SportsScope : Pepperdine Reigns on Diamond for 6th Straight Year--NCAA Tourney Next

The Pepperdine baseball team claimed its sixth straight West Coast Athletic Conference Championship by defeating archrival Loyola Marymount three times last weekend.

Ranked No. 14 by Collegiate Baseball, the Waves (40-14-1 overall and 20-4 in league) also clinched their fifth consecutive NCAA tournament berth by winning the conference title. Four regular-season games remain. Pairings and seedings for the 48-team tournament will be announced May 22.

Pepperdine plays host to Stanford, the two-time defending NCAA champion, on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

"I thought our team played with a tremendous amount of intensity last weekend," first-year Coach Andy Lopez said. "I was extremely proud of the team's effort. It is a great feeling to win the conference championship and secure a tournament berth, but everyone realizes there is more work to be done this season."

Dating to March 31, Pepperdine has won 23 of 25 games.

Junior right-handed pitcher Britt Craven, senior center fielder and relief pitcher Rick Hirtensteiner and Lopez each garnered top WCAC honors as five Pepperdine players were named to the All-WCAC first team in a vote by league coaches.

Craven and Hirtensteiner were joined on the first team by junior left fielder Richard Barwell, junior right-hander Wayne Helm and senior second baseman Matt Howard. Sophomore right fielder Jalal Leach and junior shortstop Chris Martin were second-team selections.

Craven, 10-2 overall with a 3.05 ERA, who defeated all six WCAC opponents, was named Pitcher of the Year. Hirtensteiner, a three-time WCAC first-team selection, leads the Waves in batting average (.379), runs (66) and home runs (12). He also appeared in 10 games in relief and recorded a 3-1 record plus three saves and a 2.12 ERA. Lopez was named Coach of the Year.

The Pepperdine men's tennis team is waiting for the announcement on Sunday of pairings and seedings for the 20-team NCAA tournament to be played at Athens, Ga.

According to NCAA guidelines, the top team from each of the nation's eight regions must be selected, and the remaining 12 teams are chosen on an at-large basis. Since four of the regions are not represented by teams in the Top 20, the No. 17 Waves find themselves in a precarious position in the viewpoint of the selection committee.

"I do believe our team is deserving of an NCAA Tournament bid," said Pepperdine co-Coach Allen Fox. "Our schedule was extremely tough. All of our losses were to top-ranked teams, and we also beat a few quality opponents such as (No. 12) Clemson and (No. 8) TCU."

The No. 11-seeded Pepperdine women's tennis team, 17-8 in dual matches, will meet the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes today at Gainesville in a first-round match in the NCAA championships. Miami is 18-5.

"We are excited about our chances of pulling off an upset or two," Pepperdine Coach Gualberto Escudero said. "The team is well rested. Our lineup has the potential to be extremely dangerous. The match against Miami figures to be extremely close."

The No. 1 UCLA women's softball team clinched the Pacific-10 title for the second year in a row by sweeping No. 5 Oregon, 3-2, 2-0, and Oregon State, 2-0, 6-0. The Bruins (39-4 overall and 16-2 in Pac-10) will wind up the regular season at home against No. 15 Arizona State in a conference double-header at Sunset Field Saturday at 1 p.m. Before the game UCLA seniors Janice Parks, Karen Walker, Monice Tourville and Samantha Ford will be honored.

Last weekend Ford, who had 15 strikeouts, pitched the first perfect game and no-hitter of her college career in blanking Oregon State. Freshman outfielder Yvonne Gutierrez of Culver City High hit six for 15, including two doubles and one triple, and scored four runs.

The UCLA women's tennis team has been seeded No. 3 in the NCAA championships this week at the University of Florida. The Bruins will play the winner of the Arizona-Texas A & M match today.

The singles and doubles championships will be played Monday through May 18. Bruins selected for the individual tournament in singles are third-ranked sophomore Jessica Emmons, sophomore Stella Sampras, freshman Alysia May of the Westlake School for Girls in Holmby Hills and freshman Mamie Ceniza. Sampras and Ceniza, the Pacific-10 doubles champions, along with the team of Emmons and May are in doubles competition.

The UCLA women's crew will compete in the Pacific-10 championships Friday through Sunday at Lake Natoma.

UCLA track team senior David Wilson and sophomore McArthur Anderson led the men and sophomore Tonya Sedwick paced the Bruin women at a non-scoring collegiate meet at Brigham Young University in Provo on Monday.

Wilson set a school record of 220-0 feet in the hammer. It broke his own record of 218-5 set last year. Wilson also won the shot put with a personal best of 64-5.

Anderson won the long jump in 23-11 1/2 and triple jump in 51-3 1/2.

Sedwick won the 100-meter sprint in 11.66 and ran a seasonal best of 57.36 in the 400-meter hurdles.

On Saturday, members of both teams will compete at the Occidental Invitational in order to qualify for the Pacific-10 and NCAA championships. Some Bruin women will be at the Oregon Twilight Invitational at Eugene.

The Pepperdine men's volleyball team has signed three high school prospects to letters of intent: Tim Sorenson, a 6-6 middle blocker from Racine, Wis.; Duane Cameron, a 6-5 outside hitter from Marina High in Huntington Beach, and Greg Shankle, a 6-7 middle blocker from Mira Costa High.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World