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Women's College World Series: Championship Game

NCAA Women's College World Series
Don E. Porter
Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Weather: Partly cloudy, low 70s
Championship game: UCLA 1, California 0 -- FINAL (9 innings)

UCLA (54-7) 000 000 001 -- 1-6-1
California (49-20) 000 000 000 -- 0-0-0
Keira Goerl (UCLA) and
Kelly Anderson (Cal)
Winning Pitcher: Keira Goerl (40-7)
Losing Pitcher: Kelly Anderson (23-12)

For the first time since 1997 when UCLA and Arizona both appeared in the WCWS title game with one loss, both UCLA and Cal were fighting for the title after coming through the loser's bracket; both teams forced the if necessary game for the first time since the NCAA changed the championship format. In the first extra inning championship game since 1985 and UCLA's first no-hitter championship game ever, UCLA's Keira Goerl and California's Kelly Anderson were impressive on the mound. Goerl pitched her ninth no-hitter of her career.

Each team had at least two runners on base in at least one inning, but were unable to score. Although Cal first baseman Veronica Nelson was batting only .200 on the series, when she got the bat on the ball she hit two home runs and UCLA wasn't taking any chances: She was intentionally walked for all of her at-bats (four) - something she has called frustrating - during this game, bringing her total walks to 15 on the series. In a scene from last year's WCWS, the 2003 game went scoreless through the top of the seventh. UCLA finally scored in the top of the ninth with a leadoff double by Steph Ramos and a sacrifice bunt from Emily Zaplatosch and a Toria Auelua base hit to short that scored Ramos. Cal went down in three with two ground outs and a fly out to give UCLA its tenth national title and the only national title for the 2003 class.

WHAT THEY SAID

"I'm very proud of the team. It raised the bar for Cal softball. We have to keep our heads up because the things we did in the tournament were outstanding. It was just a really tough game. It was a championship game in every sense of the word. We played great defense, but failed to get the key hit with runners in scoring position. We've had problems with Keira in the past. She's an outstanding pitcher. The last two games were our best performance against her."  California head coach Diane Ninemire

"You have to look past the soreness. I just wanted to get my job done. I was a little too much on the plate with (Steph) Ramos."  Cal pitcher Kelly Anderson on pitching in the championship game after having pitched two games the day before.

"I wasn't frustrated because this game comes down to one run. When you get walked, there's nothing you can do but stand there. I have confidence in Mikella (her pinch hitter)."  Cal senior Veronica Nelson on her three intentional walks on the game.

"It's just an honor to be in the championship game. It was a team effort. I'm so proud of the team. Keira thrives on strapping the rest of the team on her back and that's what she did. I'm so excited for the senior class. They are the most unselfish group of Bruins I've ever coached. What will be defining is that we came back from the loser's bracket. We are so resilient; we are able to pick ourselves up after we shoot ourselves in the foot."  UCLA head coach Sue Enquist

"It's' the best feeling (to win). I've never felt so great. To end like this is just amazing. Keira's amazing. I truly believe she was playinig for us. It just goes to show she's definitely a great pitcher."  UCLA senior Natasha Watley

"I was just more focused and hitting my spots. After the error, I just moved on to the next batter. It was pretty amazing to throw a no-hitter in the championship game, but it's not really about me."  UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl

Go to NCAA Championships for the complete Women's College World Series schedule, including television coverage.