Krista Colburn's 10th Inning Walk-Off Home Run Beats Michigan
March 15, 2006
LOS ANGELES - A two-run walk-off 10th-inning home run by sophomore outfielder Krista Colburn completed a marathon rematch of last year's NCAA Championship Series teams with UCLA earning the 6-4 victory. Colburn's home run was the fifth homer of the night for UCLA, and the seventh combined home run of the night. Third-ranked UCLA is now 27-1 on the season while Michigan falls to 11-6.
Colburn recorded the first hit of the game with one out in the bottom of the first inning, roping a single through the right side of the infield. She would finish with three hits in the game, all to the right side of the diamond.
The first run of the game came on a leadoff home run to centerfield by junior shortstop Jodie Legaspi, her eighth of the season.
Michigan tied the game in the top of the third inning, parlaying a leadoff walk to Allison Kidman into a run when a Bruin error turned a sacrifice bunt into runners on second and third base with no outs. A single by Tiffany Haas tied the game, but UCLA was able to hold, getting a groundout by Stephanie Bercaw and a fly-out by Alessandra Giampaolo before intentionally walking Samantha Findlay to load the bases. Becky Marx then grounded into a fielders choice with Andrea Duran handling the out at third base to end the inning and the threat.
After the Bruins went down in order in the bottom of the third and Michigan went quietly in the top of the fourth, Caitlin Benyi returned the lead to UCLA, putting her sixth home run of the season over the centerfield fence to lead off the fourth inning. UCLA took that lead into the fifth when a one-out shot just over the left field fence by Ashley Herrera increased UCLA's lead to 3-1.
Michigan answered in the sixth, with a leadoff home run just inches over the fence down the left field line by Marx to cut UCLA's lead to one run at 3-2. Selden would then hit the next two batters, who were sacrificed into scoring position by Allison Kidman, but the next two batters grounded out to Legaspi to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Bercaw led off for Michigan with a bunt single. Selden responded by striking out Giampaolo, but Samantha Findlay, the heroine of Michigan's 2005 title run, connected on a two-run home run to give the Wolverines a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, junior designated player Whitney Holum stepped into the box and smashed her first home run of the season and second of her career over the right field fence to tie the game. Although Herrera would walk as the next batter and advance to second on a wild pitch, the Bruins could not push the game-winning run across the plate in the seventh, sending the game to extra innings.
Michigan threatened in the eighth with a two-out single from Haas, who stole second base, but Bercaw popped out to end the inning and the threat. UCLA went down in order in the eighth and ninth, with Michigan earning just one baserunner over those two innings, when the Bruins pitched around Findlay for a walk in the ninth.
In the 10th inning, with the game exceeding the three-hour mark, the Wolverines once again went quietly with the bottom three batters in the lineup being retired in order by UCLA pitcher Anjelica Selden.
Herrera led off the bottom half of the 10th inning for the Bruins with a walk and stole second on the strikeout pitch to Tara Henry. After Andrea Duran flew out to centerfield, Krista Colburn took an 0-2 pitch from Michigan's Jennie Ritter over the right field fence to give the Bruins the walk-off victory. It was Colburn's third home run of the season and was her third hit of the day.
In the circle, Selden finished with 10 strikeouts for her 15th win of the season.
UCLA will now take 10 days away from competition in order to allow the student-athletes to focus on winter quarter final exams. The Bruins will next take to the field on March 25 in Northridge, Calif., for a 1 pm game against the Cal State Northridge Matadors.