#2 BRUINS FACE TITANS IN LONE GAME THIS WEEK
On their bye weekend from Pac-12 play, the second-ranked Bruins travel south on Thursday for their only game of the week, playing at Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. Free audio and live stats will be available at UCLABruins.com.
The Bruins play four times at Easton Stadium next week, hosting Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, April 15 at 3 p.m. before entertaining Oregon State in a three-game Easter weekend series (Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m., Friday, April 18 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 19 at 12 p.m.).
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins dropped to second in this week’s USA Today/NFCA poll and to third in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings. UCLA dropped 43 points in the NFCA poll, but still earned two first-place votes. The Bruins lost 41 points in the USA Softball poll. The Bruins were ranked fourth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, receiving 42 points.
When she started in right field on March 29 against Utah, junior Ally Carda started her sixth different position for the Bruins this season. Carda has made 19 starts in the circle, five at first base, left field and center and two at designated player and right field. Freshman Gabrielle Maurice made a start at second base on Sunday at Oregon, her fourth different starting position (16 in CF, 5 in LF and 1 in RF). Four other Bruins have started three different positions, seniors Jessica Hall (15 at DP, 13 at P, 9 at 1B) and Alyssa Tiumalu (25 in RF, 5 at DP and 3 at 1B), junior Stephany LaRosa (13 at C, 12 at 1B, 5 at DP) and sophomore Brittany Moeai (25 at C, 9 at 1B and 3 at DP).
PUNCHING UNTIL THE END
The Bruins have five (non-mercy rule) walk-off victories this season, the last of which coming in dramatic fashion again rival Arizona on March 16. UCLA relinquished a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh, but scored five times in its half of the seventh on a solo homer by sophomore Mysha Sataraka and a game-winning grand slam from junior Gracie Goulder to finish off an 8-4 victory over the sixth-ranked Wildcats. Four of the five Bruin walk-offs have come against ranked foes, with two of them coming from freshman Delaney Spaulding, who hit an eighth-inning, three-run walk-off homer against #4 Michigan on March 4 and posted a walk-off single versus #13 Oklahoma on Feb. 21. Sophomore Mysha Sataraka recorded a two-run double against #16 Missouri on Feb. 22, while senior Jessica Hall had a walk-off single in the eighth inning versus Robert Morris on Feb. 14.
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As a team, the Bruins enter the week with the fifth-best earned run average in the nation at 1.33 and the fifth-best slugging percentage at .544. UCLA is also tied for 11th with 46 home runs, 24th in runs per game (6.13) and 25th with a .321 batting average. Individually, junior Ally Carda is tied for third in the country with 20 wins, tied for sixth with eight shutouts and 17th with a 1.23 ERA. The full list of Bruins in the national rankings is on page two of this release.
BRUINS IN THE PAC-12 RANKINGS
The Bruins enter the week leading all Pac-12 teams in earned run average (1.33), opposing batting average (.191) and saves (4), also ranking third in strikeouts (265). Offensively, UCLA is first in hit by pitches (30), second in on base percentage (.446), walks (178) and sacrifice hits (27) and third in slugging (.544), home runs (46) and stolen bases (46). Junior Ally Carda is tops in the conference in ERA (1.23), tied for first in wins (20) and third in strikeouts (147), also ranking first offensively in times being hit (10). Freshman Delaney Spaulding is first in the league with 15 stolen bases, second with a .533 on base percentage and tied for second with three triples and 31 walks. The full list of Bruins in the Pac-12 rankings is on page five of this release.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. TITANS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton 39-33-1, but the Titans upset UCLA last season (Feb. 26) at Easton Stadium (11-5). Prior to that, the Bruins had won four in a row, including a 6-2 victory in Fullerton on Feb. 25, 2009. UCLA holds a 14-12 edge in games played in Fullerton.