Duran's Leadoff Homer Propels UCLA Softball to Women's College World Series
May 28, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Pac-10 Player of the Year Andrea Duran homered and tripled and Anjelica Selden fanned 10 batters in a complete game victory as top-ranked UCLA advanced to the Women's College World Series for the eighth-straight year with a 3-1 victory over South Florida on Saturday afternoon at Easton Stadium.
UCLA won the best-of-three Super Regional over the Bulls, two games to none. UCLA improves to 48-7 on the year while USF ends the season with a 50-25 mark.
UCLA quickly jumped on top as Duran put the first pitch of the game from USF's Christi Ecks over the centerfield fence for her 13th home run of the season and sixth leadoff shot of the year.
USF looked to respond in the bottom of the first, getting a leadoff hit by pitch and an error by UCLA shortstop Jodie Legaspi to have runners on first and second with no one out. Just as she did on Friday, Selden put an end to the rally there with back-to-back strikeouts plus a one-hop ground out back to the circle.
The Bruins put two runners in scoring position in the third inning, opening the inning with a single by Tara Henry and a walk to Duran, but were unable to capitalize, leaving the score 1-0 through four innings of play.
In the top of the fifth, Duran led off with a triple off the right field wall, her team-best fifth of the season, and came home to score the second Bruin run of the game on a one-out single to right by Caitlin Benyi. Benyi would come around to score on the second career triple from Jodie Legaspi, a ground ball just fair down the third base line, making the score 3-0 in UCLA's favor.
Selden entered the seventh inning having retired 11-straight batters, but was greeted in the seventh with a double to right by Ashley Bullion. After two-straight strikeouts, pinch hitter Danielle Urbanik blooped a single to right field, bringing pinch runner Meghan Kowal around to score what would be the only run of the weekend for USF and, in the process, ending Selden's consecutive scoreless innings streak at 28 2/3.
Duran and Legaspi each went 2-for-3 in the win with Duran scoring two of UCLA's three runs. Legaspi added a double, triple and an RBI in the win.
Selden (33-5) went the distance, allowing just five hits and one run with 10 strikeouts and no walks. It marks the 19th time this season that Selden has fanned at least 10 batters. Ecks (24-12) took the loss for USF, allowing seven hits and three runs with seven strikeouts in five innings.
UCLA will face eighth-seeded Tennessee in their Women's College World Series opener on Thursday in Oklahoma City. The Lady Vols knocked off defending NCAA Champion Michigan in three games in the Knoxville Super Regional.
The exact times for the WCWS games will be announced later Sunday night, following the conclusion of the final Super Regional between California and Oregon State.