NCAA Softball Regionals: UCLA tosses no-hitter, Cal, Utah, Oregon, Washington get wins on day 1
Nisa Ontiveros' two-hit complete game led the Cal Bears to a 1-0 win over Texas State in the Tuscaloosa Regional.
Ontiveros retired nine straight Bobcats, five of them on strikeouts, before Kelli Baker's leadoff single in the fourth.
But the senior kept cool, notching two more strikeouts and allowing just one more hit and no walks through her 14th complete game and third shutout of the year.
The Bears had her back, making sure to get Ontiveros some run support. Lindsay Rood got the bottom of the fourth started with a double and moved on to third on a Bobcat error. Annie Aldrete took her home on a sac fly for the only run of the game.
Fly out! Nisa Ontiveros fires a two-hit shutout and Cal beats Texas St. 1-0 in the first game of the NCAA Regional! pic.twitter.com/VBbe5rEFCa
— Cal Softball (@CalSoftball) May 20, 2016
The Sun Devils just couldn't catch up with McNeese State, falling 5-2 in the Baton Rouge Regional. The Cowgirls tallied those five runs on nine hits off ASU's Kelsey Kessler.
On the other side, McNeese State's Emily Vincent allowed just two runs on one hit en route to her complete game. The Devils answered the Cowgirls' early lead with a two-run third innings.
Fa Leilua drew a four-pitch walk, advanced to third on two wild pitches, and safely scored after the catcher missed the play at home on Jenn Soria's fielder's choice. Sashel Palacios punched the Devils' final run with a sacrifice fly to score Abby Spiel.
But McNeese pulled ahead in the fourth with a solo homer from Erika Piancastelli off a 2-2 pitch. The Cowgirls plated two more for the dagger.
FINAL | McNeese State 5, ASU 2. Devils will fall to the elimination bracket. Play the loser of LSU/LIU Brooklyn tomorrow.
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) May 20, 2016
The Utes got the Pac-12 off to a great start Friday morning in NCAA regional play, grabbing a 1-0 win over Illinois in Lexington. Miranda Viramontes pitched 6.2 innings of shutout ball and struck out six Fighting Illini.
Illinois' Breanna Wonderly kept her team in it, though, holding Utah's bats to just five hits and one run in a complete game. The Utes could only get to her in the third. Kay Kay Fronda, who went 3-for-3, hit a one-out single and stole second to get things started. Anissa Urtez capitalized, crushing a two-out single to left field to bring Fronda home.
Viramontes kept Illinois frozen at the plate until the seventh. A late Illinois rally saw Annie Fleming get into scoring position after a leadoff single and sacrifice bunt. Viramontes then struck out Remeny Perez, but walked Emily Brodner to put the go-ahead run at first.
This called for Katie Donovan to come on for the save. After walking the bases loaded, she mowed down Kylie Johnson on three pitches to seal the victory. The Utes will take on the winner of this afternoon's Kentucky/Butler game on Saturday.
— Utah Softball (@Utah_Softball) May 20, 2016
A four-run top of the 7th took the wind out of Oregon State Friday in a 5-2 regional-opening loss to South Carolina Upstate at Auburn.
Oregon State took a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to a Natalie Hampton sacrifice fly that scored McKenna Arriola, but the Spartans steadily climbed back into the game, tying it at 1-1 in the fifth with a Megan Obier RBI double.
In the 7th, the Spartans punched hard, tacking on four more runs that included a two-run dinger from Amy Szymanowski. The Beavers could only answer with a one-run rally before the Spartans' Lexi Shubert shut it all down. Shubert pitched a complete game, holding the Beavs to just two runs on 10 hits.
Hampton's two runs batted in tied her own school record for most RBI in a single season. The Beavers must win tomorrow against either Auburn or Jacksonville State to stay alive.
— Oregon St. Softball (@OregonStateSB) May 20, 2016
In an otherwise ordinary day for Pac-12 softball, UCLA's Johanna Grauer was anything but ordinary against CSU Bakersfield. After a grand slam from Gabrielle Maurice put the Bruins up 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the stage belonged to Grauer and Grauer alone.
The Bruins' starter retired 20-straight batters, relenting no runs, no walks, and no hits with just one out to go. A perfect game was on the line when Grauer gave up a 2-out walk that ended her bid. Grauer had every excuse in the world to let frustration sink in. Instead, with a no-hitter on the line, Grauer gathered herself, and then struck out Runners' outfielder Selena Gonzalez to complete her triumph into UCLA softball folklore with a no-hitter in an NCAA women's softball regional game.
— UCLA Softball (@UCLASoftball) May 21, 2016
Washington brought an all-out offensive assault against Weber State on Friday. The Huskies and Golden Gophers went blow-for-blow in the early going, trading runs in the first and second innings. Julia DePonte broke the game open with her second triple of the afternoon, driving in a pair that would put the Huskies up 7-4 in the second. A bases-clearing double would put the contest out of reach with the purple and gold taking a 10-4 advantage in the third.
Washington would go on to defeat Weber State 14-6 and advance to play in the winner bracket against Minnesota Saturday at 1 pm PST.
Washington wins the regional opener against Weber State! Julia DePonte hit two triples and a double! pic.twitter.com/RGWTcKJPe7
— UW Husky Softball (@UWSoftball) May 21, 2016
Oregon would have an even easier time against Fordham, winning 8-0 in a run-rule effort thanks to eight runs on 14 total hits. Six different Ducks would record RBI’s, with Alyssa Gillespie leading the way with two.
Oregon will play Baylor on Saturday at 2 pm PST in the winners bracket.
— Oregon Duck Softball (@OregonSB) May 21, 2016