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WCWS Championship Game: UCLA 3, Washington 2
UCLA 3, Washington 2
THE GAME: UCLA jumped on Washington early, scoring twice in the first inning on Julie Adams' two-run single and again in the second when pitcher Courtney Dale led off with her sixth home run of the season and her second of the WCWS. Washington, which put its leadoff batter on base six times in seven innings, got one of those runs back in the second. Pitcher Jennifer Spediacci led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Melissa Downs and scored on Erin Helgeland's single to center. The Huskies scored again in the seventh. Jamie Graves, who pinch-ran in the fourth inning and replaced Spediacci in the pitchers' circle in the seventh, led off with an infield hit. Graves advanced to second and then third on infield outs and scored when Kim DePaul beat out an infield hit with a dust-raising slide into the bag at first, just ahead of the throw. The crowd of 4,472 roared mightily when Washington scored its second run, but the UCLA contingent had the last roar when Becky Newbry grounded into a force at second for the final out of the 1999 collegiate softball season.
NUMBER EIGHT: Today's WCWS title is the eighth for UCLA, the first since 1992. The Bruins have also won NCAA softball titles in1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.
WASHINGTON - A LONG JOURNEY IN A SHORT TIME: Since inaugurating its program six years ago, Washington has been in the title game twice, in 1996 and again this year. The other Huskies' championship appearance was three years ago in Columbus, GA, where they fell to Arizona, 6-4.
GOOD COMPETITION: UCLA and Arizona, the two teams to beat Washington in WCWS championship games, have combined for 12 championships since the NCAA began sponsorship of the WCWS in 1982.
UW TRAVEL NOTE: Washington traveled 1,519 miles to Oklahoma City from Seattle only to play all four of its WCWS games against members of its ownconference, the Pac-10: Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and California.
LITTLE MARGIN FOR ERROR: This was the first WCWS since 1993 in which there were no run-rule games. Of the 13 WCWS games played, five were decided by scores of 1-0, eight were decided by one run and there were nine shutouts. In the 13 tournament games, there were 34 runs scored, 22 of which were scored by Washington (13) and UCLA (9). All four of UCLA's WCWS wins were by one run and two of the four were come-from-behind affairs that required extra innings to settle.
UCLA COACH SUE ENQUIST SAYS: "What a thrill. It's unbelievable. I couldn't be more proud of how these kids played. It wasn't easy. It was a test every day. Washington didn't give up until the last swing and that's a credit to their program.
"UCLA PITCHER COURTNEY DALE, WHO RECEIVED CREDIT FOR THE WIN AND ADDED A SOLO HOMER: "I wanted to hit the ball hard and get a base hit. Our goal today was to attack early in the count, get timely hits and score runs.
"UCLA THIRD BASEMAN JULIE ADAMS ON HER SHOULDER DISLOCATION SUFFERED IN THE TOURNEY OPENER: "When you get to this point in the season, it's not an issue. It didn't matter to me. You work so hard to get here, this is the ultimate goal. Nothing could've stopped me from playing in this game.
"WASHINGTON COACH TERESA WILSON: "I'm very proud of our team. We had too little, too late today. We didn't execute as well as we have been. Some days you get it done, some days you don't. We got one pitch a little too good for Adams and they scored a couple of runs early, but we should've turned a double play earlier in that inning. We needed to be more aggressive.
"THE 1999 WCWS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Julie Adams, UCLA (third base), Christie Ambrosi, UCLA (outfield), Katy Carter , DePaul (catcher), Courtney Dale, UCLA (pitcher), Kim DePaul, Washington (third base), Melissa "Mo" Downs, Washington (first base), Amanda Freed, UCLA (pitcher), Lisa Iancin, California (third base), Lovieanne Jung, Fresno State (second base), Julie Luna, DePaul (third base), Amanda Scott, Fresno State (pitcher) and Jennifer Spediacci, Washington (pitcher).
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER OF THE 1999 WCWS: Julie Adams of UCLA. Adams led the WCWS in batting with a .667 mark (6-for-9) with two RBI, a base on balls and a stolen base. Adams was 2-for-3 in the championship game, including her first-inning, two-run single that gave the Bruins an early lead that they didn't relinquish.