March 3, 2009
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wednesday, March 4
2 p.m. - #3 UCLA at Loyola Marymount
Friday, March 6
1:30 p.m. - #3 UCLA vs. FIU
6 p.m. - #3 UCLA vs. Iowa
Saturday, March 7
7:45 p.m. - #3 UCLA vs. Syracuse
Sunday, March 8
9 a.m. - Longwood vs. #3 UCLA
1:30 p.m. - Long Beach State vs. #3 UCLA
Long Beach State Invitational
Mayfair Park (5720 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, Calif.)
First team listed in first-base dugout
Home team in bold
Gametracker at UCLABruins.com
THIRD-RANKED BRUINS STAY LOCAL WITH SIX-PACK OF GAMES
The third-ranked Bruins (19-2) will only have to navigate the 405 Freeway for this week's games, opening things up with a Wednesday matinee at Loyola Marymount (9-11) at 2 p.m. UCLA then takes part in the Long Beach State Invitational at Mayfair Park in Lakewood. On Friday, the Bruins take on FIU (10-10) at 1:30 p.m. and Iowa (12-3) at 6 p.m. On Saturday, UCLA plays Syracuse (9-4) at 7:45 p.m. To round out the weekend, the Bruins face Longwood (6-4) at 9 a.m. and Long Beach State (12-7) at 1:30 p.m. Gametracker will be available for all UCLA games at UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins moved into solo third in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll after sharing the #3 spot with Alabama last week. UCLA remained at fourth in the USA Today/NFCA rankings. The Bruins have been in the top six of each poll every week this season. 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, 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.
LONG BEACH STATE INVITATIONAL HISTORY
The Bruins are making their fifth appearance at the Long Beach State Invitational, owning a spotless 19-0 record (2004, `06, `07, `08). Last year, UCLA defeated Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Northwestern and Long Beach State. The Bruins have outscored their opponents 93-16 in 19 previous games at Mayfair Park.
Don't forget to turn your clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time before you go to bed Saturday night or you might miss the first hour of UCLA's 9 a.m. game against Longwood Sunday morning.
SCOUTING THE LIONS
Loyola Marymount didn't have much luck in Las Vegas last weekend, going 1-4. The Lions beat Florida Atlantic, but fell to Wright State twice, Drake and UNLV to drop to 9-11 on the season. LMU is batting .272 as a team with 15 home runs and is averaging four runs a game. The Lions are led by senior Chelsie Tysdal, who leads the team with a .357 average, four home runs and 13 runs batted in. Freshman Kelly Sarginson is second on the club with a .341 average, while freshman Sam Fischer is third at .306. In the circle, the work has been split evenly between junior Melissa Dykema and freshman Corie Goodman. Goodman is 6-7 with a 3.34 earned run average and 48 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings, while Dykema is 3-4 with a 4.40 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. The Bruins lead the all-time series with Loyola Marymount 19-1, with the Lions breaking a 19-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory at the 2007 NCAA Regionals. UCLA is 4-0 all-time at LMU, last winning there in 1997, posting a doubleheader sweep. The Bruins have outscored the Lions 26-0 in their four matchups at Loyola Marymount.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN PANTHERS
FIU, also known as Florida International University, holds a 10-10 mark after going 0-3 in its first Sun Belt Conference series last weekend. The Golden Panthers were swept at home by Western Kentucky and have lost four straight heading into this weekend's action. FIU is batting .242 as a team with two home runs, averaging 3.8 runs per game. Two players are hitting above .300, led by freshman Jenny Welch, who is batting .327 with a team-best 11 RBI. Sophomore Iriseldis Soberon is second on the squad with a .314 average. Four pitchers have seen action in the circle for FIU. Junior Kasey Barrett and freshman Jennifer Gniadek have started 15 of FIU's 20 contests. Barrett is 4-2 with a 1.90 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings, while Gniadek is 5-6 with a 2.24 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. The Bruins are 4-0 all-time against the Golden Panthers. The last meeting came at the FAU Worth Invitational in 2003, with UCLA coming out on top 3-0. All four games have been neutral-site contests, with the Bruins outscoring the Golden Panthers 29-0 with two mercy-rule wins.
SCOUTING THE HAWKEYES
Iowa is receiving votes in both national polls this week, coming off a 5-0 weekend at the K-Club Classic in Kennesaw, Ga. to improve to 12-3 on the year. Last week, the Hawkeyes defeated Drexel, Memphis, Miami Ohio, Buffalo and Kennesaw State by a combined score of 29-0. Iowa, which is averaging 4.5 runs per game, is batting .267 as a team with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases. Leading the way offensively is senior Erin Riemersma, who is batting .357 with two homers and four RBI. Also batting above .300 are seniors Colleen McGlaughlin (.349) and Sam Heinzman (.333), junior Taylor Leichsenring (.333) and freshman Liz Watkins (.308). Watkins leads the team with three home runs and 12 runs batted in. In the circle, senior Brittany Weil is 8-2 with a 0.67 earned run average and 95 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings, while junior Amanda Zust is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings. The Bruins are 3-1 all-time against the Hawkeyes, but lost the last meeting in San Jose on March 9, 2002 (1-0). All three UCLA wins have been close (2-1, 2-0 and 4-0).
SCOUTING THE ORANGE
Syracuse holds a 9-4 mark after going 4-1 at last weekend's Central Florida Tournament. The Orange beat Maine, UCF, Eastern Michigan and Tennessee State, while falling to Stony Brook. Syracuse is hitting .317 as a team with 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases, averaging 5.1 runs a game. Freshman Stephanie Watts (.452) and sophomore Hallie Gibbs (.400) pace the squad in average. Watts leads the team with four home runs, while both players are tied for the lead in runs batted in with 10. Three other players, freshman Kelly Saco (.357) and seniors Jamie Kelling (.356) and Amy Kelley (.350) are batting above .300. In the circle, three different pitchers have started for the Orange. Sophomore Angie Sagnelli is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA and eight strikeouts in 13 innings, junior Brittany Gardner is 3-2 with a 1.29 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 38 innings and freshman Jenna Caira is 3-2 with a 3.00 earned run average and 33 strikeouts in 35 innings. The Bruins are 3-1 all-time against Syracuse, meeting once a year form 2004-07. In the most recent matchup on Feb. 9, 2007 in Tempe, Ariz., UCLA run-ruled Syracuse 14-4 in six innings.
SCOUTING THE LANCERS
Longwood, in the midst of transitioning from Division II to I, is 6-4 entering this weekend's tournament after going 2-0 in a rain-shortened Longwood Spring Classic in Farmville, Va. The host team defeated Iona and Central Connecticut State before getting the remainder of their games washed out. The Lancers are batting .289 as a team with five home runs, averaging 4.6 runs per game. Leading the way is freshman Courtney Long, who is batting .476 with four homers. Four others, freshman Ashley Kramer (.385), junior Camille Ketsdever (.385), senior Emily Radford (.308) and sophomore Maggie Margadonna (.300), are also hitting at least .300. In the circle, sophomore Briana Wells is 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings, while sophomore Brittany Spencer is 1-1 with a 4.04 earned run average and seven strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. The Bruins have never faced Longwood.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State has won eight straight, going 5-0 last weekend at the Mayfair Tournament. The 49ers beat Iowa State twice, BYU, Wisconsin and 12th-ranked Fresno State by mercy rule. The Beach has rebounded from a 4-7 start thanks to some solid pitching from freshman Taylor Petty, who is 5-0 with a 0.42 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. Sophomore Brooke Turner has seen the bulk of the work, going 7-3 with a 2.29 earned run average and 65 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings. At the plate, five players are batting over .300, led by junior Kristen Pocock, who is hitting .370 with two homers and 11 RBI. Seniors Danielle Linke (.339) and Jennifer Griffin (.328) and juniors Ashley Weber (.333) and Brandy Reyes (.318) are also hitting above .300, with Griffin leading the team with four homers and 15 runs batted in. As a team, Long Beach is batting .286 with 10 home runs, averaging 4.2 runs per game. The Bruins have won five straight from the 49ers, holding a 63-8 all-time edge. Last year at the Long Beach State Invitational, Samantha Camuso drove in Grace Murray with a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to give the Bruins a 1-0 victory. UCLA is 4-0 against Long Beach State at this tournament and 15-1 all-time in neutral-site contests. The 49ers' last win was a 1-0 triumph on Feb. 15, 2006 in Long Beach.
I GOT YOUR CRAZY
After hitting a pair of home runs at Cal State Fullerton last Wednesday, the Bruins were held to just one homer at the San Diego Classic, playing in a couple of spacious ballparks in the SDSU Softball Stadium and the USD Softball Complex. UCLA still had the bats going though, cranking 21 of its 42 hits for extra bases, including 17 doubles. The Bruins have hit a home run in 16 of their 21 games and continue to lead the nation in dingers with 35. UCLA is just one ahead of New Mexico State (34) and three up on Campbell's 32. 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). UCLA is just one home run shy of tying last year's mark of 36. The Bruins' single-season record for home runs is 95 set in 1999.
The Bruins saw their streak of scoring at least four runs end against #12 Missouri on Sunday at 18 games. The streak equaled a similar mark set by the 2001 Bruins, who scored four or more runs in 18 consecutive contests. UCLA has recorded double figures in runs seven times this year after posting 10 or more just five times in 2008.
IT'S BOUND TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER
Six times this season, Bruin pitchers have taken a no-hitter into the fifth inning or beyond, including twice last weekend at the San Diego Classic. Sophomore Donna Kerr took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Utah on Friday and into the fifth against San Diego State on Saturday, two of four times she has kept an opponent off the hit column until at least the fifth inning this season. She also took a no-no to 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.
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.
Senior Amanda Kamekona has really flourished in the leadoff role. Over the last three weeks since moving to the top of the lineup, Kamekona has been on fire. The senior has hits in 15 of the last 17 games, batting .375 with five home runs, 19 runs batted in, 16 runs scored and 10 doubles. Kamekona had six of those doubles last weekend at the San Diego Classic, where she hit .526 with six runs scored and four runs batted in. Kamekona had four multiple-hit contests, posting three against Utah and San Diego and two against Colorado State and San Diego State. She sits tied for third on the team with seven multiple-hit contests. During her recent 11-game hitting streak (Feb. 15-28), Kamekona hit .425 (17-for-40) with 11 runs scored, 10 RBI and four home runs, scoring at least one run in 10 of the 11 contests. Overall, the senior leads the team with 10 doubles, is second with 20 runs batted in, tied for second with five home runs and third with a .365 batting average and .703 slugging percentage. Kamekona's first homer of the season came against Northwestern on Feb. 13, as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. She has also gone yard against South Dakota State (Feb. 15), #1 Alabama (Feb. 20), North Carolina State (Feb. 21) and Maryland (Feb. 22). Her home run against NC State was a grand slam, the first of her career. Kamekona has hits in 18 of the Bruins' 21 games, runs scored in 16 of the 21 and RBI in 11 games. She ranks in the Pac-10 Top 10 in six offensive categories, including tied for first in doubles, fifth in hits (27), tied for fifth in homers and sixth in 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.
Another trip to San Diego, another Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award for Donna Kerr. A year after she threw 11 scoreless innings, as well as a perfect game, at last season's San Diego Classic to receive POW honors, the sophomore earned three wins at the 2009 tournament and four for the week. Following a 10-strikeout performance in five innings in a victory at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Kerr whiffed 12 Utah Utes on Friday, tossing a one-hitter. The sophomore had a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before relinquishing a home run. After defeating San Diego State for her third victory of the week, Kerr made it 4-for-4 on Sunday, setting a new personal best with 16 strikeouts against San Diego, giving up just three hits in her second shutout of the season. For the year, Kerr is 10-2 with a 2.89 earned run average and 112 strikeouts in 72 2/3 innings. She ranks second in the Pac-10 in strikeouts, tied for third in wins and sixth in opposing batting average (.175). Kerr has reached double figures in strikeouts six times this season, punching out 15 against Northwestern (Feb. 13) and 10 apiece against Purdue (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8). Since allowing 16 earned runs in back-to-back appearances against Northwestern and Michigan (Feb. 13-14), Kerr has given up just 11 earned runs in her last 43 2/3 innings (eight starts) for a 1.76 ERA. She has won five straight starts, along with seven of eight. Four of Kerr's 10 wins have come against ranked teams (San Diego State - Feb. 8), Northwestern, Alabama - Feb. 20 and Fresno State - Feb. 22).
NO TAMING OF THE SCHRO
Though the home runs have subsided just a bit, sophomore Katie Schroeder still finds herself at a familiar spot atop the batting average category. Schroeder is first on the team with a .406 average and seven home runs, also leading the squad with 24 runs scored, a .797 slugging percentage, a .537 on base percentage and nine stolen bases. Schroeder finished last weekend on a strong note, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and five runs batted in against San Diego on Sunday. She finished a home run short of the cycle, posting a single, double and triple. Schroeder has four multiple-RBI games this year and 19 runs batted in, which is third on the squad. The sophomore set a career high with six runs batted in against Northwestern on Feb. 13, belting a personal-best two home runs, including her first collegiate grand slam. She became just the 10th player in UCLA history to drive in at least half a dozen runs in a single contest. Schroeder hit homers in each of her first three games this season against Purdue (Feb. 7), Indiana (Feb. 7) and Cal Poly (Feb. 8) and has also left the yard against Kentucky (Feb. 14) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). She began the year with an 11-game hitting streak in which she batted .457 (16-for-35) with 15 runs scored, 13 RBI and six homers. Schroeder has scored in 16 of the Bruins' 21 games and has crossed home plate twice in a game on eight occasions. She has also reached base in all but one game this year. Along with her hitting prowess, Schroeder is a threat on the basepaths, going a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen bases. She has a steal in five of her last eight. Schroeder is listed in the Pac-10 Top 10 in 11 offensive categories, including second in runs scored, tied for second in homers and fourth in slugging.
GiONNA ONNA FIRE
Sophomore GiOnna DiSalvatore had hits in all five games at last weekend's San Diego Classic, batting .571 (8-for-14) with four runs scored and four RBI. DiSalvatore had two great games on Friday, going 2-for-3 with three RBI against Utah and 3-for-3 against Colorado State, scoring in both games. She also had a hit in each of the Bruins' final three contests, scoring against San Diego State and San Diego. DiSalvatore has five multiple-hit and multiple-RBI games this year, going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored against Michigan on Feb. 14. Later that night, she had another homer and three more RBI against Kentucky. DiSalvatore also drove in three runs and homered against Simon Fraser on Feb. 17. On the year, the sophomore is fourth on the team with a .349 average, second in runs scored with 23, fifth in runs batted in with 17 and tied for first in walks (15). DiSalvatore has drawn a free pass in seven straight games and is tied for third in the Pac-10 in walks. She is also tied for third in runs scored, having crossed home plate in 15 of the Bruins' 21 games. DiSalvatore was honored prior to the start of the 2009 season by being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
SHULL CLEANING UP
Just as Amanda Kamekona has flourished at the top of the order, junior Kaila Shull has done the same in the cleanup spot. In 12 games in the heart of the potent Bruin lineup, Shull is batting .429 (15-for-35) with eight runs scored, four home runs and 18 runs batted in. Shull has hit safely in seven straight heading into Wednesday's game at Loyola Marymount, batting .455 (10-for-22) with 12 runs batted in during the streak. The junior drove in three runs in three straight contests against Fresno State (Feb. 22), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 25) and Utah (Feb. 27), hitting home runs against Fullerton and Utah. After going 3-for-3 with a run scored against Colorado State on Friday, Shull had a hit and an RBI in each of her final three contests at the San Diego Classic. Shull leads the Bruins with 29 runs batted in, five game-winning RBI and a .500 average with runners in scoring position. She is second on the team with a .397 batting average and a .762 slugging percentage, tied for second with five home runs, tied for first with four sacrifice hits and first with four sacrifice flies. Shull is tied for the top spot in multiple-hit contests with eight and has also driven in at least two runs in a game a team-best seven times, including four against San Diego State (Feb. 8) and Simon Fraser (Feb. 17). Against SDSU, Shull hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to give the Bruins a 6-2 victory, while against Simon Fraser, the junior hit a pair of bombs. Among Pac-10 players, Shull ranks in the Top 10 in eight offensive categories, including tied for first in sacrifice flies, second in RBI and tied for fifth in home runs. Defensively, the catcher has been flawless, committing no errors in 170 chances.
BAKER COOKING WITH GAS
Junior Whitney Baker picked up a pair of wins and had two double-figure strikeout games last weekend at the San Diego Classic. Baker began the tournament by striking out a career-high 12 against Colorado State on Friday, allowing just one hit in six innings. She followed that up with 10 more strikeouts against 12th-ranked Missouri on Sunday, giving up just three hits and one run in the win. Baker has won six of her seven starts, also picking up victories against Indiana (Feb. 7), UNLV (Feb. 13), Simon Fraser (Feb. 17) and North Carolina State (Feb. 21). In each of her starts, the junior has allowed no more than two earned runs. On the year, she is 6-0 with a 1.62 earned run average and 46 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. Baker is fifth among Pac-10 pitchers in earned run average, tied for eighth in wins and ninth in strikeouts. Limited to only three innings last season, Baker has applied for a medical redshirt and if granted will earn another year of eligibility.
Andrea Harrison is quickly proving why she was one of the most highly-touted freshmen entering the collegiate game this year. Harrison is batting .364 (20-for-55) in her last 18 games after starting her career hitless in her first nine at-bats. The freshman is tied for the team lead in multiple-hit contests with eight, with all of them being two-hit games. Harrison had three straight, two-hit contests on Feb. 8 against San Diego State and Feb. 13 against UNLV and Northwestern. In those three games, Harrison went 6-for-11 (.545) with seven RBI, three runs scored and two home runs. She also ended the Cathedral City Classic on a four-game hit streak, going 7-for-11 (.636) with four runs and four RBI in her last four in the desert. 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 .313 with four home runs, which is tied for fourth on the team, and 18 runs batted in, which is fourth on the squad. She ranks tied for eighth among all Pac-10 players in RBI and tied for ninth in homers.
BURNEY-ING THE COMPETITION
Junior Julie Burney remains one of the most consistent Bruins through the first month of the season, entering March with a .321 batting average. Burney has six multiple-hit games this season, posting her first three-hit game of the year against San Diego on Sunday. The junior had a pair of doubles, also scoring and driving in a run. Burney had four hits in 14 at-bats at the San Diego Classic, including three doubles. She is fourth on the team with five doubles, which also places her in a tie for eighth in the Pac-10. Burney has belted three home runs, leaving the yard in wins over UNLV (Feb. 13), South Dakota State (Feb. 15) and Massachusetts (Feb. 21). The homer against South Dakota State was a grand slam, the first of her career. By base hit isn't the only way the junior will get on base. Burney is tied for fourth on the team with 10 walks and tied for second with three hit by pitches. 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 18 hits in 56 at-bats this year.
WHAT A RELIEF
Junior Megan Langenfeld tied Lisa Longaker as the school's all-time saves leader with her seventh career save on Saturday against San Diego State. After posting one save in 2007 and five last year, Langenfeld picked up her first of the season against the Aztecs, throwing three innings of scoreless relief and allowing just one hit with three strikeouts. Langenfeld leads the Bruins with a 0.86 earned run average, holding a 3-0 record and 34 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. She has not allowed a run and given up only three hits in her last 20 1/3 innings. What's more impressive though is her strikeout-to-walk ratio, if you can call it that. In order to have a strikeout-to-walk ratio, you would probably have to issue at least one free pass, which Langenfeld has yet to do this season. Opposing hitters are batting just .100 against Langenfeld, which is second among Pac-10 pitchers. Her ERA also ranks third in the conference. Two of Langenfeld's three wins have come in relief against Kentucky (Feb. 14) and #15 Massachusetts (Feb. 21). In her lone victory as a starter, the junior tossed six perfect innings against Maryland on Feb. 22, finishing the game with a one-hitter and six strikeouts.
Next week's home game against Notre Dame will be played on Tuesday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at Easton Stadium. Some publications erroneously had the game scheduled for March 12.