-Bumped. BN Eds.
UCLA Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez ("KIP") still mismanages games, runs her team out of potential big innings. The difference between 2010 and 2012 is she doesn’t have the talent ( Megan Langenfeld) to overcome her poor coaching mistakes. as far as pitching maybe if she said no to Desiny Rodino and yes to Kelani Ricketts it wouldn’t be a problem. I am doubtful that with the poor pitch calling by the staff that even Ricketts could do well. God help Paige McDuffie next season because because the pitching staff hasn’t made any pitcher better over the years. don’t try to say Langenfeld because she had one pitch and had to fight the staff to pitch her way and also to go back to her sing after they made her change it in '08. Now look at Kellie Fox's swing from last year to this year. Nobody on that staff should try to change the technique of a .300 or better hitter. Work on the mental approach at the plate is what the money batting coaches at this level are doing.
This staff would win possbile every game if they were playing in 1991. However it is 2012, softball has evolved. That is why someone like Moultrie can walk on fro Florida, and 4 years later be an All American playing for the national team the summer after her junior year. While a player like Andrea Harrison has barely gotten better over the years. That is why unknown high school pitchers are leading their teams through the regional while the UCLA pitching core is barely at the mid major level.
UCLA should have been serious contenders in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 with all the talent they had. Instead KIP decided to walk Cochran every at bat in the WCWS in ’08 vs compete. They lost to Missouri at Super Regional in ’09. Yes!!! they won it in 2010 with the recruits Enquist left behind. Failed to make regional last year. This year they showed they are no where close to a top 25 team. Three runs in two games. More important when they had runners in scoring position they failed to put pressure on the defense, move the infield and create opportunities.
Problem with softball is most fans don't follow the team throughout the season. Fans might see fun fact on the UCLA Website that the team is a leads the nation in hitting. UCLA puts big number up on average or less than average pitching. See LMU....but they fail to hit the top pitchers at Cal, ASU, Georgia and Auburn this season. They have lost every game against Jolene Henderson after her first lost to UCLA in 2010. She is doing the same thing in every game. Throwing the same pitch until UCLA proves they can hit it. She doesn't get an 0-2 count on UCLA and then throw them a change up If fans watched Kerr and Hall over the last couple of years they might notice more damage is done on their 0-2 counts than 2-0 counts. They are team players and might say it was the location of the pitch. It's pitch calling. Go to the money pitch don't force your pitcher to throw her 3rd best pitch in the perfect location.
If UCLA was serious about their athletic programs there would be much house cleaning this summer. The PAC12 network will provide more revenue and exposure. Softball is catching on. Some programs the sport pays for itself. Some programs games are played to standing room audiences. The Women's College World Series is becoming like the Men's Final Four. Families make plans to attend more than a year in advance. ESPN has round the clock coverage. The atmosphere is electric and many believe the best days are ahead. I think the program with the most national championships should be among the elite team enjoying the bright future of softball. When that day come will UCLA softball be a former power or in the mix with other teams. KIP is not the answer. I don't think another program in softball would want her as a head coach if she was available. Yet we are holding on to her as she sinks the softball ship.
If we had an AD worth anything they would hire the best available candidate not the next former player in line.