The UCLA softball team is in Oklahoma City today for the Women’s College World Series. Today, they will play the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Game #2 of the WCWS. The winner of today’s game will face 6-seed Arizona tomorrow after the Wildcats defeated the 3-seed Washington Huskies in Game #1 this morning. Today’s game was scheduled to start at 11:30 am PT, but has been delayed by the Arizona-Washington game going to extra innings.
While the Bruins game is delayed because the Arizona-Washington game ran long, the Bruins will face a Golden Gopher team which has won five in a row. The Gophers got to the WCWS by sweeping the LSU Tigers, 5-3 and 3-0, in the Minneapolis Super Regional last weekend.
In the Minneapolis Regional, Minnesota won all three games they played. They first beat North Dakota State before playing the Georgia Bulldogs twice.
During the regular season, the Gophers finished third in a close Big Ten race with a 20-2 conference record which Michigan won with a 22-1 conference record and Northwestern finished in second with a 21-2 record.
Overall, Minnesota doesn’t look like a very dangerous team. They played two Pac-12 opponents this season. They beat the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, 4-0, in February and dropped a 2-0 game to Arizona to start March.
Before the tournament began, the Golden Gophers seemed to have trouble against teams from the South. They lost to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida.
Their main starter has been junior Amber Fiser, who started 44 of their 58 games. Fiser is 31-7 on the year and has a 1.17 ERA. She is Minnesota’s best chance to keep the Bruin offense in check as opponents are hitting just .167 against her.
Offensively, the Gophers have four starters who are hitting .299 or higher. Junior MaKenna Partain leads the team with a .392 batting average and she’s also a threat on the basepaths where she has stolen 13 bases on 15 attempts. Sophomore Hope Brandner is the Gophers’ biggest long ball threat and she leads the team in home runs with 19 while freshman Natalie DenHartog has the team’s best slugging percentage with .789.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Women’s College World Series open thread.
Go Bruins! Bring home 118!!!