March 9, 2002
PLEASANTON, CA - UCLA lost to No. 17 Iowa between shut-out victories over Virginia on Saturday at the National Invitational Softball Tournament on Saturday in Pleasanton, CA. The Bruins (28-3) can still win the NIST Championship, but must win three straight games on Sunday in order to do so.
In the opening game of the day, the Bruins downed Virginia by a 2-0 margin, with senior Amanda Freed pitching a no-hitter, the second in as many days for the Bruins. Freed struck out 10 and walked one during her seven innings in the circle. Offensively, junior Tairia Mims provided the only extra-base hit of the game, with a lead-off triple in the sixth inning. The Bruins scored one run in the third and one in the fifth on nine hits in the game.
Game two saw a rematch of Friday evening's game between the Bruins and Iowa Hawkeyes, with the same two pitchers in the circle: Keira Goerl for UCLA and Kristi Hanks for the Hawkeyes. Iowa scored its ruin in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Kristin Johnson tripled and was hit home by Liz Dennis. Hanks threw a perfect game through 6-1/3 innings before Freed tripled to left. After a strikeout by Stephanie Ramos provided the second out of the seventh inning, Freed would be thrown out at the plate during Stacey Nuveman's at-bat. Iowa took home the 1-0 victory, knocking UCLA into the bottom half of the championship bracket.
UCLA was able to bounce back, defeating Virginia, 3-0, to stay alive in the bottom half of the bracket. IN order to win the NIST Championship, the Bruins will have to defeat Long Beach State at 10 am on Sunday, then win a noon game against No. 17 Iowa before facing Pac-10 foe Arizona State, which will be playing its first game of the day at 2 pm in the Championship Game.