Wednesday, July 17

Softball team set for UCSB

After a weekend in which the No. 4 UCLA softball team (3-1) defeated two ranked opponents on the road in Florida, the Bruins face another doubleheader as they head north to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (4-1).

The Gauchos are coming off back-to-back one-run victories over Maine and Utah Valley, led by senior pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (2-0). Though it was sophomore Krista Cobb who led the Gauchos last year to a First Team All-Big West season, Cobb has posted a relatively high earned run average at six while allowing seven walks and 15 hits in three appearances.

Meanwhile, the Bruin pitching staff posted an astounding 0.68 ERA over the weekend and scattered 16 hits over 31 innings. Senior Megan Langenfeld has certainly not skipped a beat over the offseason, as she pitched thirteen innings on Sunday against No. 3 Michigan and had enough gas to close out Georgia hours later in the top half of the seventh. “I am prepared through the work I have done in the past,” Langenfeld said. “During my sophomore year I would come in and close a lot of games and come in situations just like that in the seventh inning.”

The versatile Bruin offense attributes their early-season success to the offseason work they’ve put in hitting against a vaunted pitching staff in Langenfeld, junior Donna Kerr and sophomore Aleah Macon.

“As much as I hate hitting off of them, it makes me better, it makes our team better, it makes them better,” junior center fielder Katie Schroeder said. “With our lineup of five pitchers, it makes our team that much more powerful.”

That five pitcher line-up has yet to be revealed, but coach Kelly Inouye-Perez believes that in due time, their depth will provide much relief for Langenfeld, who found herself pitching extra innings toward the later stages of last season.

“We didn’t even get a chance to go five deep in our pitching staff this weekend because of the limited game time we’ve had,” Inouye-Perez said. “But (Langenfeld) and Kerr got it done. Our depth is going to come in big time with these games coming up. It also allows me to figure out different combinations of pitchers we can use to feel out these players’ roles.”

With a comfortable six game home stand waiting after today’s doubleheader, the Bruins look to establish a solid rotation for a deeper postseason run.

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