OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Kristen Dedmon hit a clutch pinch hit single that scored two runs, proving to be the winning runs as UCLA knocked off California 3-1 to win its second consecutive national championship.
Dedmon’s game-winner capped off a three-run inning for the Bruins. Claire Sua led off the inning with a first-pitch home run to left center, then Dedmon delivered her hit with two outs in the inning.
Cal pitcher Kelly Anderson, who was the losing pitcher for the second straight title game, had thrown a perfect game through the first four innings.
For UCLA, it was the school’s 11th national championship, the first since Arizona claimed the 1996 and 1997 national championships.
“It is hard to pack in our emotions,” said UCLA head coach Sue Enquist. “Everything that we learned all year we had to apply in this tournament. We had to believe.”
The final was the 11th time in the last 14 years that both teams hailed from the Pac 10. The Pac 10 has now won 18 of 23 titles, including 15 of the last 17.
“We are extremely proud that it was an all Pac-10 final,” said Enquist. “We take pride in the competitive level that we play.”
UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl won her fourth game of the tournament, allowing only one run on a Jessica Pamanian RBI single in the first inning.
“I was proud that our team was able to come out and set the tone,” said California head coach Diane Ninemire, who led the Bears to the title in 2002. “It was important for us to get off to a good start. Unfortunately we fell behind in the fifth inning.”
Kristina Thorson relieved Anderson for an inning, and the two combined for five perfect innings, and only allowed two hits. Cal was able to manage seven hits, but left nine runners on base.
UCLA and Cal combined for seven of the 12 members of the all-tournament team, led by pitchers Keira Goerl and Kelly Anderson.
Members of the WCWS All-Tournament team were Kelly Anderson, California; Caitlyn Benyi, UCLA; Lisa Dodd, UCLA; Christina Enea, Oklahoma; Vicky Galindo, California; Keira Goerl, UCLA; Camille Harris, LSU; Lauren Lappin, Stanford, Jodie Legaspi, UCLA; Jessica Pamanian, California, Jessica van der Linden, Florida State. LSU pitcher Kristin Schmidt was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.