Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
The UCLA Bruins Softball team began Pac-10 play with a bang, going undefeated through the first three weekends of play.
Friday, March 28 brought Oregon State to Easton Stadium for the 2008 Pac-10 opener. The Bruins handled OSU for a solid 3-0 win, highlighted by Senior Krista Colburn's 200th career hit. UCLA hosted Oregon Saturday and Sunday, earning two more victories by the scores of 2-0 and 12-0. Senior pitcher Anjelica Selden earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for her performances against the Oregon schools.
Conference play continued with a mid-week battle against Washington on April 2. UW threatened early with a run in the top of the 1st. The Huskies freshman hurler Aleah Macon made things difficult for the Bruins on the offensive end, striking out the Bruins' first two hitters with speeds close to 70 mph. The freshman's adrenaline wouldn't last long, however, as the Bruins scored 6 runs in the 4th inning and seemingly wrapped up the game. But Washington had other plans, scoring 5 more of their own in the 5th off UCLA's freshman phenom Donna Kerr to tie the game at six apiece. The game would remain tied going into extra innings when the Bruins finally broke free victorious in a somewhat unconventional manner. With bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th, UW's Macon walked freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore on four-straight pitches to bring in the winning run for the 7-6 UCLA win.
The week continued with three more home games, this time against Stanford and Cal. Like Washington, Stanford threatened with a run in the 1st inning. The Bruins managed to tie it up in the bottom of the 2nd and went on to win 3-1 with two more runs scored in the 3rd. The Bruins extended their winning streak against the visiting Cal Bears, earning victories on both Saturday and Sunday by scores of 2-1 and 5-0, respectively. Freshman Samantha Camuso earned Pac-10 Player of the Week for her combined .462 avegrage against Washington and the Bay Area Schools.
So after a solid Pac-10 start and seven-straight home games, it was time for the Bruins' toughest challenge: the Arizona road trip. UCLA battled at #1 Arizona State Friday night and was held to 4 hits by ASU's All-American pitcher Katie Burkhart. ASU would go on to win 3-0 for the Bruins' first Pac-10 loss.
Things didn't get much better for our Bruins on Saturday in a showdown with the two-time defending national champion Arizona Wildcats. The dominating UCLA Softball team we've seen all year seemed to be absent in an 0-8 loss to the #9 Wildcats. The tough loss was also the Bruins' first televised game of the season and unfortunately failed to showcase UCLA's true talent.
The Bruins remained determined after the televised loss and refused to return to Westwood without a win. Sunday afternoon's rematch vs. Arizona got off to a great start with an RBI double by sophomore Megan Langenfeld in the 1st inning. The score would remain 1-0 in the Bruins favor until Arizona answered back with a run of their own in the 6th to tie up the game. UCLA wouldn't wait long to respond, however, as junior catcher Jennifer Schroeder knocked a solo homerun over the right-center fence to give the Bruins the lead and eventual 2-1 victory.
UCLA Softball continues Pac-10 play this weekend in Washington. When they return home, they have an even bigger challenge to look forward to as the Bruins take on the United States Olympic team in an exhibition game Tuesday night, April 22.
The final three home games of the season take place May 2 through May 4 against the Arizona schools. Try and make it if you can!