May 11, 2010
Cats Host Bruins for Senior Weekend
May 13-15, Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 goes to the winner of the final series of the regular season between UCLA and Arizona this Thursday through Saturday. The match-ups between the teams is the biggest rivalry in college softball, with the two squads combining for 18 NCAA Championships in the last 23 seasons. Each game this weekend will be broadcast on KCUB 1290 AM.
Before 2008, either Arizona or UCLA (or both) were participants in the Women's College World Series championship game each year since 1987.
Arizona hasn't taken a season series against UCLA since 2004, and the Bruins are stacked once again. UCLA leads the all-time series at 66-50, with a 27-24 record in Tucson.
UCLA: The No. 5 Bruins are led by senior Megan Langenfeld and her .516 average at the plate. The senior from Bakersfield, Calif., has a team-high 44 RBI and 13 home runs. Her slugging percentage of 1.022 is also tops on the squad. Though an injury has limited her action in the circle, she is the most dominant pitcher on the squad as well, touting an 8-1 record with a 0.86 ERA. Junior Donna Kerr (17-6) has seen the most action in the circle, with a 2.23 ERA in 132 innings pitched. She has also struck out 156 and held opponents to a .181 batting average. Senior Julie Burney leads the team with 14 home runs, while sophomore Andrea Harrison has knocked 13 out of the park.
Last Time Out (at Oregon)
Third-ranked Arizona scored seven runs on a handful of Oregon miscues in the sixth inning and downed the No. 22 Ducks, 8-3, Friday evening.
Oregon's Neena Bryant hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead the No. 22 Ducks to a 2-1 win over third-ranked Arizona on Saturday. The one-out blast, Bryant's seventh of the season, followed a leadoff single and spoiled the jubilation in the Arizona (41-9, 11-6 Pac-10) dugout after having taken the lead in the top half on Lini Koria's 14th round-tripper.
Catch the Action
Go to arizonawildcats.com for live GameTracker stats, sponsored by Tucson Electric Power. Fans can watch all home games on All-Access, and most home games will be broadcast in-stadium on 103.3 FM with David Kelly and former UA softball player Erika Barnes describing the game action. Each game this weekend will be broadcast on KCUB 1290 AM.
The Era of the Long Ball
The Wildcats have 317 home runs in the past three seasons including the school-record 134 a year ago. The stretch makes this the sluggingest Wildcat three-year period in history, eclipsing by a substantial margin the 289 four-baggers the 2001-03 Wildcats socked. Ironically, the three-year period before this one UA had a slugging lull from 2005-07 with only 153 clouts.
BDP - RBI
Freshman third baseman Brigette Del Ponte has a chance at topping the Arizona freshman mark for runs batted in. She has 67 RBI. Catcher Leah Braatz knocked in 75 runs in 67 games in 1994. Del Ponte has her total in 49 games, good enough for second in the nation in RBI per games at 1.36. Then-freshman third baseman Toni Mascarenas had 73 RBI in 1998, First baseman/DP Leneah Manuma and catcher Mackenzie Vendergeest knocked in 61 apiece as freshmen in 2001.
Arizona has 12 grand slams this year, with freshman Brigette Del Ponte leading the way with five. Soph Lini Koria has four. The other three came from Brittany Lastrapes, Matty Haack and Kenzie Fowler. That's 48 quick RBI.
Home Run Tales
Along with the bases-loaded jacks, the Cats have 30 solo home runs, 28 two-run homers and 19 three-run blasts ... The Cats have hit 33 home runs with no outs, 31 home runs with one out, and 25 yard-balls with two outs ... UA has hit two or more homers in 29 games ... UA hit four against New Mexico State, St. John's (twice), New Mexico, UTEP and Stanford ... UA has hit two or more home runs in the same inning 17 times including a season-high three in the second inning against Purdue on Feb. 12.
Different Defense with Different Pitchers
· In games that Kenzie Fowler starts, the team is fielding .975 with 23 errors. Fowler has pitched 214.1 total innings this season and has appeared in 39 games, with 34 starts. The freshman has 28 complete games.
· In games that senior Sarah Akamine starts, the team fields at a clip of .959 with 19 errors. Akamine has appeared in 22 games, has started 17, and has 10 complete games. She has pitched 88 innings.
Even though Fowler's strikeout numbers outdo Akamine's by a rough margin of 4 to 1, when the ball is put in to play, the numbers show that defense is almost twice as likely to make an error with Akamine pitching.
When there have been two outs in an inning this season, Arizona has hit 137 RBI. It's a remarkable stat for a team that has given up a total of 98 RBI altogether. Leading the way is leadoff hitter Brittany Lastrapes, who has cashed in 25 RBI with two outs. Brigette Del Ponte is next with 21, and the freshman has hit three two-out homers, including a grand slam early in the season. Lauren Schutzler (16), Stacie Chambers (15) and Lini Koria (15) have also come up big in the clutch this season.
The Cats have knocked in 201 of their 364 total RBI off of home runs alone, accounting for roughly 55 percent of their season output. Of freshman Brigette Del Ponte's 67 total RBI, 50 of them have been driven in off home runs, about 75 percent. Here's where she and UA's next top five home run threats stack up in terms of HRBIs:
Player HR RBI HRBI % of RBIs off HRs
Brigette Del Ponte 19 67 50 75
Lini Koria 15 46 33 72
Baillie Kirker 7 26 14 54
Brittany Lastrapes 14 49 26 53
Stacie Chambers 15 58 29 50
K'Lee Arredondo 6 33 14 42
Hot Conference Bats
After batting a respectable .362 in the non-conference portion of the schedule, senior K'Lee Arredondo has ramped it up a bit in Pac-10 play, sporting a .406 batting average. The spurt has boosted her overall average to .379, a career-high at this point. Other hot conference sticks include the hottest bat right now, Karissa Buchanan. The sophomore turned in a .282 performance in non-league play, but has hit .422 since then, vaulting her overall average to a career-best .357. Not to be outdone, Lini Koria hit .279 in non-conference, but is hitting .326 in league play.