No. 1 UCLA Slips Past No. 8 Softball, 5-3

April 24, 2002

LOS ANGLES - UCLA's Claire Sua hit a grand slam to cap a five-run sixth inning, as the top-ranked Bruins rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the No. 8 Washington softball team Wednesday, 5-3, at Easton Stadium. With the loss, the Huskies fell to 37-14 and 6-6 in the Pac-10, while the Bruins improved to 41-6 and 9-3 in conference play.

UCLA began the game with base runners in each of the first three innings. A ground ball double play, hit by All-American Stacey Nuveman, ended a first and second situation with two outs in the first, while a ground out and a foul out stopped the Bruin threat with a runner on third base in the third.

After going down in order in the first two innings, the UW found themselves with the bases loaded and one out after a hit by pitch, a fielder's choice and an error. The next batter, sophomore Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.), bounced into a force out at the plate on her first pitch before UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl got junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) to go down looking.

Despite the threat in the third, the Huskies first hit did not come until the top of the fourth when freshman Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) doubled. Rivera, however, did not advance another base, as Goerl struck out both Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and Kathy Fiske (Temecula, Calif.), before getting Courtney Jeffries (Eugene, Ore.) to pop up to shortstop.

Washington continued to have scoring opportunities in the fifth. Sophomore Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) opened the inning by drawing a walk, before Goerl struck out freshman Steph Nicholson (Tucson, Ariz.). The next batter, senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.) then recorded the team's second hit of the afternoon to put runners at first and second.

Following a Roach ground out to advance both Owen and Simpson, UCLA elected to intentionallywalk Clark, who had struck out in each of her first two at-bats. The Bruins' choice to walk Clark, bringing up Rivera, backfired when Rivera hit her second double of the game, just off the glove of third baseman Toria Auelua to give the UW a 2-0 advantage.

The Huskies added another run an inning later when Fiske belted Goerl's first pitch of the sixth over the fence in right-center field for her seventh home run of the season, and second versus the Bruins.

UCLA came alive in the bottom of the sixth as both Natasha Watley and Amanda Freed reached base on singles to chase starter Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.), who was replaced by freshman Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.), out of the game.

Scott's first pitch hit first baseman Tairia Mims to load the bases for Nuveman, who responded with an RBI up the middle to cut the Husky lead to 3-1.

Scott was then lifted for classmate Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.), who stuck out Stephanie Ramos for the first out of the inning. Boek, however, wasn't so lucky against designated player Sua, who hit the 1-1 pitch over the right-center field fence for a grand slam and the 5-3 lead.

The Huskies were unable to rally back in their last at-bat in the seventh, as Goerl (22-4) retired the side in order to preserve the 5-3 win.

Scott ended up taking the loss in the circle to fall to 6-5 on the season. UCLA's five runs in the sixth were the first earned runs allowed by the Husky pitching staff in 37 consecutive innings, as the team's five-game win streak also came to an end.

Washington continues its four-game road trip in California, beginning with a Friday evening game at No. 7 Stanford and finishing with a two-game stint at No. 6 California, April 27-28.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002 -
#8 Washington at #1 UCLA - Easton Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Score By Innings R H E
UW 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 4 0
UCLA 0 0 0 0 0 5 X 5 8 1

E - Goerl DP - UW 1 LOB: UW 6, UCLA 3
2B - Rivera 2, Auelua HR - Fiske, Sua
SB - Watley SH - Owen, Rahn
WP - Keira Goerl (22-4) LP - Leslie Scott (6-5)
(Bollinger, Scott (6), Boek (6) and Rivera, Goerl and Nuveman)

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