It's an annual spring offering at UCLA, like Thetas in shorts and tank tops, Zetes in Hawaiian shirts and thongs and surfboards strapped to the back of Daddy's Mercedes. It's called Cruising for Guys 101, and it meets every weekday afternoon about 2:30 near the athletic complex. It's a pass/fail course for as many units as you like.
"Let's cut through Pauley Pavilion," says Tracy Compton, a sophomore pitcher on the UCLA women's softball team.
"Naw, let's go around," says Debbie Doom, another sophomore pitcher. "I'm not into it."
"This way's shorter," Compton says, dragging Doom in to check out the action. On the courts several pickup basketball games are in progress. In the stands sit three UCLA basketball players, including Kenny Fields. Compton downshifts. Doom, uninterested, unfazed and just along for the ride, keeps walking. She wants to get to softball practice.
"When you going to pitch to me?" Fields says.
"Never," Compton says, flashing a flirtatious grin. Doom shakes her head.
"All the guys think they can hit us," Compton says as she nears the door. "Especially the basketball team. We practice inside when it's raining, and they're always bugging us. Last year, we pitched against Wilt Chamberlain. I struck him out on three pitches."
"I slowed the ball down and let him get a hit," Doom says, closing the door behind them.
"Now," Compton says, "wasn't that fun?" Doom rolls her eyes.
Compton and Doom are the best pair of softball pitchers in the country and the two biggest reasons why UCLA is a good bet to win its second straight championship at the NCAA finals, beginning May 25 in Omaha. Both are righthanders, tall—Compton is 5'10", Doom 6'1"—and have minuscule ERAs. But they are as different as Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Mead.