Sunday, March 24

Bruin softball shows depth in Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament

Softball team has a perfect weekend with five wins in a row at Easton Stadium

Donna Kerr pitched five shutout innings in UCLA's 11-0 win over Portland State.

Donna Kerr pitched five shutout innings in UCLA's 11-0 win over Portland State. Jim Summers

The UCLA softball team showcased its power and depth as the No. 4 Bruins (10-1) humbled their competition at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament hosted at Easton Stadium.

After demolishing UC Santa Barbara 14-0 and 11-1 Wednesday, the Bruins started off the weekend with three more mercy-rule victories against Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and UC Davis, setting a school record with five straight mercy-rule wins.

Junior pitcher Donna Kerr (5-0) carried the momentum from Wednesday’s victories by striking out 11 en route to one-hitting Cal State Northridge (1-9) in UCLA’s first home game. Kerr conceded three walks and hit two batters but struck out the side in the third and the fifth

“My team played great defense behind me, and my pitches were working well this weekend so everything kind of came together,” Kerr said.

Against Cal Poly SLO (2-1), sophomore transfer Aleah Macon (2-0) pitched five shutout innings, and senior Megan Langenfeld hit a grand slam. Langenfeld leads the team in batting average (.586) as well as earned run average (0.27). The Bruins brought out the mercy rule after back-to-back homers by sophomore outfielder Samantha Camuso and senior infielder Julie Burney in the fifth.

The Bruins showcased their depth, playing three pitchers in the 10 innings they played against Cal Poly SLO and CSUN. Throughout the entire weekend, the Bruins experimented with four pitchers, and with junior Whitney Baker coming back from injury, the bullpen should be stacked with even more talent.

“We all know that a big part of this game is defense, and a big part of defense is who you have in the circle,” assistant coach Lisa Fernandez said. “They bring life to this team because offensively we know what we can do. We know that we are going to be able to string together some hits and defensively we’ve got a strong group there.”

The Bruins were without junior All-American Katie Schroeder who sat out the weekend with a strained left calf, but the likes of freshmen B.B. Bates and Devon Lindvall as well as Camuso stepped in to fill her void.

“B.B. moved into the one spot, and Devon Lindvall made some huge plays,” Fernandez said. “As coaches, we try to teach one thing, and that is that there is no failure as long as you are learning. They know they can go out there and play freely and their teammates will have their back.”

After a methodical 8-0 win against UC Davis (6-3), the Bruins piled it on against CSUN again, hitting three home runs in a 7-2 victory. Langenfeld (2-1) pitched a six inning shut-out against the Aggies, while highly touted freshman pitcher Destiny Rodino picked up her first collegiate victory after four innings of action, conceding just one hit and striking out three.

The Bruins’ offense immediately got to work on Sunday against Portland State Vikings (4-8).

In the top half of the first after Harrison and Langenfeld singled, junior second baseman GiOnna DiSalvatore hit her second home run of the season that just cleared the right field fence. Then in the sixth, Langenfeld hit a no doubt homer over center field and the Bruins went on to load the bases and score three runs to finalize the score 11-0.

Kerr struck out nine while no-hitting the Vikings until the fifth.

“We came out with a bang, and I expect that for the rest of the year,” DiSalvatore said.

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