WCWS: UCLA surges past Oregon 7-1
An intra-conference clash resulted in a 1-1 day for Pac-12 softball in the opening day of play at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City with UCLA beating Oregon 7-1. Seventh-seeded UCLA will face third-seeded Michigan Friday night at approximately 6:30 p.m. PT in the winners’ bracket, while second-seeded Oregon will play sixth-seeded Alabama in an elimination game Saturday at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Second-inning solo homers from Stephany LaRosa and Gabrielle Maurice and a five-run sixth propelled UCLA to a 7-1 triumph over Oregon in the nightcap in Oklahoma City.
After a 1-2-3 top of the first, LaRosa hit her seventh home run in the last eight games with a shot to center field to lead off the second, while Maurice followed three batters later with a blast to left.
Still a 2-0 game heading into the latter innings, UCLA put it on ice with five runs in the sixth with all runners crossing the plate with two outs. With runners on second and third and two down, Mysha Sataraka popped one to shallow right, but Oregon right fielder Alyssa Gillespie couldn’t hold it in her glove as she hit the grass in her diving attempt for the fly ball, giving Sataraka a two-run double. Maurice then struck out swinging but advanced to first on a wild pitch when Oregon catcher Janelle Lindvall couldn’t locate the ball. This allowed Gracie Goulder to smack an RBI single to center and Kylee Perez to register a two-run base-knock as well.
LaRosa’s homer was her 20th of the season, while Maurice’s was her 10th. LaRosa now has a 16-game hit streak.
Oregon scored one run in the bottom of the seventh and had runners on second and third with two outs but could not do any further damage. First pitch was delayed by nearly an hour due to a weather delay in the preceding Alabama-Michigan game, and there was also a lightning delay of about 50 minutes in the third.
Two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year Ally Carda was stout in the circle, allowing just the one run on six hits while walking just one and striking out three. She got out of back-to-back two-on, no-out jams in the third and fourth innings without allowing the Ducks to tack on a crooked number. She did have to labor a bit to get the complete game, totaling 125 pitches on the evening.
— UCLA Softball (@UCLASoftball) May 29, 2015
The Ducks had their chances but could not capitalize when it counted. Oregon had runners on first and second with nobody out in both the third and fourth innings but couldn’t score. In the third, Janie Takeda lined one sharply right back to the pitcher Carda, who tossed it to first for an easy double play. In the fourth, Geri Ann Glasco’s fly ball to center was too shallow to advance a runner and Koral Costa struck out swinging. A pinch-hitting Lauren Lindvall singled to load the bases, but Gillespie hit a sharp ground ball to third to end the inning.
An RBI single by Lauren Lindvall in the bottom of the seventh put the Ducks on the board. She went 2-2 with an RBI in pinch-hitting duties.
Pitcher Cheridan Hawkins’ line of eight hits and seven earned runs in 5.2 innings of work does not do her justice. Five of those runs came with two outs in the sixth, an inning that would have been a bagel for UCLA had Gillespie been able to complete a very tough catch. UCLA also scored three runs after what would have been the third out of the inning on Hawkins’ wild-pitch strikeout of Gabrielle Maurice.
Oregon falls to 2-2 against UCLA. The Ducks took two of three from the Bruins in conference play in Los Angeles during the first weekend of April.
— Oregon Duck Softball (@OregonSB) May 29, 2015
Pac-12.com will have continued coverage of the Women's College World Series as long as Oregon and UCLA are still alive.