Two Tairia Mims Homers Power UCLA Past Cal in Eight Innings.
March 30, 2003
BERKELEY, CA - Solo home runs by Tairia Mims in the first and eighth innings powered the Bruins to an eight-inning victory over California by a 4-1 margin. The victory improves UCLA's record to 31-2 on the year, and the Bruins remain undefeated in Pac-10 play with a 3-0 record. Cal falls to 29-9 (1-2 Pac-10) with the loss.
After Natasha Watley opened the game with a single for the Bruins, Tairia Mims got the Bruins on the board with a solo home run in the top of the first, a shot down the right field line for her 11th of the season.
The Golden Bears loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on a lead-off single by Vicky Galindo followed by a walk to Lindsay James, and a one-out walk to Veronica Nelson. The Bruin defense then capitalized on two fielders choices, both to Natasha Watley at shortstop. Kaleo Eldridge was the first Cal batter to ground to Watley, who threw to Emily Zaplatosch at the plate for the second out of the inning, before Chelsea Spencer grounded to Watley who took the ball to the bag at third for the final out of the inning.
The Bruins nearly added a run in the third inning, as Monique Mejia led off with a single, but was out on a fielders choice when Andrea Duran's bunt was fielded by the Cal pitcher. Duran would advance to second base on a single by Watley, her second of the game, but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Tairia Mims single with two outs, ending the ending.
Consecutive Bruin errors to start the bottom of the sixth inning ignited a Cal rally. Kaleo Eldridge led off and reached on an error, then a Lindsay James bunt was mis-handled, allowing Eldredge to advance to third base. Jessica Pamanian popped out while attempting a bunt, but Spencer was able to advance to second, giving the Bears two runners in scoring position with one out. Eldridge then tried to score on a squeeze play, but the bunt was fouled and Zaplatosch was able to track down the ball quickly and caught Eldridge in a rundown between third base and the plate for the second out, before Manahan struck out on the following pitch to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cal's Kristen Morley drew a lead-off walk, and was sacrificed to second by Galindo. A ground-out by James advanced Morely to third, bringing Courtney Scott to the plate with two outs. Scott delivered, hitting the fence in left center, and scoring Morley. It was the first earned run allowed by Bruin pitcher Keira Goerl in 98 innings in the circle.
After an intentional walk issued to Cal first baseman Veronica Nelson, Goerl walked Eldredge before getting Chelsea Spencer to strike out looking to end the inning and send the game to extra innings.
With one out in the top of the eighth inning, Bruin designated player Tairia Mims gave the Bruins a much-needed run, nailing her second home run of the day, this one into the parking lot beyond the left field fence. Claire Sua followed with a single that chopped over the Cal third baseman's head, and was replaced by Amanda Simpson to run the bases. Simpson would come around to score when Emily Zaplatosch followed the example set by Mims, and hit a two-out first-pitch home run to give UCLA a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Goerl got the Golden Bears to go down in order, striking out Manahan and Morley to end the game. Goerl improved to 21-2 on the season with the victory, striking out eight.
UCLA returns to action with its first Pac-10 home games next weekend, hosting Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 pm on Friday and Saturday with Sunday's game scheduled for a 1 pm start. All games will be played at UCLA's Easton Stadium. Both Arizona schools are undefeated through the first weekend of Pac-10 play.
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