The Bruins are heading back to Oklahoma City after a five-year absence. UCLA won the Los Angeles Super Regional today by beating the Missouri Tigers by a score of 10-6 and winning the series 2-0.
Missouri scored first in the bottom of the first when Taylor Gadbois scored on a single by Amanda Sanchez. But Ally Carda stormed back to retire the next three batters, leaving the bases loaded for the Tigers.
It was all Bruins in the middle innings as UCLA scored 4 in the top of the 2nd, 2 more in the top of the 3rd and 3 more in the top of the 4th.
Maddy Jalenicki started the second off with a double to center. After Gabrielle Maurice walked, Mysha Sataraka singled home Jalenicki to tie the game. Kylee Perez drove Maurice in on a fielding error by Tiger second baseman Sami Fagan. Bruin shortstop Delaney Spaulding made the score 4-1 on a two-run homer to right.
Mysha Sataraka hit a two-run homer in the top of the 3rd to make it 6-1 Bruins and Stephany La Rosa hit a three-run homer in the top of the 4th to give the Bruins an eight-run lead.
All the Bruins had to do now was shut the door on the Tigers in the fourth and fifth innings for an 8-run mercy-rule win.
But Missouri fought back. In the bottom of the fifth, Kirsten Mack singled to center, scoring Fagan even though it looked like she was out on the throw home from Allexis Bennett to catcher La Rosa. The run made it 9-2 and prevented Missouri from being eliminated.
Ally Carda started the top of the 6th with a double to center. Jessica Amaral pinch-ran for Carda and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by La Rosa, giving the Bruins a 10-2 lead and, again, putting the Tigers on the brink of a mercy-rule loss.
Tiger first baseman Kelsea Roth started the bottom of the 6th with a homer to left center to give Missouri a shred of hope. The Tigers tacked on two more to head into the 7th inning down 10-5.
Roth homered again to start the bottom of the seventh and that was all for Carda. Freshman Selina Ta'amilo came in to get the final three outs and nail down the win for UCLA and send the team to Oklahoma City for their first Women's College World Series since 2010.
UCLA will face a familiar foe when they get there. The #7 seed Bruins will be looking for payback on Thursday when they meet the #2 seed Oregon Ducks who took two of three games from the Bruins the first weekend in April when the teams met at Easton Stadium.
Thursday's game time is 6:30pm PT and will air on ESPN2.
Go Bruins!!! And, bring home #113!!!