Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
2nd-ranked UCLA Softball (25-2) completed their third-straight undefeated weekend on Sunday at the Long Beach State Invitational. The Bruins are on a hot streak since finishing 5-0 in the prestigious Palm Springs Classic two weeks ago, which included victories over four teams ranked in the top 20.
After Palm Springs, the Bruins headed down to San Diego to participate the much less demanding but no less important San Diego Classic Tournament. UCLA outscored their five opponents 38-1 during the weekend. The only battle came from #25 San Diego State, a team on the rise since downing defending national champion Arizona and #2 Northwestern the week before in Palm Springs. With a 1-1 tie sending the game into extra innings, a sacrifice fly from freshman Samantha Camuso was all the Bruins needed to defeat the Aztecs 2-1 in 9 innings. On the other side of an offense-heavy tournament for the Bruins, the weekend was highlighted by a career-first perfect game by freshman pitcher Donna Kerr against St. Peters College. Kerr led the Bruins to an 8-0 victory in a game that would last only 58 minutes.
The Bruins faced some stiff competition at the local Long Beach Invitational this weekend, including Notre Dame, Rutgers, Long Beach State, #25 Virginia Tech, and a rematch with the now #8 Northwestern Wildcats (their first meeting in Palm Springs ended in a 6-2 Bruin victory). It wasn't easy, but the Bruins came out unscathed yet again. After fending off Virginia Tech and Notre Dame with one-run victories on Friday, the Bruin's bats finally came alive against Rutgers in a 9-0 victory Saturday Night. Sunday afternoon's rematch with Northwestern remained locked at 0-0 until the 4th inning when sophomore Megan Langenfeld pounded a two-run home run over the 250-foot center field fence. For comparison, the center field fence at Easton Stadium (the Bruin's home field) is only 210 feet. Those two runs were all the Bruins needed for their 2-0 victory against the Wildcats. Pitcher Donna Kerr had a career-high 15 strikeouts in the game. Offensively, the Bruins were led by freshman Katie Schroeder who hit over .500 for the weekend.
Katie Schroeder (personal photo)
This finishes up pre-conference tournament play for the Bruins, who begin Pac-10 (aka Pac-8) on March 28 versus Oregon State. UCLA has two home games this week before taking a week off for winter quarter finals. The Bruins host Cal State Fullerton at 2:00PM Wednesday and then Cal State Northridge at 1:00PM Thursday.
The team is in a good place right now despite a relatively weak offensive statement at the Long Beach Tournament. The large class of newcomers (8 freshmen and 1 transfer) play like veterans while seniors Krista Colburn and Jelly Selden act as anchors for the young team. It's going to be an exciting year
Tickets are going fast for UCLA's exhibition game against the U.S. Olympic softball team on April 22. Here's the official write-up which includes a link to purchase tickets.