May 21, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The fifth-seeded Bruins hit five home runs, including two by sophomore Dani Yudin, as UCLA won its Regional opener with an 11-4 victory over Saint Mary's on Friday at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins improve to 41-11 on the season and will face San Diego State in a winner's bracket game on Saturday at 1 p.m. Saint Mary's falls to 30-22 and will take on Fresno State in an elimination game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Senior Kaila Shull, junior GiOnna DiSalvatore and sophomore Samantha Camuso also homered for the Bruins, who had 13 hits as a team. Yudin had a career-high three hits and two home runs, tying a personal best with three runs batted in. Camuso went 2-for-2 with four RBI, while sophomore Andrea Harrison also posted a two-hit game.
Junior Donna Kerr moved to 18-7 on the season, striking out nine in 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, four hits and two walks. She retired the first 12 batters of the game, striking out a pair in the first, second, fourth and fifth. Sophomore Aleah Macon pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn her third save of the season, striking out three and giving up a hit and a walk. She fanned a pair in the seventh.
The Bruins scored runs in the first and second on a pair of leadoff homers. In the first, DiSalvatore led off with a solo home run to right-center, her ninth of the season, to make it 1-0. In the second, Yudin belted her first homer of the game and seventh of the year to right to put the Bruins up 2-0.
In the fourth, the Bruins tacked on three more. Senior Julie Burney singled to right-center to open the inning and moved to third on a single to right by Yudin, who was thrown out after rounding too far off the first-base bag. Camuso followed with a double down the left-field line to plate Burney to make it 3-0. With junior Grace Murray running at second for Camuso, Shull homered to center, her fifth bomb of the season, to increase the margin to 5-0.
The Gaels rallied with four in the top of the fifth. Jenna Smith broke up the perfect game with a leadoff home run to left. Jessica Lemmon then walked, and two outs later, Saint Mary's had the bases loaded following a walk to Maryanne Cronin and a hit by pitch of Whitney Heuser. Rebecca Sabatini followed with a double down the left-field line to plate Lemmon and pinch-runner Nicole Arce to make it 5-3 and a bunt single by Kayla Gonzales scored Heuser to cut the deficit to 5-4.
The Bruins got some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Harrison singled to right, but was forced out at second when Burney hit into a fielder's choice. Yudin then hit her second homer of the game and eighth of the year to right to bring the lead back up to three at 7-4. After Camuso was hit by a pitch and Shull walked, sophomore Marti Reed singled to right to bring home Camuso to up the lead to 8-4.
UCLA scored three runs for the third consecutive inning in the sixth. With one out, Harrison singled up the middle, Burney walked, and one out later, Camuso hit her ninth homer of the season to left to give the Bruins an 11-4 lead.