UCLA wins berth in NCAA Super Regional
This was business as usual.
UCLA’s softball team played Fresno State. UCLA beat Fresno State.
The bonus package this time was a spot in an NCAA Super Regional following a 9-5 victory in front of an announced 452 people at UCLA’s Easton Stadium on Sunday. The Bruins (44-9) will play Missouri in a three-game series, which will begin Friday at UCLA.
UCLA scored seven runs in the second inning, three on a triple by GiOnna DiSalvatore that erased a 3-2 Fresno State lead.
The Bruins have won 18 of their last 19 games and their victory Sunday was their 12th consecutive over the Bulldogs. Fresno State’s last victory against UCLA was March 12, 2000.
“My first game at UCLA was a championship game against Fresno State [in 1989],” UCLA Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “I have a lot of respect for their program. But at this point of the season, things like streaks and stats are fine, but for us it was one more step to getting back to Oklahoma City [for the College World Series].”
The one glitch for the Bruins was the loss of first baseman Megan Langenfeld, who left after the first inning after injuring her left ankle during warmups.
Langenfeld, 16-1 as a pitcher, has been slowed this season by a left ankle injury.
“Langenfeld is fine,” Inouye-Perez said. “At this time of year, everyone has aches and pains. It was a good opportunity to rest her.”
Her loss Sunday could have been problematic after Fresno State (38-20) took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
A Bulldogs victory would have forced a second game Sunday. That became unnecessary after the second inning.
Julie Burney led off the second with a home run, one of three home runs by the Bruins.
Amanda Kamekona, who drove in four runs, and Andrea Harrison also had home runs.
“This time of year, it all comes down to clutch hitting,” Inouye-Perez said.
Pitcher Donna Kerr struggled at times but went the distance for the victory.
Fresno State’s five runs nearly doubled its total against UCLA during the losing streak, where the Bruins have out-scored the Bulldogs, 59-11, in those 12 games.
That included 10-2 and 4-2 victories this season.