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NCAA SOFTBALL

UCLA Steals One From Canisius, 8-0

May 19, 2000|ERIC STEPHENS | From Staff Reports

Powerful hitting. Dominant pitching. Those two UCLA traits have long concerned the Bruins' softball opponents.

Now there is something else. Speed.

The Bruins set a team and NCAA tournament record with 10 stolen bases to dismantle Canisius, 8-0, in a first-round NCAA regional game limited to five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule Thursday at Easton Stadium. Kansas held the previous mark for stolen bases with seven, set last season.

UCLA (40-11-1) plays Long Beach State today at 12:30 p.m.

It's a new-look Bruin team. With power-hitting All-American catcher Stacey Nuveman last year, UCLA clubbed a school-record 95 home runs.

Without Nuveman, the defending national champion Bruins have found a new way to circle the bases. Shortstop Natasha Watley and second baseman Lyndsey Klein each swiped four.

"You take what the defense gives you," UCLA Coach Sue Enquist said. "The corners were way in and it created a big slot between second and third. We took advantage with a couple of double steals."

Watley, a freshman, needed only one season to tie the Bruins' career steal record with 31.

"We are more of a threat on the basepaths," she said.

Klein singled in the fourth, sparking a three-run inning, and doubled in two runs in the fifth.

Pitcher Amanda Freed gave up two hits and struck out six, improving her record to 22-7.

Florida State (49-25) used a three-hit shutout by Leslie Malerich to defeat Long Beach State, 2-0. The Seminoles will play Iowa at 3 p.m. in a winners' bracket game.

Iowa, seeded No. 2, defeated Bethune-Cookman, 9-1 in five innings.

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