UCLA Downs Cal in NCAA Softball Championship, 3-1

May 31, 2004

By JEFF LATZKE
Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY - Claire Sua homered and Kristen Dedmon hit a tiebreakingtwo-run single to lead UCLA to its second straight NCAA softball championshipand 10th overall with a 3-1 victory over California on Monday night.

The Bruins became the first team to win back-to-back championships sinceArizona in 1996-97.

Keira Goerl, who pitched a nine-inning no-hitter as UCLA beat Cal 1-0 inlast year's title game, beat the Golden Bears again but wasn't nearly asdominant.

Goerl (31-7) allowed seven hits in becoming only the third pitcher to winback-to-back championship games. Arizona's Susie Parra in 1993-1994 and UCLA'sDebbie Doom in 1984-85 also accomplished the feat.

Making its third straight appearance in the title game, California was up1-0 and pitcher Kelly Anderson (25-9) was perfect through four innings.

Leading off the fifth, Sua hit Anderson's first pitch over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game 1-1.

Anderson hit the next batter, Stephanie Ramos, in the back and walked JodieLegaspi on six pitches before being replaced by Kristina Thorson. AmandaSimpson pinch-ran for Ramos, Tara Henry pinch-ran for Legaspi and EmilyZaplatosch bunted them both up a base.

After Michelle Turner struck out looking, Dedmon hit a 1-1 pitch fromThorson to center. Simpson scored easily and Henry had to reach around catcherHaley Woods to touch a corner of home plate.

Cal coach Diane Ninemire argued that Henry missed the plate and televisionreplays were inconclusive.

Jessica Pamanian had an RBI single in the first inning as the Golden Bearsmade sure Goerl (31-7) didn't throw no-hitters in consecutive championshipgames.

Lindsay James walked with one out in the first and moved to second whenWoods singled to left. After Goerl struck out Kaleo Eldredge, Pamanian hit aone-hopper that skipped off third base and popped down the left-field line.

James rounded third and scored just ahead of left fielder Julie Hoshizaki'sthrow.

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