Bruins Drop WCWS Opener, 4-3, to Tennessee
June 2, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Playing deep into the Oklahoma City night, the top-seeded UCLA softball team dropped its Women's College World Series opener by a score of 4-3 to Tennessee. The game ended after 2 am local time in Oklahoma City. It did not start until 11:20 pm central time because of two extra-inning games and a rain delay earlier in the day's schedule.
The Bruins return to the Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium diamond on Saturday at 11 am Pacific Time against Alabama in an elimination game. The last time the Bruins dropped their WCWS opener was in the 2003 Series, but UCLA would come back to win five games out of the losers bracket to capture the NCAA Championship.
UCLA opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Krista Colburn reached on a throwing error by Lady Vols shortstop Lindsay Schutzler, advancing to second base on the play. Caitlin Benyi followed with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Colburn from second to give UCLA a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.
After going down in order in the second, the Bruins struck again in the third inning. Pac-10 Player of the Year Andrea Duran led off the inning with her sixth triple of the season and came home on an RBI single to left field by Colburn. Benyi was hit in the helmet by a Monica Abbott pitch to give the Bruins two runners on with no outs in the inning, but UCLA was unable to push an additional run across the plate.
In the top of the sixth, the Lady Vols put together five straight singles, putting three runs home to take a 3-2 lead. Tennessee loaded the bases again in the seventh with two singles from Sarah Fekete and India Chiles followed by an intentional walk to Tonya Callahan. Katherine Card then grounded into a fielders choice with the second out of the inning at the plate, bringing up Kristi Durant, who singled up the middle, bringing home Chiles for a two-run lead, but Callahan was gunned down at the plate for the third and final out.
UCLA rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning with a one-out single from Benyi. Jodie Legaspi was hit by a two-out pitch and Lisa Dodd connected on an RBI single to left, plating Benyi from second base to make it a one-run ball game, but UCLA was unable to tie the game, falling by a 4-3 margin.
The Bruins will return to action at 11 am Pacific Time on Saturday in an elimination game against Alabama. The game will be televised live by ESPN.