April 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The 19th-ranked Bruins came back from 4-0 down after the top of the first inning and 5-4 behind and down to their last strike, as sophomore Stephany LaRosa tied the game in the seventh and California's fourth error won it for UCLA in the ninth in a 6-5 victory over the eighth-ranked Golden Bears on Thursday at Easton Stadium.
Sophomore Ally Carda (18-6) picked up the victory in relief, tossing 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief, striking out seven and giving up just two walks. She struck out a pair in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames. Freshman Paige McDuffee started and struck out two in 5 1/3 innings, allowing only one earned run (five total), seven hits and two walks, posting a 1-2-3 inning in the second.
The Golden Bears (31-7, 6-4) scored four unearned runs in the top of the first. With runners at third and first and two outs, Danielle Henderson tapped a ball to LaRosa at short, but it was bobbled, allowing Britt Vonk to score the game's first run. A walk to Victoria Jones loaded the bases for Breana Kostreba, who singled up the middle to score Lindsey Ziegenhirt and Henderson to make it 3-0. After a single to center by Vanessa Alvarez re-loaded the bases, Khala Taylor reached on an infield single to the left of the circle to score Jones with Cal's fourth run.
The Bruins (27-13, 4-9) clawed back with a run in the third. Lindvall led off with a double to left and Bennett laid down a perfect bunt single to the left side, and when Henderson's throw from third was low to first, Lindvall scored to make it 4-1.
In a wild fourth inning, UCLA tied the game. LaRosa opened the frame by skying a high fly ball to right, but Alvarez dropped it, allowing the Bruin sophomore to take second. Alvarez's throw into second skipped away and into left-field foul ground, with LaRosa coming all the way around to score UCLA's second run. Carda followed with a single up the middle and came home on a homer to right by junior Jessica Hall, her sixth of the season, to even the score at four.
Cal re-took the lead in the next half inning with another two-out rally. Jones walked and Kostreba doubled to right-center to make it 5-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lindvall led off with a single off of first baseman Jones, but remained their two outs later, until a walk to senior B.B. Bates put her in scoring position. Then battling back from an 0-2 deficit in the count, LaRosa won a seven-pitch at-bat against Cal's Jolene Henderson, singling up the middle to bring in Lindvall and even the game at five.
After having a runner thrown out at home in the eighth, the Bruins won the three-hour, 19-minute marathon in the ninth. Bennett led off with a single to left and moved to second on a passed ball. Sophomore Gracie Goulder followed with a walk, but was forced at second on a grounder to the right side off the bat of Bates. The Golden Bears then walked LaRosa intentionally to get to Carda, who tapped a grounder to short. But Cheyenne Cordes threw low to the plate, as Bennett slid in with the game-winning run.
The Bruins and the Golden Bears are right back at it on Friday at 7 p.m. Gametracker and free live audio will be available at UCLABruins.com, as well as live updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.