UCLA Falls to Michigan in Championship Series; Game Three Wednesday Night
June 7, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY - In the first year of the best-of-three Championship Series format at the Women's College World Series, the NCAA Division I Softball Championship will once again come down to a one game, winner take all format, as top-seeded Michigan defeated UCLA by a 5-2 score on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. The Bruins (40-19) were unable to capitalize on a 13-strikeout performance by Selden in the loss. UCLA won the coin flip to be designated the home team for Wednesday's 6:30 pm CT game, which will be televised live on ESPN.
For the second consecutive night, the game started as a pitching duel, with UCLA's Anjelica Selden sitting down the first 10 Wolverines she faced, while Michigan's Jennie Ritter retired the side in order in both the first and second innings.
Lisa Dodd started the Bruin rally in the third inning as she reached on a Tiffany Haas error, was sacrificed to second by Ashley Herrera and came around to score on the school record eighth double of the season by Andrea Duran. It was Duran's second hit of the WCWS and first RBI of the series.
Caitlin Benyi then led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a shot to left field for her team-leading 14th home run of the season. Emily Zaplatosch would follow with a double, but pinch runner Alissa Eno was unable to score, stranded at third base after three consecutive ground outs to end the inning and the threat.
UCLA took a 2-0 lead out of the fourth inning, but Michigan answered in the fifth, batting around and scoring four runs in the frame. Grace Leutele led off the inning with an infield single, but was thrown out on a fielders choice bunt by Stephanie Bercaw. Bercaw would then come around to score on the sixth home run of the season by Becky Marx, tying the game at 2-2 with one outin the inning. The Wolverine rally would continue, as Rebekah Milian singled and Haas reached on an error before Alessandra Giampaolo grounded out for the second out of the inning, leaving runners at second and third. A Jessica Merchant double would plate two additional unearned runs, giving the Wolverines a 4-2 lead.
Michigan would add a fifth run in the seventh inning as Giampaolo drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a Merchant single and scored on a Samantha Findlay single to right. Selden would strike out the last two batters of the inning, bringing her strikeout total on the night to 13.
The Bruins and Wolverines will return to the Don. E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium field on Wednesday, June 8, for the third and final game of the best-of-three series. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN. UCLA won the post-game coin flip and will be the home team for the deciding game of the Championship Series.