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Women's College World Series: Championship Game
NCAA Women's College World Series
For the first time since 1997 when UCLA and Arizona both appeared in the WCWS title gamewith one loss, both UCLA and Cal were fighting for the title after coming through theloser'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 andUCLA's first no-hitter championship game ever, UCLA's Keira Goerl and California's KellyAnderson 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 toscore. Although Cal first baseman Veronica Nelson was batting only .200 on the series, whenshe got the bat on the ball she hit two home runs and UCLA wasn't taking any chances: Shewas intentionally walked for all of her at-bats (four) - something she has calledfrustrating - during this game, bringing her total walks to 15 on the series. In a scenefrom 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 wentdown in three with two ground outs and a fly out to give UCLA its tenth national title andthe 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 ourheads up because the things we did in the tournament were outstanding. It was just a reallytough game. It was a championship game in every sense of the word. We played greatdefense, but failed to get the key hit with runners in scoring position. We've hadproblems with Keira in the past. She's an outstanding pitcher. The last two games wereour best performance against her."
"You have to look past the soreness. I just wanted to get my job done. I was a littletoo much on the plate with (Steph) Ramos."
"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 pinchhitter)."
"It's just an honor to be in the championship game. It was a team effort. I'm soproud 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 ofBruins I've ever coached. What will be defining is that we came back from the loser'sbracket. We are so resilient; we are able to pick ourselves up after we shoot ourselvesin the foot."
"It's' the best feeling (to win). I've never felt so great. To end like this is justamazing. Keira's amazing. I truly believe she was playinig for us. It just goes to showshe's definitely a great pitcher."
"I was just more focused and hitting my spots. After the error, I just moved on to thenext batter. It was pretty amazing to throw a no-hitter in the championship game, butit's not really about me."
Go to NCAA Championships for the complete Women's College World Series schedule, including television coverage.