The UCLA Softball team is heading to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City after sweeping the Missouri Tigers in the Super Regional on Sunday. With an overall 7th seed, the Bruins hosted both the Los Angeles Regional last weekend (beating CSUN, Texas and San Diego State) and the Super Regional this weekend against the Tigers, giving them home field advantage.
UCLA took full advantage of that and did what they could not do last year and make it past the Super Regional after winning the first of a three-game series.
On Saturday, UCLA beat Missouri 7-4 in Game 1 of the series. The Bruins were down by three runs early in that game as the Tigers found themselves with a 4-1 lead in the top of the 3rd inning. In the next three innings, UCLA added 6 runs and blanked Missouri the rest of the game giving UCLA a 1-0 lead in the Super Regional.
Today, the Bruins finished the job, but not without a little drama. Missouri had the 1-0 lead in the 1st inning, but exploded on the Tigers in the 2nd with four runs. Maddy Jelenicki and Gabrielle Maurice had started things off for UCLA as they got the first two runs for the Bruins. Then UCLA ace Ally Carda smashed one over the wall for a two-run homer to put UCLA up 4-1. But it was still far from over.
In the 3rd, Mysha Sataraka crushed one for the second UCLA homer of the game with a Bruin on base to take the 6-1 lead. In the 4th inning, Stephany LaRosa hit the third home run of the game for the Bruins with two on, giving the UCLA a 9-1 lead with a chance of the game being called due to the mercy rule, but Missouri was not done either.
With their season on the line, the Tigers managed five more runs (with three in the 6th inning). That forced the Bruin coaches to pull Carda from the mound who pitched in every inning of the Super Regional. She was replaced with freshman Selina Ta’amilo to close out. Though it was a risky move, the change paid off as Ta’amilo had thrown 2 strike outs in the final inning to help solidify the Bruin victory and punch their ticket to Oklahoma City.
The Bruins will meet Pac-12 foes the Oregon Ducks on Thursday in the first round of the double-elimination bracket. The Bruins played the Ducks for one series this season, winning 1 out of the 3 games played.