#7 Cal Upsets #2 UCLA, 7-3 in 10 Innings
May 23, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - No. 7 seed and defending national champion California (46-18) scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning and snapped its 16-game losing streak to UCLA (49-7) with a 7-3 win against the No. 2 seeded Bruins Thursday evening in the opening round of the Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Bears batted around in the top of the 10th inning, taking full advantage of their two hits and three UCLA errors. Courtney Scott led off the inning with a single through the right side and advanced to second after Veronica Nelson's second intentional walk of the night. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Kaleo Eldredge hit one back to UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl whose pair of errors on the play allowed Scott to score. Chelsea Spencer knocked a single down the left field allowing Nelson to score from third. And then with two outs, UCLA third baseman Tairia Mims' third error of the game permitted Spencer and Eldredge to come home.
After being held hitless through the first four innings, the Bears finally got to Goerl in the fifth inning as they managed three hits and took advantage of a pair of Bruin errors in plating two runs. Haley Woods led off with a single to center and was replaced by pinch runner LeAnna Hoglen. Eldredge then launched a double to the left field that scored Hoglen. Spencer put down a sacrifice bunt, but the play at third was mishandled allowing Spencer to advance to second. Kristen Morley beat out a slap to load the bases with one out. Vicky Galindo hit a hard grounder that Mims couldn't grab hold of which allowed Eldredge to score.
Nelson added Cal's other run with a lead-off home run to left field in the top of the sixth. It was her 12th of the year and 54th of her career, a mark that is tied for ninth in the NCAA record books.
UCLA got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Natasha Watley singled to left center and after being sacrificed to second base, came around to score on a double to left field by Mims. The run allowed was the first given up by Cal in its last 49 2/3 postseason innings.
Cal looked to have the game in hand after left fielder Lindsay James caught a deep shot by Caitlin Benyi for the second out of the seventh inning. But with a runner on second, Mims took the first pitch she saw over the left field fence to tie the score at 3-3 and send the game into extra innings.
Kelly Anderson pitched eight strong innings, allowing three runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. Kristina Thorson came on in relief in the top of the ninth and faced just six batters over two innings, with two strikeouts, to pick up the win and improve her record to 15-7. Meanwhile, Goerl, the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, was lit up for seven runs, three earned, and eight hits over 10 innings. She did, however, pick up 13 strikeouts.
Cal's win snaps UCLA's 16-game win streak against the Golden Bears that dates back to a 6-0 win April 25, 1998. The seven runs scored also was the most that the Bears have scored against the Bruins since an 8-1 win in 1998. This is the first win against UCLA for any of the players on Cal's roster.
The win is Cal's 13th straight postseason win dating to last year's national championship season.
Cal advances in the winner's bracket and will face Texas (48-7) Friday, May 23 at 5 p.m. PDT. The other winner's bracket game pits top-seeded Arizona (55-5) and No. 5 Washington (45-14-1) and will begin at 2:30 p.m. PDT.
NCAA Softball Results at Hall of Fame StadiumOklahoma City, Okla.
California 000 021 000 4 - 7 8 2UCLA 001 000 200 0 - 3 5 6
Anderson, Thorson (9) and Scott. Goerl and Zaplatosch.W - Thorson (15-7). L - Goerl (35-7).HR: Cal-Nelson (12); Mims (20). 2B: Cal-Eldredge (6); UCLA-Mims (17).
Records:Cal: 46-18UCLA: 49-7