Softball’s postseason begins as UCLA receives No. 5 seed and will host NCAA Los Angeles Regional


Junior pitcher Donna Kerr and the Bruins were selected as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will host regionals at Easton Stadium beginning Friday.

Junior pitcher Donna Kerr and the Bruins were selected as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will host regionals at Easton Stadium beginning Friday. Scott Dee


Amid the relaxed and rather festive atmosphere of the annual team banquet, held in the J.D. Morgan Center press room, members of the UCLA softball team discovered the first step of their postseason fate on Sunday evening, though not without suspense.

After encountering some technical difficulties, the Bruins, joined by friends and family on hand for the celebratory occasion, tuned into the selection show just as the program returned from a commercial break.

“We actually had a little complication with the TV, so right when it turned on, they were showing us, and it was like, “˜Whoa!’” senior third baseman Julie Burney said.

Buzzkill averted, the Bruins will enter the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the 64-team NCAA Tournament, as announced on the ESPNU airwaves. It marks the seventh consecutive season in which UCLA will host the NCAA Los Angeles Regional, pleasing news to coaches and players alike for multiple reasons.

“The best news is the fact that we’re hosting,” coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “Anytime we can stay home, it’s a positive for us. To be able to train at our own facility and sleep in our own beds, it’s great.”

“Anything can happen in regionals,” junior pitcher Donna Kerr added. “A top-seeded team can go to the other side of the country to have to play, so it’s nice that we get to stay here so that we get to be in school and still go to classes.”

Joining the Bruins in the Los Angeles Regional are Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Fresno State. UCLA (40-11) will first play Saint Mary’s (30-21) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Bruins hold an all-time 10-0 record against Saint Mary’s, but have not faced the Gaels since 2000.

The playoffs could not have arrived at a more opportune time for a team that has won 13 of its last 15 games.

In fact, the consensus amongst the Bruins is that they are as ready as ever in their hunt for the program’s elusive 11th NCAA Championship.

“We’re in a great place, there’s just great chemistry with this team,” Inouye-Perez said. “I’m just proud that this team has been continuing to prove that they have this competitive excellence.”

“We’re excited and ready to go. Whoever the team is, bring them in,” Burney said.

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