Michigan Breaks UCLA Softball Title Streak with 10-Inning Win
June 8, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY - In the third and deciding game of the first-ever Women's College World Series Championship Series, the Bruins lost a 10-inning thriller to Michigan by a score of 4-1. It is the seventh time that the Bruins (40-20) have finished runner-up in the WCWS as opposed to a nation-leading 11 National Championship.
The Bruins struck first, getting on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out solo home run by Lisa Dodd, her seventh of the season.
That 1-0 UCLA lead would hold until the top of the sixth inning when Tiffany Haas led off the inning with a single. Alessandra Giampaolo followed by drawing a walk and Jessica Merchant then loaded the bases with a single just fair down the left field line. A Samantha Findlay single to shallow right field plated Haas to tie the game before Andrea Duran made a spectacular defensive play for the Bruins at third base, snagging a hard-hit line drive just fair down the right field line and tagging Giampaolo for an unassisted double play and the first two outs of the inning. Selden escaped the inning without further damage when she struck out Grace Leutele for the final out of the inning.
From that point, neither team was able to mount much of an offensive threat until the bottom of the ninth inning when Kristen Dedmon led off the inning with a double to left center and pinch runner Jaisa Creps was sacrificed to third by Krista Colburn. The Wolverines then chose to pitch around Lisa Dodd, walking her to give UCLA runners on the corner with one out. After Ashley Herrera popped out for the second out of the inning, Duran was intentionally walked to load the bases and Tara Henry, who had previously been pinch-hit for, grounded out to end the inning and the Bruin threat.
Michigan took that defensive momentum and converted it to offense in the top of the 10th inning. Haas started the one-out rally, reaching base on UCLA's WCWS-leading seventh error of the tournament. That was followed by a single from Giampaolo before Merchant struck out for the second out of the inning. The error would then become costly, as Samantha Findlay connected on her team-high 21st home run to give Michigan a 4-1 lead.
UCLA would have one base runner in the 10th as Emily Zaplatosch reached on a fielding error, but it was not enough as Michigan recorded the final two outs needed for its first softball NCAA Title.
UCLA freshman pitcher Anjelica Selden finished a record-breaking season in the circle with her 28th double-figure strikeout game of the season as she had 10 K's in tonight's game. Selden finished with 485 strikeouts on the season, good for second place on the Pac-10's all-time single-season list and 11th place in NCAA Division I single-season history.
Tonight marked the final game in the career of senior Nicole Sandberg. The remaining 16 players on UCLA's lineup card for the deciding game of the Championship Series are expected to return for the 2006 season.
The Bruins had four players on the Women's College World Series All-Tournament team, including Krista Colburn, Jodie Legaspi, Emily Zaplatosch and Anjelica Selden. Michigan's Samantha Findlay was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Also named to the All-Tournament team were Stephanie Bercaw, Jessica Merchant and Jennie Ritter of Michigan, Monica Abbott, Tonya Callahan and Katherine Card from Tennessee, and Cat Osterman of Texas.