May 17, 2014
LOS ANGELES – National number three seed UCLA capitalized on a five-run bottom of the third inning, and a solid pitching effort from Pac-12 Player of the Year Ally Carda led the host Bruins to a 7-0 win over the University of Notre Dame softball team on Saturday at Easton Stadium. UCLA (50-6) emerged from the Winners Bracket of the NCAA Los Angeles Regional with the victory.
Notre Dame (40-12) will face the winner of Long Beach State and Southern Utah Saturday night at 6 p.m. (PT) in the second elimination game of the Los Angeles Regional.
Junior All-American Emilee Koerner picked up the first Notre Dame hit of the day, lacing a two-out double to left field off UCLA starter Carda (30-4) in the top of the first inning. Carda retired junior Katey Haus on a pop up to second base to strand the Irish runner on base.
A walk and a stolen base for UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding moved the Bruin shortstop into scoring position in the bottom of the first inning. Mysha Sataraka grooved what looked to be an RBI single into center field, but a huge play in center from Koerner gunned the streaking Spaulding out at the plate for a big third out for Notre Dame and starter Laura Winter (28-6).
Gabrielle Maurice connected for the first run of the ballgame in the bottom of the second, crushing a solo home run over the center field wall to give UCLA a 1-0 advantage. A walk to Alyssa Tiumalu looked to keep the momentum rolling, but Winter registered three consecutive outs, capped by an Allexis Bennett fly out to NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 10 finalist Karley Wester in left field.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, Maurice was hit by a pitch, bringing across the second UCLA run of the game at 2-0. With the bases still loaded, Bruins designated player Jessica Hall connected on a grand slam over the center field fence, pushing the UCLA lead to 6-0.
Freshman Rachel Nasland shook off a leadoff walk in relief to begin the bottom of the fourth, striking out Carda and Spaulding before forcing Stephany LaRosa to fly out to left field, stranding Bennett on base.
Nasland surrendered a single to Tiumalu in the bottom of the fifth inning, but worked around the trouble the remainder of the frame. Hall flied out to senior Lauren Stuhr in right field, and pinch hitter Jelly Felix grounded out to Haus at third base to end the UCLA half.
A perfectly laid squeeze bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning added one more UCLA run to the scoreboard, as Bennett scored on the Spaulding RBI hit in the dirt. Spaulding was ultimately thrown out attempting to steal second base, and following a walk, Nasland forced Sataraka to foul out to Haus next to third base.