Bruin Bites: Tough Losses to Trojans, Softball Drops One to Stanford, Women's Soccer's Big Recruiting Haul

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It's Tuesday morning, which means it's time to take a few minutes to check out the various bits and pieces of news from around the wider UCLA-iverse, focusing in on some results from our various non-revenue sports as we get closer to the end of the spring season.

Sadly, our Tuesday morning round-up posts of our non-revenue sports are no longer a welcome distraction from Jim Mora's football team; rather, with spring camp finally at an end, our non-revenue sports are the only thing keeping us warm this off-season as we march closer to the end of the 2013-14 season for the Bruins, with UCLA looking to make a national title run in a couple of different sports.  So with that said, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:

--- Beginning with the #2-ranked softball team, the Lady Bruins hosted the woefully inconsistent Stanford Cardinal this weekend at Easton Stadium, but the weekend did not get off on the right foot for UCLA on Friday, with the Cardinal pulling off a big upset, winning 12-9.  The usually reliable Ally Carda (1.1 IP, 7 ER, 1 K, 7 H, 2 BB) by absolutely rocked by the Cardinal, surrendering seven earned runs in just one-and-a-third innings worth of work, before giving way to Jessica Hall (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 K, 5 H, 4 BB), who was able to stem the bleeding before ending the day giving up two runs in the top of the seventh. Stephany LaRosa (1-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR) led the Bruins offensively, but with UCLA scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh, they scored too little, too late.  The Bruins wasted no time in getting revenge on Saturday, slaughtering the Cardinal in a mercy-rule shortened, 9-0 beatdown.  Carda (5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 3 H, 0 BB) bounced back strong, keeping the Cardinal bats silent for her 26th victory on the year, while also giving herself a big offensive hand (1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR) by blasting her 10th homer on the year.  Sunday's rubber match would be a much tighter affair, but UCLA found their way back after falling behind by one run early to win the game 5-2.  Jessica Hall (4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 2 H, 2 BB) started in the circle for the Lady Bruins, but despite pitching a solid game, was left with a no-decision, with Carda (3.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 K, 4 H, 2 BB) picking up the win in relief.  But if anyone was prepared to say Hall got robbed, it was Carda (1-2, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR) who picked up the offensive slack to help UCLA win, launching her 11th homer of the year.  With the series win, the Lady Bruins improve to 46-5 overall and 17-4 in conference play, and will wrap up their regular season with a weekend series at Arizona State this upcoming weekend.

--- Turning to the track (and field), the Bruins split their annual dual meet with the Southern Cal Trojans, with the men dropping the Trojans, 89-74, for their fourth consecutive win over Southern Cal, while the Lady Bruins came up short, 68-95.

--- Heading out to the water, the #12-ranked women's rowing team followed in their female track counterparts, falling to the #8-ranked Southern Cal Trojans on Saturday, 3-4, in their annual dual meet.  The Bruins were able to pick up wins by the second varsity eight (6:47.20 to 6:54.20) and the novice eight (7:05.80 to 7:34.10), but it wasn't enough as the varsity eight, varsity four, and second varsity four all fell to the their Trojan competitors.

--- Finally, closing it out with some good news, the defending national champion women's soccer team proved the old adage of the rich getting richer true, locking down the #4-ranked recruiting class in the nation.  Coach Cromwell reeled in eight new players, with five of the incoming freshmen ranking in the top-100 nationally, including #86-ranked Arielle Schechtman (G), #65-ranked Sam Kokoska (DF/MF), #24-ranked Chloe Hemingway (DF), and #13-ranked MacKenzie Cerda (FW), with the class headlined by a player widely tipped to eventually make the senior USWNT, #7-ranked Gabrielle Matulich (DF/MF).  With the Bruins returning almost all of their key players (the only key losses being Jenna Richmond), UCLA is stocked for a real run at repeating and successfully defending their crown in 2014.  It'll be an exciting year, especially with to-be-sophomore Darian Jenkins (team high 11 goals) leading the line.

Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for this Tuesday morning. Fire away in the comment section with your thoughts, additions, or other bits of UCLA-related news.

GO BRUINS

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