OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – UCLA scored two runs in the top of the first and withstood a furious rally from LSU as the Bruins defeated the Tigers, 2-0 at the Women’s College World Series.
Lisa Dodd led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Keira Goerl tossed a complete game to pick up her ninth consecutive win.
“It was nice to see Keira get into a rhythm and pitching like she knows how to,” said UCLA head coach Sue Enquist. “I was disappointed that we did not make adjustments once Keira settled into her game, but overall it was a good victory for us.”
The Bruins exploded for four hits in the first inning off of LSU starter Kristin Schmidt, capped off by back-to-back RBI singles from Stephanie Ramos and Jodie Legaspi. Schmidt settled down and scattered just three hits in the final six innings in the losing effort.
“It was great to see us jump out so quickly,” said Enquist.
LSU had serious threats in the fourth and sixth innings. The Tigers had two runners on base with no outs in both frames, but failed to capitalize.
In the fourth, LaDonia Hughes led off with a bunt single, and was followed by Lauren Castle’s infield single. Leslie Klein filed out, Julie Wiese hit into a fielder’s choice and Leigh Ann Danos grounded out to end the inning.
Goerl took over in the sixth. After Camille Harris and LaDonia Hughes reached scoring position with no outs, Goerl proceeded to strike out Castle and Klein, then Wiese grounded out to end the inning.
“It is all about peaking at the right time,” said Goerl, who won five games in three days to lead the Bruins to the title last year. “There’s a part of me that gets stronger when runners get on base.”
During the rallies, the Tiger bats launched four long drives down the left field line that soared foul. LSU coach Yvette Girouard could not help but focus on the missed opportunities.
“We missed some golden opportunities,” said Girouard. “Yesterday we were able to have some breaks go our way. I thought that we just missed on some hits that could have broken the game wide open. We made some great adjustments, but when Keira absolutely needed to make a pitch, she did.”
UCLA advances in the WCWS winner’s bracket, and must lose twice on Sunday to avoid playing for their second straight national title. LSU will face the winner of Saturday’s Washington-Florida State game tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Notes from the Diamond
- UCLA is now 4-1 all-time against LSU, including a 2-0 mark at the WCWS.
- The Bruins have now won seven consecutive WCWS games, and 11 games overall. UCLA is now 75-23 all-time at the WCWS.
- Today’s game was the first time in the 2004 WCWS that the winning team was never behind.
- Lisa Dodd is now 6-for-8 (.750) in two games at the WCWS.
- Goerl has now won nine consecutive games dating back to a May 7 loss to California. She tossed her sixth shutouts in the past eight games.
- Camille Harris extended her hitting streak to eight games, while Caitlin Benyi’s 12-game streak was snapped with her 0-for-3 performance at the plate.