Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
The women of UCLA Softball have taken care of business since losing 2 of 3 in Arizona two weeks ago, beginning the second half of conference play by completing sweeps of #22 Washington, #21 Cal, and #7 Stanford.
Things got started in Seattle, where the Bruins braved 40 degree temperatures and multiple rain delays to finish their 3-game series against Washington. Despite such unfamiliar conditions, the Bruins racked up a combined 19 hits on their way to 2-1 and 4-0 wins over the Huskies. In addition to an earlier win at home over Washington, these victories gave UCLA their first Pac-10 sweep of the season.
After Washington, the USA National Team came into Westwood on April 22 for an exhibition. The game was highlighted by an emotional tribute to UCLA legend Lisa Fernandez. Fernandez, who had been instrumental in Team USA's gold medals in 1996, 2000, and 2004, was surprisingly left off the final roster for this summer's Olympics in Beijing and was instead named as an alternate. Lisa led Team USA in the circle against the Bruins, pitching 6 2/3 innings before handing the ball over to Jennie Finch for the final out of the 8-2 Team USA victory.
In addition to proving Team USA's talent, the exhibition also proved that the young Bruins could compete with the best. UCLA scattered six hits off three-time gold medalist Fernandez, including a 2-run homerun by sophomore Julie Burney to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead early in the game. Senior pitcher Anjelica Selden started the game for UCLA, striking out two Olympians before a scary incident in the third kept her from completing the game. A ball sailing toward 2nd base to catch a runner stealing nailed Selden in the back of the head, and she was on the ground for a few minutes. Selden tried to continue pitching after the accident, but was soon pulled after giving up a homerun and a base hit. Sophomore Megan Langenfeld was solid in relief for Selden, striking out 2 and holding USA to 5 hits.
Selden did not return to the circle until the final game of the Bay Area series. But despite the absence of their ace, UCLA's valuable pitching depth proved itself at Cal and Stanford with stellar performances from both Langenfeld and freshman Donna Kerr.
The Bruins completed their second Pac-10 sweep with a 7-2 win over Cal on Friday, and retained momentum heading into their showdown with #7 Stanford. The Bruins held on for a 1-0 victory over the Cardinal on Saturday thanks to back-to-back doubles in the 4th inning from freshmen GiOnna DiSalvatore and Samantha Camuso, which drove in the game's lone run.
Selden returned to the pitching circle Sunday against Stanford as she led the Bruins to a 4-0 victory to close out the sweep. The game started off dramatically when Langenfeld jacked her 5th homerun of the season in the 1st inning to put UCLA up 3-0. Those runs would prove to be all the Bruins needed to hold off the Cardinal, but that didn't keep senior Krista Colburn from hitting a round-tripper of her own in the 7th inning to give UCLA the 4-0 lead and eventual victory.
The final home games of the regular season will be played this weekend (May 2-4) when the Bruins host defending national champion Arizona on Friday, then battle Arizona State for the top spot in the Pac-10 on Saturday and Sunday. Come on out to Easton Stadium for a guaranteed great game.
fun fact: UCLA softball is 25-0 when they score in the first inning.