted freshmen entering the collegiate game this year. Harrison drove in five more runs at the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8) and is tied for second on the team with 23 runs batted in. Harrison went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in against Syracuse on March 7 and followed that up with a 2-for-3, three-RBI effort against Longwood on March 8. The freshman is second on the team with 10 multiple-hit games and eight multiple-RBI contests. All of her multiple-hit games have been two-hit affairs. Harrison has driven in three runs on two occasions against UNLV (Feb. 13) and Longwood. She is also tied for fifth on the team with four home runs. Harrison's first career bomb was a memorable one. Against San Diego State on Feb. 8, the Bruins were trailing 2-0 with one out in the eighth inning, but Harrison tied it up with a two-run shot to send the game into a ninth frame. The freshman has also left the yard against UNLV, Kentucky (Feb. 14) and Maryland (Feb. 22). On the year, Harrison is batting .305 with 12 runs scored.
SHORTSTOP COMING UP BIG
Sophomore Monica Harrison had hits in four of the five games at the Long Beach State Invitational (March 6-8), batting .429 (6-for-14) with four runs scored, three RBI and her fifth home run of the season. Harrison went deep against FIU on March 6, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. She also had an RBI single in the fourth which proved to be the game-winning run. Harrison went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI against Longwood on March 8 and closed the weekend with a 1-for-2 effort versus Long Beach State, scoring the Bruins' lone run. Harrison is hitting .286 on the season with 14 runs batted in and 18 runs scored. She is tied for the team lead with four sacrifice hits and has also walked 11 times. The sophomore drove in a career-high four runs on a pair of homers against South Dakota State on Feb. 15. She also drove in three, going 2-for-3 with a homer against UNLV (Feb. 13), and belted another home run and had two more RBI against North Carolina State on Feb. 21.
NEWS AND NOTES
Sophomore Amy Crawford drove in her first collegiate run with a first-inning, RBI single against Syracuse on March 7. She reached in three of her four plate appearances against the Orange, also walking twice. Crawford has started the last six games in right field and is 3-for-16 (.188) overall this season with five runs scored, four walks and three stolen bases ... freshman Dani Yudin is second on the team with 16 walks and fifth with a .400 on base percentage. Along with her 16 free passes and 13 hits, she has also reached base via a hit by pitch three times. Yudin has two homers and 11 RBI with a .213 average on the year ... sophomore Lauren Mirabal, the first pinch-runner off the bench, has stolen eight consecutive bases after getting caught in her first attempt against Cal Poly on Feb. 8. She has stolen two in a game twice against Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25) and Longwood (March 8), having crossed home plate 11 times this year. In one and a half seasons, Mirabal is 16-for-17 in stolen bases.