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College World Series: UCLA gets off to a bad start

College World Series: UCLA gets off to a bad start
UCLA's Paige McDuffee pitches against Auburn during the Bruins opener at the Women's College World Series on June 2. (Nate Billings / Associated Press)

First pitch, one hit batter.

The rest was uphill for UCLA in a 10-3 loss to Auburn in an opener at the Women's College World Series on Thursday.

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Sophomore pitcher Selina Ta'amilo struck the first batter on a high inside pitch — her first pitch of the game. The Tigers followed with a double and a fly out before Ta'amilo, who has a 3.52 earned-run average, walked a hitter and hit the next, forcing in a run.

Bruins Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez called for a pitching change and Ta'amilo's day was over after facing five batters.

Junior Paige McDuffee didn't fare much better when she came on in relief with the bases loaded.

McDuffee earned an out before two pitches got away, hitting back-to-back hitters.

Auburn scored five runs, two unearned, in the first inning

"That wasn't our game plan, coming in for Game 1," Inouye-Perez said after the game.

McDuffee said that she tried to forget each miscue. "I try to separate everything," she said. "I just move on to the next pitch if something happens. I am 100 percent on to the next pitch."

Auburn Coach Clint Myers said it was an "unusual" way start a game.

Errors extended innings

The Bruins, usually a sound defensive team, committed three costly errors. Six of Auburn's 10 runs were unearned.

With two outs in the first inning, first baseman Brianna Tautalafua was unable to handle a throw from second baseman Kylee Perez. Two runs scored on the play.

In the bottom of the third, third baseman Mysha Sataraka mishandled a bunt. Two runs scored later in the inning because of the play.

And in the sixth, with two outs, shortstop Delany Spaulding was charged with an error. Two runs scored on the next play.

Sataraka goes long

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Sataraka drove in all three of UCLA's runs in the fourth inning when she hit a 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence.

It was Sataraka's 14th home run of the season. She was named a second-team All-American before Thursday's game.

"Just all around it wasn't the greatest game," Sataraka said. "Yeah, I got the hit. [We] just kind of have to learn from what happened today, take it and move on to the next game. That's all we can do now."

The Bruins had seven hits but left five runners on base.

UCLA to face Florida State

The Bruins, a No. 12 seed in the 64-team tournament, will play Florida State, seeded eighth, in an elimination game Saturday.

"This team has been very resilient, this team hasn't been perfect," Inouye-Perez said, adding, "I believe with your backs against the wall is when you kind of kick in with experience and our program has experience in this position."

The Bruins earned a trip to the World Series after dropping a super regional opener to Oregon and bouncing back to defeat the Ducks twice in one day at Eugene.

"If we just take it pitch by pitch, and like Coach said have a short-term memory. We know our backs are against the wall and we just have to fight," McDuffee said. "It just gives us confidence and we know we have to go for it."

Florida State committed seven errors in an opener and lost to Georgia, 5-4.

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry

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