Softball Downs Texas in Extra Innings
Feb. 24, 2001
AUSTIN, TX - An eighth inning home run by sophomore Toria Auelua pushed the top-ranked Bruins past No. 22 Texas at the Texas Invitational on Saturday night, 4-3. UCLA is now 18-0 on the 2001 season, and will play in the championship game of the 2001 Texas Invitational. The host Longhorns fall to 10-8 on the season. The Bruins left nine runners on base, including two in the top of the first inning. Freshman Keira Goerl got the start in the circle for UCLA and struggled in the home half of the first inning. After getting the first out of the inning, Goerl allowed singles to right fielder Kathleen Richter and first baseman Trisha Tatro. After getting a called third strike on DP Sarah Wieszcak, a walk to catcher Marlo Hanks loaded the bases for shortstop Tamara Poppe, who hit a three-RBI double and was thrown out at third base to end the inning. From that point, Goerl allowed only one hit and two base runners for the remainder of her seven innings in the circle. The Bruins chipped away at the Longhorn lead. In the third inning, center fielder Amanda Freed ledoff with a single to right field, followed by a single by Natasha Watley. The second of four walks to Stacey Nuveman loaded the bases for Courtney Dale. Dale fought hard at the plate, fouling off 12 pitches in a 17-pitch at-bat before hitting an RBI single to left field, scoring Freed for UCLA's first run of the ballgame. In the fifth inning, right fielder Tairia Mims ledoff with a double to right field. After Nuveman was intentionally walked, Claire Sua hit a two-out RBI single to right, scoring pinch runner Erin Rahn before left fielder Stephanie Ramos singled to right, bringing home Nuveman to tie the score at 3-3. The score remained tied until the top of the eighth inning. After a groundout by Ramos, third baseman Toria Auelua completed a perfect 4-for-4 evening by hitting her first home run of the season, a solo shot to left center. Freed entered the circle in the bottom of the eighth inning, allowing one hit between a strikeout and two pop outs to earn her first save of the season. With a perfect 3-0 record in pool play, UCLA will now face Wisconsin in the championship game of the Texas Invitational, as the Badgers defeated No. 11 Cal State Fullerton and No. 22 Texas on Saturday. Wisconsin's lone tournament defeat came at the hands of the Bruins, with a 12-1, five-inning score on Friday afternoon. The Texas Invitational championship game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. central time on Sunday.