We will begin our Saturday BN walk with bad news. First, the bad news:
Bruin left-hander Tim Murphy (3-6) was tagged with the loss, exiting after recording four outs. Murphy allowed six runs off one hit and six walks through 1.1 innings for UCLA (24-22, 7-9 Pac-10).
Oregon State was led offensively by center fielder Chris Hopkins and catcher Erik Ammon, as each player went 2-for-3. Hopkins and third baseman Garett Nash each scored a team-leading two runs, and Ammon led the Beavers with a three RBI.
Needless to say a disappointing and disheartening start to what is supposed to be a must win series if our guys want to make the post-season. Savage’s team will try to rebound today at 1 p.m. Right-hander Charles Brewer (6-4) will go up against OSU left-hander Tanner Robles (3-1).
We will find out whether they can fight back today. Because if they don’t … well I don’t want to write them off yet. But we would be getting close to the end.
Now onto the good news:
UCLA scored early and often in the first quarter, totaling seven unanswered goals. Brittany Rowe put the Bruins on the scoreboard just 52 seconds into the contest, scoring after a Tanya Gandy steal. Rulon followed with a pair of goals in a two-minute span, first capitalizing on a Courtney Mathewson steal and then going end-to-end to score a minute later to put UCLA ahead 3-0. Anne Belden scored two consecutive goals of her own, and freshman Priscilla Orozco notched her first NCAA goal with a looping shot past the goalkeeper with 1:44 left on the clock. Domanic finished the first quarter scoring onslaught with her first goal at 1:02.
The Bruins opened up a 9-0 lead after notching two more goals - by Domanic and Kraus - to start the second quarter. Pomona-Pitzer stepped it up, with freshman Tamara Perea scoring back-to-back goals. Orozco scored her second goal of the game to give UCLA a 10-2 lead, but Perea scored again on a power play a minute later to cut into the Bruins' lead. A Domanic goal made it 11-3, but Laura Condon scored the Sagehens' fourth goal of the quarter with 34 seconds to play in the half.
They are amazing. Lady Bruins will take on UC Davis in the semifinals today.
Now shifting gear to our major revenue sports, WWL has this capsule on CRN in an article on how first year coaches are performing on the recruiting trail:
In addition to QB and skill players we need some OL. It will be interesting to see what kind of OL talent Neuheisel and Palcic bring in this year and beyond. From what I have heard this year is down year in terms of OL talent in the West. So the Bruin coaching staff has no choice but to look into the JC ranks for some immediate help. I think they should be able to put together a class that will provide some short term help and also decent talent, who Palcic will be mold into good players in college. It all starts with a stable, consistent, and simple offensive foundation. And fortunately for us we have that with a great coaching staff.
Speaking of having a solid foundation in place, Jay Bilas from WWL tells us there is nothing to worry about in the world of Ben Ball:
Well obviously we agree with Jay's main assertion but we need to make an important point. While we all took the loss against Memphis really hard, I don’t believe there were any questions from UCLA alums and students (at least the ones who have healthy perspective when it comes to our basketball program) wrt to how Coach Howland runs his program. We know in terms of hanging a banner in Pauley, it’s a matter of time. And we are happy to be patient, while enjoying the building and development process of Coach Howland coached teams put together one fun season after another. We believe in Coach Howland. He can take his time. We don’t want him to go anywhere else. Meanwhile, we are going to stick around, watch, enjoy, and have fun following Ben Ball.