In her first NCAA Tournament game last night, Bruin freshman Rachel Garcia threw a no-hitter. In fact, Garcia was just one hit batter away from throwing a perfect game.
As good as Garcia was last night, the Bruins’ offense was just as good.
In the bottom of the third, Delaney Spaulding started a four-run Bruin rally with a solo shot to center. Kylee Perez followed with a single and scored when Brianna Tautalafua doubled to center. Madeline Jelenicki then hit a two-run shot to center to make it 4-0, UCLA.
In the bottom of the fourth, Lehigh replaced starter Christine Crawford with Emily Sorem, but the results were similar. Sorem walked UCLA catcher Paige Halstead. Jenna Crawford pinch ran for Halstead. Zoe Shaw advanced Crawford to third on a single and throwing error. Spaulding drove both runners in when she doubled to center to give the Bruins and Garcia a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tautalafua homered to almost the same spot as Spaulding’s earlier homer and the Bruins led 7-0. Jelenicki singled to put the winning run on base. Imani Johnson pinch ran for Jelenicki and advanced to third when Gabrielle Maurice doubled to right. Johnson then scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Bubba Nickles, giving UCLA an 8-0 lead and the mercy rule win.
This afternoon, the Bruins face the San Jose State Spartans who defeated Cal State Fullerton 3-0 yesterday. The Spartans will serve as the home team for the game despite the fact that the game is being played at Easton Stadium, due to NCAA rules.
If UCLA plays like they did last night, they should advance to tomorrow’s regional finals. The loser of this game has to play again tonight at 7pm against the winner of Game 4 which follows the Bruins’ game.
This is your Los Angeles Regional Day 2 open thread.