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Northwestern Ousts UCLA

From the Associated Press

Tammy Williams and Garland Cooper hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning as Northwestern beat top-seeded UCLA, 3-1, Sunday, knocking the Bruins out of the Women’s College World Series.

In a best-of-three championship series beginning today, fourth-seeded Northwestern (50-13) will face second-seeded Arizona, a 6-0 winner over eighth-seeded Tennessee on Sunday night. Arizona (52-11) lost, 1-0, to Tennessee earlier Sunday.

Northwestern’s win came after UCLA’s Kristen Dedmon provided late-inning dramatics. Dedmon, who drove in the winning runs with a pinch-hit single in the 2004 championship game, again came off the bench to force extra innings with a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the seventh.

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Williams and Cooper responded with consecutive home runs off Anjelica Selden (35-7) to put Northwestern in position to play for the NCAA title for the first time in school history.

Eileen Canney (26-7) struck out six in a six-hitter, and Jamie Dotson added a home run off Selden in the second inning for Northwestern, which is playing in its first Women’s College World Series since 1986.

UCLA (50-9) won’t play for the title for the first time since 2002. The Bruins won the championship in 2003 and ’04 and were the runners-up to Michigan last year.

The Big Ten didn’t have a representative in the championship for the first 23 years of the World Series and now has finalists in consecutive seasons.

Arizona, which has won seven national titles, will make its 11th championship-round appearance in 18 trips to the World Series, but its first since 2002.

In the second Arizona-Tennessee game, Arizona’s Alicia Hollowell (30-5) limited the Volunteers to a pair of singles while striking out 14 batters and walking none.

It was Tennessee’s worst loss in 25 NCAA postseason games. The Volunteers (61-12), making their second World Series appearance, finished third nationally for the second straight season.

Losing pitcher Monica Abbott (44-10) gave up nine hits, six runs (three earned) and struck out five. She finished the season as NCAA Division I’s wins leader.

Arizona scored twice in each of the first two innings, then added single runs in the third and sixth innings.

Jenae Leles had a two-run single in the first and Autumn Champion had a two-run single in the second. Champion drove in another run with a sixth-inning single. Laine Roth drove in a run with a single in the third.

In Tennessee’s 1-0 win, Katherine Card homered and Abbott threw a two-hitter, helping the Volunteers overcome a three-hitter by Hollowell.


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