Two home runs and a two-hit shutout from Anjelica Selden gave UCLA a 2-0 win over Texas that eliminated the Longhorns from the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Emily Zaplatosch, who finished a triple shy of the cycle and became the only player this season to get three hits off Texas starter Cat Osterman, hit one of the home runs, while Andrea Duran added an inside-the-park four-bagger to go along with the triple and home run she hit in a win over Alabama earlier Saturday afternoon.
Duran’s inside-the-park home run broke open a scoreless game in the third inning. The Bruins’ leadoff hitter hit a line drive to right, and it went past a diving Amber Hall and to the fence. Chez Sievers picked up the ball at the fence and threw it in to a cutting Desiree Williams. The throw to Megan Willis at home was in time, but Willis dropped the ball on the tag to allow Duran to cross the plate safely.
“I was trying to get around the tag,” Duran said. “I tried to tag the plate, and when I turned, I saw the ball had popped loose.”
“I was pleased with how we pressed them early and kept it on them,” UCLA head coach Sue Enquist said. “We forced them to make plays. We got great leadership, and Anjelica was emotionally disciplined, meaning she went pitch by pitch and stayed within herself. Everyone competed well tonight.”
The Duran home run gave Selden an added shot of confidence, and the sophomore responded by retiring 12 of straight until two outs in the seventh. Running her record to 35-6, Selden did not allow a Longhorn runner to reach second as she gave up three hits and struck out 12.
“I stayed more composed tonight,” Selden said. “I felt I managed my failures better than the earlier games.”
Osterman finished a stellar career Saturday evening. Concluding the 2006 campaign with a 38-4 mark, Osterman allowed two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in her final collegiate outing.
“It’s difficult to be done playing. I have to credit UCLA for coming out and playing hard,” Texas head coach Connie Clark said. “With our club, expectations were through the roof. We came up short, but I am very proud of our seniors. We competed well and played very hard.”
“When I got the last out on defense, I knew we’d come back or it would be over,” Osterman said. “Only one senior class goes out on top, and unfortunately, it’s not going to be us. We gave everything we had and left it all out on the field.”
The Bruins advance to face Northwestern in the other semifinal game Sunday at 2 p.m. That game follows the first semifinal match-up at noon between Arizona and Tennessee. Wins by Tennessee and UCLA would force if-necessary match-ups at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.