The Bruins are the 2019 NCAA Softball national champions.
In tonight’s game, the Bruins picked right back up where they left off last night. After Rachel Garcia held the Sooners scoreless in the top of the first despite giving up a lead-off double, Bubba Nickles and Briana Perez put two of the first four pitches over the left field wall to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Taylor Pack reached on a error. Brianna Tautalafua singled, moving Pack to second, and Colleen Sullivan drew a walk. But Kinsley Washington grounded down the first base line to end the inning.
In the third inning, the teams traded home runs. Oklahoma, as the visiting team, got theirs first in the top of the inning, but the Bruins responded when Aaliyah Jordan homered to start the bottom half of the inning. The Bruins had an opportunity to score more when they loaded the bases with two outs, but Kelly Inouye-Perez overmanaged the situation and pinch-hit Quarles for Pac-12 batting champ Kelli Godin and Quarles struck out to end the inning.
The Sooners were able to tie the game, 3-3, in the top of the fourth when they scored a pair of runs on an RBI single and an RBI double.
Brianna Tautalafua continued her tear in the Finals as she hit her second home run in two games in the fifth inning to give UCLA a 4-3 lead. With neither team scoring in the sixth, the Sooners were running out of outs.
Rachel Garcia got the first two outs right away on fly outs to center and to left. She had the Sooners down to their final two strikes, but Shay Knighten got a hold of one and sent it over the fence in left center to tie the game, 4-4.
So, the Bruins came to bat in the bottom of the seventh and, if they were going to win the national championship tonight, it would be with a walk-off. Taylor Pack starts the inning with a single and, in one of the more bizarre moves of the night, Tautalafua laid down a bunt to move Pack to second. It made no sense because, despite her struggles at the plate, Tautalafua was dominant against the Sooners. That brought Colleen Sullivan up with one out. Sullivan hit a grounder to short for a fielder’s choice with Pack getting thrown out at third. When Sullivan took second on a wild pitch, Jacqui Prober came in to pinch-run for her. Kinsley Washington was next and she hit a bloop single to left. Prober rounded third and headed for home where she avoided the tag from Sooner catcher Lynnsie Elam.
The Bruins win, 5-4, on a walk-off single! UCLA had won the school’s 118th NCAA title!
Congratulations to the twelve-time NCAA Softball Champions!