Because UCLA had been the home team in Friday night’s game against Sacramento State and Cal State Fullerton had been the visitor in their game against Texas State, the Titans were the home team and the Bruins were the away team for their game on Saturday afternoon.
That meant that Cal State Fullerton would bat last and that, and a costly errorby Briana Perez, may have made a difference in the result of Saturday’s game between the Bruins and the Titans,
In the bottom of the third, Cal State Fullerton scored first when Shianne Brannan scored on a fielder’s choice to give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
UCLA got the run back in the top of the fourth when Brianna Tautalafua singled up the middle. That hit and a subsequent error by Titan center fielder Ari Williams scored Imani Johnson, who had pinch-run for Madeline Jelenicki, to tie the game up, 1-1.
Fullerton re-took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Sammie Vandiver, but the Titan pitcher Trish Parks couldn’t hold that lead either. Parks walked Kinsley Washington in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded to tie the game at 2-2.
That forced the game into extra innings and it stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth when Vandiver hit a ball to Briana Perez who couldn’t get a handle on it which allowed Brannan to score for the second time in the game and the Titans walked off with the win.
That put the Bruins in the elimination bracket of the Regional and forced them to play a game last night against Texas State, who eliminated Sacramento State after the UCLA-Cal State Fullerton game.
The game between the Bruins and the Bobcats wasn’t close at all.
UCLA scored two runs in bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Rachel Garcia. That scored Kylee Perez, initially. After the throw back into the infield went to Texas State shortstop Arial Ortiz and she started to chase Aaliyah Jordan down, Briana Perez made the heads up play and took off for home. Ortiz’ throw was too late and it was 2-0, Bruins.
The Bobcats scored their only run of the game in the second inning on an RBI single.
In the bottom of third, UCLA added four insurance runs. First, Jordan homered to center and, later, Bubba Nickles hit a three-run homer to right center and the rout was on.
UCLA added 8 runs in the bottom of the fourth with RBI doubles by Briana Perez and Garcia as well as five RBI singles to push the lead to 14-1.
Holly Azevedo gave up a walk in the top of the fifth, but the Bruins turned a double play and Azevedo struck out the last batter to give UCLA a 5-inning, mercy rule win.
This afternoon, the Bruins will face Cal State Fullerton in another elimination game in which they should be the visiting team again. UCLA will have to beat the Titans to prevent elimination and force a deciding game if they want to keep their WCWS hopes alive.
This is your NCAA Softball Los Angeles Regional, Day 3 open thread.
Go Bruins!!! Bring home 117!!!