Jodie Legaspi’s fifth-inning single drove in the go-ahead run as UCLA held on to down Tennessee 3-1 Friday evening in a winner’s bracket contest at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Legaspi capped her perfect 2-for-2 day in the fifth as she delivered the single off Monica Abbott that allowed Tara Henry, who led off the frame with a walk and advanced on an error, to score the go-ahead run.
“We had a plan going in there, and staying true to that plan is a big thing,” Legaspi said. “In my at-bats, I was looking at hitting to the right side and also looking out for that inside pitch.”
The defending national champion Bruins jumped on Abbott in the bottom of the first as Henry singled with one out, advanced to second and scored on Emily Zaplatosch’s single up the middle.
“It was great to see us jump on Monica Abbott so early,” UCLA head coach Sue Enquist said. “I think that set the tone and gave us some ground.”
The run snapped Abbott’s scoreless innings streak at 43 and two-thirds innings. The Lady Volunteer sophomore, who has allowed just four runs, two earned, in her last 108 and a third innings, was touched for three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Anjelica Selden picked up her second win of the tournament as she gave up just one run on six hits with 10 strikeouts in the complete-game outing.
Tennessee’s only run on Selden came in the fourth when Tonya Callahan highlighted her 2-for-3, RBI day with a towering home run over the left field fence to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Bruins regained the lead on Legaspi’s base hit in the fifth, and they added an insurance run in the sixth as an Abbott throwing error allowed pinch runner Danesha Adams to score.
UCLA moves one win away from a third-straight national title, a feat that was last accomplished by the Bruins in 1988-1990 under Sharron Backus. They will face either Arizona, California, Michigan or Texas Sunday at noon, while the Lady Volunteers will face the winner of tomorrow’s 1 p.m. contest between DePaul and Alabama at 8 p.m. Saturday.