Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

AdvertiseDonateSubmit
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

UCLA softball shuts out Florida State in first Women’s College World Series matchup

After an infield single, No. 2 seed UCLA softball’s redshirt junior infielder Kinsley Washington scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a play at the plate. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

Softball


No. 10 seed Florida State0
No. 2 seed UCLA4

By Coral Smith

June 3, 2021 9:52 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY — In a pitcher’s duel to open up the tournament, the Bruins came out on top.

No. 2 seed UCLA softball (47-5, 19-2 Pac-12) defeated No. 10 seed Florida State (44-11-1, 26-5-1 ACC) in the opening round of the Women’s College World Series 4-0. The Bruins scored all four of their runs in the fifth inning or later, which coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said was a result of the entire lineup making adjustments to the Seminoles’ pitcher.

“I told the team afterwards, every single one of my hitters made an adjustment tonight, so I’m really proud,” Inouye-Perez said. “I think that’s the strength of our team. You may fail in the beginning, but then your ability to adjust and get better is awesome.”

The starting pitchers on both teams had ERAs in the top 10 nationally, with redshirt senior pitcher Rachel Garcia’s at 0.95 and Florida State’s Kathryn Sandercock’s at 1.09, giving the indication that Thursday’s contest would be a battle in the circle.

The Seminoles had multiple chances to make something happen with runners on, as Garcia allowed at least one baserunner per inning in the first four frames. But timely outs and strong defensive plays kept Florida State off the scoreboard. One such play came from redshirt sophomore utility Anna Vines, who made a diving stop and threw out a batter from her knees to make an out in the third inning.

Vines also recorded the first hit for UCLA in the bottom of the third, beating out the throw from the shortstop on a short bouncing ball up the middle. But in that inning and the next, the Bruins also couldn’t start a rally despite getting a runner on base.

With the game looking like a classic pitcher’s duel, it was UCLA that broke the stalemate in the bottom of the fifth inning. Redshirt junior infielder Kinsley Washington singled and advanced to second base on a throwing error, giving the Bruins their first runner in scoring position.

And it was Vines, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, who brought Washington in on her second infield single of the game. As Vines beat out the throw to first, Washington rounded third base and dove into home, avoiding the catcher’s tag and giving UCLA the one-run lead.

“I just wanted to put my team in the best position to win in any way that I can, so it was awesome to be able to do that on defense and on offense,” Vines said.

The Bruins broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth, stretching their lead to 4-0. Redshirt junior outfielder Aaliyah Jordan singled, and after pinch runner freshman Lauryn Carter advanced to second, redshirt junior infielder Delanie Wisz brought her in on an RBI double.

This was enough to chase Sandercock from the game, but it wasn’t the end for the UCLA offense. After striking out in her first two at-bats, redshirt freshman Maya Brady hit a towering ball over the wall in right-center for a two-run home run.

Thursday’s contest marked the first appearance at the WCWS for Vines, Wisz, and Brady, each of whom recorded their first hit and their first RBIs at the tournament in their careers.

“For those new Bruins … we’re here to create memories, and those are some pretty special memories for their first time being here in Oklahoma City,” Inouye-Perez said.

Needing three more outs to secure the victory, Garcia got it done, recording her 11th strikeout of the game to complete the shutout. Garcia had help on the last out from redshirt junior infielder Briana Perez, who laid out to catch a pop up near second base for the final out. Garcia said knowing she has her defense behind her ready to make plays pumps her up and gives her confidence.

“I know my team’s going to have my back,” Garcia said. “(Vines and Perez) making those phenomenal plays behind me gives me the confidence knowing that in any situation, whether there’s a runner in scoring position, or two outs, I know my team will have my back.”

With the Bruins’ win, they advance to face No. 3 seed Alabama in the winner’s bracket Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Coral Smith | Sports senior staff
Smith is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the gymnastics and softball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the softball, gymnastics, women's volleyball, swim & dive and rowing beats. Smith was previously a staff writer on the softball, women's volleyball, rowing and swim & dive beats.
Smith is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the gymnastics and softball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the softball, gymnastics, women's volleyball, swim & dive and rowing beats. Smith was previously a staff writer on the softball, women's volleyball, rowing and swim & dive beats.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
More classifieds »
Related Posts