Today, 9:00 a.m.
No TV info
Info: UCLA begins the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego against UC Davis.
To the UCLA women’s softball team, home field advantage isn’t the photos of past championship teams that decorate the outfield of Easton Stadium, it’s not the hills of Westwood set in the background and it’s not the familiar voices of the announcers and fans.
It’s family. And for UCLA softball players, whenever the team is around, their family is with them.
Though the stadium is often filled with the cheers of supportive fans and family members, the Bruins have cultivated their most important family right in their clubhouse.
“The tight-knit group is the team. … We’re in the unity phase of our season, and we’re learning a lot about each other and spending a lot of time together,” coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said.
UCLA will carry that family spirit to San Diego starting today, where it will face UC Davis (2-4), Boise State (4-1), University of Central Florida (4-0), UC Santa Barbara (1-5) and San Diego State (3-3) at the Campbell/Cartier Classic.
Though the Bruins have their opponents’ performance statistics from last year, they are not relying on those numbers to tell them anything about 2012.
“It’s a new year. … We focus less on what they can do and more on our adjustments throughout the game,” Inouye-Perez said.
The Bruins have worked on what they know they can do well. And at this point, that seems to be pretty much everything.
They have scored 59 runs in the 5-0 start to the 2012 season. And if that offensive power were not enough, their opponents have scored a mere seven runs against them. Bruin pitchers have posted a team ERA of 1.40, and 11 players post batting averages higher than .350.
“Coach tells us to focus on our own expectations, and what we can do to be better. … It’s about getting 1 percent better every day,” redshirt senior infielder Samantha Camuso said.
Junior outfielder B.B. Bates attributed the Bruins’ dominant start to a process of coming together that started when the team first met up in the fall.
“We did a lot of team bonding, and with lots of new freshmen, it really introduced them to the Bruin culture. It helped us jump off to a great start,” Bates said.
The combination of powerful offense and defense has given the Bruins confidence that, even if they start to lag in one of these areas, they can more than make up for it with the other.
“We have a lot of confidence on offense, one through nine and even our bench is so talented. If we use that and keep up our defense, we can win games,” Camuso said.
After a 24-2 win on Tuesday over the LMU Lions, the Bruins need to clear their heads and move on to the next game while still holding on to their momentum.
“We have goals for every inning, and we plan to be able to compete one through seven,” Inouye-Perez said. “You never play your opponent ““ our competition is ourselves.”