March 14, 2004
FRESNO, CA - Rebounding from a loss to Oregon State earlier in the day, UCLA posted a 2-1 nine-inning win over No. 17 Fresno State in the final game of the Clovis Auto Row Classic. A two-RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning by senior center fielder Stephanie Ramos sealed the dramatic win for the Bruins.
After the first nine batters of the game were retired, three by Fresno State's Jamie Southern and six by UCLA's Keira Goerl, UCLA first baseman Claire Sua drew a full-count walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Amanda Simpson. After an unsuccessful bunt attempt and a pop-out recorded the first two outs of the inning, Lisa Dodd doubled to center, but the hit was not enough to score Simpson, who would be stranded at third base.
Mitzi Ing then led off the top of the third inning with a single for the Bulldogs. After Veronica Green popped out on a bunt attempt for the first out of the inning, a ground-out by Shasta Lewis advanced Ing to second base. Ing tried for the plate on a single to right field by leadoff hitter Christina Clark, but she was gunned down on the relay from right fielder Caitlin Benyi to Emily Zaplatosch for the out at the plate to end the inning.
Fresno State threatened again in the top of the sixth inning, as Christina Clark led off the inning with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Southern and went to third on a ground-out by Finley before Lori Hoffman became Keira Goerl's fifth strikeout victim of the season to end the inning.
A Bruin error in the top of the seventh inning gave the Bulldogs another baserunner, but a ground-out and a strikeout, Goerl's seventh of the game, ended the threat with the runner on second base.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Bruins went down in order, sending the game to extra innings with the International Tiebreak Rule in place. That rule places the final out of the previous inning on second base to begin each frame.
Pinch-runner Daisy Gaynor started on second base for the Bulldogs in the top of the eighth inning. After Shasta Lewis struck out to start the inning, UCLA intentionally walked shortstop Christina Clark, bringing Southern to the plate with runners on first and second with one out. Southern flied out to Tara Henry in left field and Finley grounded into a fielders choice to end the inning.
UCLA followed suit, putting pinch-runner Ashley Herrera on second base to open the bottom of the eighth inning. Herrera was successfully sacrificed to third base by Lisa Dodd, but Whitney Holum grounded out, bringing pinch hitter Kristen Dedmon to the plate.
In the top of the ninth, pinch runner Kristy Villasenor opened the inning at second base and went to third on a hit through the left side by Lori Hoffman. After a ground-out for the first out of the inning, Leticia Pacheco singled home Villasenor to get the Bulldogs on the board first. The inning would end when Fresno State attempted a double steal and pinch-runner Rachael Donaldson was out at the plate for the third out of the inning.
Caitlin Benyi started the bottom of the ninth at the plate for UCLA with left fielder Tara Henry on second base. Benyi worked the count full and drew a walk to give the Bruins runners on first and second with no outs, bringing Selma, Calif., native Andrea Duran to the plate. Duran put down a successful sacrifice bunt, giving the Bruins runners on second and third with one out and senior outfielder Stephanie Ramos, UCLA's top hitter this season, to the plate. Ramos delivered, posting UCLA's second hit of the game, a single through the left side of the Fresno State infield that scored both runners for the 2-1 UCLA win.
Keira Goerl struck out nine and allowed two walks, one intentional, as she won her 15th game of the season. Goerl was named to the All-Tournament team for the Bruins.
The Bruins will take next weekend off for winter quarter final exams, and will return to action on March 28 with a 1 pm game against the U.S. Olympic Team. That game will take place at UCLA's Easton Stadium and is already sold out. The Bruins next game against a collegiate opponent will be March 30, also at Easton Stadium, against Cal State Fullerton. It will be UCLA's final non-conference game of the 2004 regular season.