May 25, 2003
UCLA All-American shortstop Natasha Watley led off the Bruins' half of the first inning with a single but was struck out by Texas starting pitcher Cat Osterman in her next two at bats. Watley came up clutch with an RBI single (her 100th hit of the year) to drive in Monique Mejia to tie the game at 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Watley then scored the winning run from second base on a single by Caitlin Benyi. Watley is hitting .450 in the World Series with thee RBIs and five runs scored.
Texas' Cat Osterman is 10-2 at the Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium as a collegian (Big 12 Tournament and WCWS competition).
Benyi had struck out in her first three at bats against Osterman before driving in the game-winning run in her fourth plate appearance.
UCLA is a perfect 6-0 against Texas all-time and has defeated Osterman in three straight meetings. The Bruins have touched up Osterman for 11 earned runs in 12.1 innings.
Osterman lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. Today also marked just the second time that Osterman has given up an earned run in back-to-back games this year.
Osterman reached double-digits in strikeouts for the 30th time this season, including 10 of the last 12 games. She finished with 13 strikeouts tonight.
For the first time in WCWS history, the championship game will feature two teams who advanced from the if-necessary semifinal games. Today marked just the second time in WCWS history that two if-necessary games were played.
Texas fell to 18-4 in one run games this year while UCLA improved to 6-2 in one run contests.
Bruin sophomore Keira Goerl registered her fourth complete game in the last two days and fifth of the 2003 WCWS. She has started each of UCLA's nine postseason games this month and is 8-1. Goerl has thrown a total of 62 innings in nine postseason games. Goerl has struck out 59 batters in the postseason while giving up just four earned runs. Goerl improved to 39-7 on the season and became the all-time UCLA career wins leader with 98. Goerl passed Amanda Freed (97 career victories) who finished her Bruin career last year.
UCLA improved to 53-7 while Texas finished the 2003 campaign 49-9. Osterman, the USA Softball National Player of the Year, concluded her sophomore season with a record of 32-6.
Cal became the third team to advance to the WCWS championship game after losing one of its first two games while UCLA became the fouth. UCLA reached the championship game for the 14th time in school history. The Bruins are 8-6 in the title game.
UCLA improved the home team's record in the 2003 WCWS to 5-9.
The championship game between Cal and UCLA begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Cal and UCLA met in the opening round of the tournament with the Golden Bearrs winning 7-3 in extra innings. UCLA defeated Cal in three Pac-10 meetings by a combined score of 17-1.