UCLA: LSU

Nikki Caldwell introduced at LSU

April, 4, 2011
4/04/11
6:13
PM PT
Former UCLA women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell was introduced to the LSU media on Monday afternoon. Click here for the full video of her 29-minute press conference.

Caldwell said her assistants at UCLA -- Stacie Terry, Tony Perotti and Tasha Butts -- would also be joining her in Baton Rouge. That means UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero has to replace an entire staff.

Three noteworthy snippets:

On her decision to leave Westwood

I left a very special place. It's special in so many ways because of not only the people there, but when you look at the athletes that have come through that program -- Jackie Joyner Kersee, Arthur Ashe, Jackie Robinson -- to me it's just a deeper appreciation for where the women's game is today. Leaving there was hard because it is a special place where, historically, people who made movements in athletics attended. Obviously you can't say enough about what coach (John) Wooden has meant to so many of us. Having an opportunity to sit down with him is unreal. I can't even explain being able to talk with him and sit with him. I think the first time we met was at a gymnastics meet. Coach Wooden really had an influence on (Tennessee) coach (Pat) Summit and then obviously she's filtered that to us.

On what she noticed when LSU visited UCLA last season

Seeing them up close I knew this program would only be destined for greatness. The attraction goes deeper than just that -- I want to be planted here, I wanted this to be my home, I want to be a part of LSU's family for a long, long time.

On the difficulty of her move

It was back and forth. It's a tough decision because you've built relationships there and you recruited young ladies to come to that institution. They've been nothing but great to myself and this staff. It was a tough decision to make when that's your first head coaching job. The intent is never that you want to leave. But when opportunities present themselves for yourself, for your family, you make the best decision you can for those reasons. I definitely don't want -- and I'm just going to say this -- to ever have to go through that again.

L.A. Regional: UCLA 6, LSU 3

June, 5, 2010
6/05/10
11:27
PM PT
Louisiana State baseball fans are notorious for not just traveling with the Tigers when they hit the road, but “taking over” opposing ballparks. That has been clear through two days in the Los Angeles Regional at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium. There has been enough purple and gold to satisfy a Lakers’ Finals party.

On Saturday night in front of a postseason-record crowd of 2,613 at Jackie Robinson Stadium, Bruins pitcher Trevor Bauer was the one who took over, helping UCLA to a 6-3 win by throwing eight shutdown innings. UCLA moved on in the winner’s bracket and will await the winner of Sunday’s elimination game between No. 2 seed LSU and No. 3 UC Irvine, which sent No. 4 Kent State home earlier Saturday.

“That dude had every pitch he wanted to throw,” LSU slugger Blake Dean said.

Bauer mixed his pitches well, often starting batters with curveballs and finishing with sliders off the plate. His fastball was alive early, perhaps due to the electric atmosphere created by the buzzing crowd.

He finished with 11 strikeouts, seven hits and three runs allowed in 8-plus innings (he gave way to closer Dan Klein without retiring a batter in the ninth).

“In different points in the game, different stuff was working,” Bauer said. “It was kind of a battle for me and I just tried to do the best with what I had.”

Freshman Cody Regis tagged LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo for a missile homer to left-center field leading off the second. He made it 2-0 Bruins by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the third. Another big fly by another freshman, this one being Jeff Gelalich, handed UCLA a 3-0 cushion.

A Beau Amaral run-scoring double made it 4-0 before Dean Espy cranked another home run. Espy added an RBI single in the ninth for the 6-0 advantage.

On this night, the support was plenty for Bauer.

“You just have to tip your hat to the guy,” Dean said.


The Associated Press The LSU Tigers are coming to Los Angeles and reportedly bringing all of Baton Rouge with them.


According to UCLA's Central Ticket Office, tickets to this weekend's Los Angeles Regional have been selling quickly. The tickets were made available at 10 a.m. PT Monday morning, and as 2 p.m., only about 100 general admission tickets and just a "handful" of full-session reserve seats remained.

The alarming thing for UCLA? A large chunk of the ticket sales have gone to fans of Louisiana State -- this according to UCLA's CTO.

UCLA added around 650 seats during the season to increase its chances of being selected as a regional host. UCLA was awarded that thanks to a 43-13 regular season. The Bruins were also awarded with toughest on-field group (LSU and UC Irvine are also ranked in the latest poll), but will those extra seats -- perhaps filled by opposing fans -- serve as an disadvantage this weekend?

Coach John Savage said he did not know if the school intended on installing more seats when asked Monday morning.

The Bruins, who earned the nation's No. 6 seeding and are hosting for the first time since 1986, begin play Friday night against Kent State. LSU and UC Irvine kick off the four-team mini tournament at 2 p.m. Friday.

Baseball: Los Angeles Regional field set

May, 31, 2010
5/31/10
1:11
PM PT
The UCLA baseball team will have to go through defending national champion LSU and local rival UC Irvine if it hopes to advance past the Los Angeles Regional next weekend.

That's perfectly fine for the Bruins, who erupted in their clubhouse at Jackie Robinson Stadium when they learned that they had received the NCAA Tournament's No. 6 overall seed on Monday morning.

"It's the best regional and it's definitely the toughest," junior pitcher Rob Rasmussen said. "But we wouldn't have it any other way."

Said sophomore infielder Tyler Rahmatulla: ""It doesn't matter who we play. We're just going to play the same way we've been playing all year."

UCLA will play No. 4-seeded Kent State (39-23) on Friday night, following the highly anticipated matchup between No. 2 LSU and No. 3 UC Irvine at the Jack. The losers of each game face off Saturday in a win-or-go-home scenario, while the winners play to move on in the winner's bracket.

The four-team Regional is already being pegged as the "Group of Death" -- and it's hard to argue against that. UCLA (43-13) finished second in the Pac-10 Conference, which sends eight of its 10 schools to the tournament. LSU won the SEC Tournament over the weekend, while UC Irvine (37-19) placed second in the Big West behind Cal State Fullerton. Kent State won five games last weekend to claim the Mid-American Conference Tournament title.

"We're very proud of what we've done," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "Earning a national seed is a big accomplishment. Certainly playing on the West Coast and playing in the Pac-10, to get out of that the way we did, shows a lot about the character of our team. We knew it was going to be a very difficult regional -- that's what the postseason is. There's no surprises."

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