Carda leads UCLA past Oregon 7-1 in WCWS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) For a night, UCLA resembled the Bruins who once dominated college softball.
Ally Carda pitched a complete game to help UCLA defeat Oregon 7-1 on Thursday night in the Women’s College World Series. It was the school’s first win in the event since claiming the last of its 11 national championships in 2010.
UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez was pleased that her team, which had no World Series experience, beat a seasoned Oregon team on the big stage.
”They just made a little history for themselves here,” Inouye-Perez said. ”First World Series, to be able to get out there and get the `W’ in the fashion they did, playing their game – I’m just very proud of them. We’re not done yet, but Day 1 is the big one, and I’m really proud of where we are right now.”
The seventh-seeded Bruins (51-10) will play Michigan on Friday. No. 2 seed Oregon (51-7) will play Alabama on Saturday in an elimination game.
UCLA jumped on Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon’s star pitcher, in the second inning. Stephany LaRosa and Gabrielle Maurice hit solo homers to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
”I think with the home runs, I felt really aggressive,” Hawkins said. ”And they’re good hitters, and they make adjustments. I think that I felt confident in those pitches I threw, and I felt like I attacked the zone well. They hit the ball. They’re a good-hitting team.”
A 49-minute weather delay began in the top of the third inning. The previous game, Michigan’s 5-0 win over Alabama, started an hour late because of rain.
Mysha Sataraka’s two-run double in the sixth increased UCLA’s lead to 4-0. The Bruins led 7-0 when Hawkins was pulled later in the inning. It matched the most runs she has allowed this season.
”When we get going, we can definitely score in bunches,” Inouye-Perez said. ”That’s a product of them having quality two-strike, two-out at-bats. They do a great job of being able to compete down to the last pitch. So, very unselfish team and quality at-bats across the board, and definitely some big runs to get Ally some insurance so she didn’t have to be so perfect at the end.”
Oregon coach Mike White felt his team competed, but the game simply got away.
”I don’t think the score, 7-1, really tells the story of the game,” he said. ”It was a lot closer than that. They just happened to get that big break in the sixth inning and kind of blow it up a little bit.”