Lupe Brambila Homers to Defeat Oregon State
March 11, 2001
FRESNO, CA - Senior outfielder Lupe Brambila provided the game-winning dramatics, hitting a first pitch home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give UCLA the 3-2 win over No. 15 Oregon State. That win topped off a 2-0 day for the top-ranked Bruins, who had previously defeated New Mexico State with a 4-0 score. The Bruins enter the final game of the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic against No. 7 Fresno State with a 33-0 record.
In the first game of the day for the Bruins, against New Mexico State, UCLA opened the scoring in the third inning, when Erin Rahn led off the inning and reached on an error by Aggie shortstop Heather Nobbe. Rahn advanced to third on a double by Amanda Freed, and was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Tairia Mims.
Another run was plated in the fourth inning, and two more unearned runs scored in the sixth to finish off the 4-0 lead. Freshman Keira Goerl improved to 11-0 on the season, pitching six innings, striking out seven and walking one.
UCLA's second game of the day was a non-conference matchup against Pac-10 foe Oregon State in an exciting game that went down to the wire.
The Beavers opened the scoring with one run on three hits in the fourth inning. First baseman Shelly Prochaska opened with a one-out double to left field, and scored on a single by catcher Traci Feldt. Oregon State added another run in the sixth inning to take a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Bruins fought back to tie the game. Rahn again led off and reached on an error, this time a two-base error on a bad throw by Oregon State pitcher Crystal Draper. Freed followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Rahn to third base, and would score on a triple to right center by Bruin shortstop Natasha Watley. Watley would score on a wild pitch during Tairia Mims' at-bat, tying the game at 2-2.
Freed opened the top of the seventh inning by striking out Draper, then forcing two ground-outs to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, first baseman Claire Sua grounded to the shortstop Shawna Feldt for the first out of the inning, bringing Brambila to the plate. Brambila swung at the first putch, and put it well over the left field fence of Bulldog Diamond for the game-ending home run, her fourth round-tripper of the season. It was the first game-ending home run for UCLA since Crissy Buck ended the opening game of the 1999 NCAA Women's College World Series with her first career home run in the ninth inning against DePaul.
The Bruins, who are now 33-0, complete tournament play on Sunday afternoon with a 4 pm first pitch against host Fresno State.