Bruins blank Huskies

Keira Goerl pitched her 12th shutout of the season as the top ranked softball juggernaut from UCLA came into Husky Softball Stadium and defeated the 12th ranked Huskies 2-0 before 604 fans in the Pacific 10 conference opener for both teams.

Goerl took a bid for her fifth no-hitter of the season into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Jaime Clark broke it up when she smacked a hard grounder into the hole between second and third base for a single. With Clark aboard, and despite the lack of success against Goerl earlier in the contest, the Huskies still had a chance to tie the game if any batters following Clark could smack one out of the yard. However, Goerl retired cleanup hitter Kristen Rivera on a line drive to Amanda Freed in center field, struck out Amanda Oleson swinging and retired pinch hitter Courtney Jeffries on a ground ball to shortstop Natasha Watley to end the game.

With the win, Goerl improved to 16-2 for the season and lowered her Pac-10 leading earned run average from a miniscule 0.32 to 0.30. She also tossed her 17th complete game of the season. In addition to Clark's hit, she allowed only two other Huskies to reach base, Megan Owen on a one out walk in the third inning, and Steph Nicholson via a free pass in the sixth.

Tia Bollinger started and took the loss for the Huskies, dropping to 12-5 on the season. She pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing both Bruin tallies on five hits and four walks, with three strikeouts. The Bruins scored one run in the first inning and another in the sixth, and in both frames they had the bases loaded with a chance to break the game open. However, Toria Auelua hit a tapper to Bollinger in the first, and then in the sixth, reliever Leslie Scott induced Natasha Watley to hit a flare to Nicholson at second and Amanda Freed to pop out.

With the victory, UCLA improved to 33-3 overall and 1-0 in the conference, while the Huskies dropped to 29-9 and 0-1 in the Pac-10. The two teams play the finale of their brief two game series at Husky Softball Stadium on Saturday, with game time set for 2 p.m.

Diamond Notes: With her single in the seventh, Clark not only broke up Goerl's no-hit bid, but she also extended two personal streaks. First, dating back to a 2-1 victory over Oregon State on May 4, 2001, Clark has now reached base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch at least once in her last 48 games. She also extended her current hitting streak to 13 games.

Goerl's shutout marks the 21st time in 36 games during 2002 that UCLA has held an opponent scoreless in a game. Also, the Bruins have not allowed any opponent to score more than three runs in a game this year, with Long Beach State owning the distinction as the only team to reach the three run mark. Top Stories