June 8, 2010
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The fifth-seeded Bruins blasted four home runs, including a two-run homer by the WCWS Most Outstanding Player Megan Langenfeld, as UCLA took home the school's 12th national championship and 11th NCAA title with a 15-9 victory over #10 Arizona on Tuesday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Langenfeld went 2-for-3 with two RBI, as the Bruins posted 19 hits. Sophomore Andrea Harrison hit a grand slam, sophomore Samantha Camuso went 2-for-4 with a homer and senior Julie Burney went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer. Camuso and Harrison were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore Aleah Macon (13-1) struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs, six hits and three walks. Junior Donna Kerr closed out the game, striking out four and allowing three runs, four hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.
The Bruins (50-11) scored in the top of the first inning, as Langenfeld set a WCWS record with another long ball. Monica Harrison singled up the middle with one out and Langenfeld hit her team-leading 20th home run of the season to left on a 2-2 pitch to put UCLA up 2-0. It was the fourth homer for Langenfeld in Oklahoma City, which temporarily set a new record for one WCWS. The Bruins still had a chance to add on some runs after getting three straight walks to Andrea Harrison, Camuso and sophomore Dani Yudin, but Arizona's Kenzie Fowler retired Burney and Shull to end the inning.
Another home run in the second set another WCWS record to put the Bruins up 6-0. With one out and DiSalvatore at third and Monica Harrison at second, the Wildcats walked Langenfeld intentionally to set the stage for Andrea Harrison, who launched a 1-1 offering over the center-field wall to extend the lead to a half dozen. The home run was Harrison's 17th of the year and fourth of the WCWS to tie Langenfeld for the most long balls in one trip to Oklahoma City. It also brought Harrison's RBI total to 11, which sets a new WCWS record. The Bruins would re-load the bases on a walk to Yudin and back-to-back singles by Burney and Shull, but Arizona's Sarah Akamine got Bates on a fielder's choice grounder to second for the final out.
The Wildcats (52-14) got on the board in the bottom of the second when Lini Koria hit a 2-1 pitch out to left field to make it 6-1.
The Bruins got the run back in the top of the fourth with a two-out rally. Burney singled to left and came all the way around to score when a diving attempt by Karissa Buchanan in right off the bat of Shull went behind her for a double to make it 7-1.
Arizona got back in it with three in the bottom of the fourth. The Wildcats loaded the bases on a hit by pitch of K'Lee Arredondo, a walk to Stacie Chambers and a drag bunt single by Brigette Del Ponte. Koria was then hit by a pitch to force in Arredondo to make it 7-2 and a two-run single up the middle by Kristen Arriola cut the deficit to 7-4.
But UCLA broke it open again in the fifth, sending 12 to the plate and scoring seven times. With one out, Langenfeld hit a comebacker off Akamine for a single and was pinch-run for by junior Grace Murray, who moved to second on an illegal pitch and scored when Andrea Harrison reached on an error at second by Arriola to make it 8-4. Camuso followed with a single to left and Yudin singled up the middle, but Harrison would get thrown out at home for the second out of the inning.
Burney added three more to the Bruin run total, hitting her 18th home run of the season to center to make it 11-4. After back-to-back singles to right by Shull and Bates, DiSalvatore doubled to left-center to plate Shull to increase the lead to 12-4. Monica Harrison then doubled to right-center to bring home Bates and DiSalvatore to make the margin 14-4.
The Wildcats put two on the board in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Arredondo walked and Chambers homered to left to make it 14-6.
UCLA scored its 15th run in the sixth, as Camuso led off with her 16th homer of the year and eight of the postseason, hitting it out to left on a 1-0 pitch.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chambers hit another two-run homer, this time to center with pinch-runner Becca Tikey aboard to put the score at 15-8.
The Wildcats scored once more in the seventh on an RBI single by Brittany Lastrapes, but Kerr struck out Lauren Schutzler to end the game and send the Bruins into a massive celebration.
UCLA HEAD COACH Kelly Inouye-Perez
Opening comment: "Every team, every program in the country sets out with a vision to be able to get to this point. Ultimately, it's a dream come true to have your players be able to play their best softball at the biggest of moments and I am so proud of each and every one of the members of this team. They were committed to being able to bring back the history and tradition of where we believe we belong, right here in the thick of it, winning a national championship. They've believed since day one. They were committed, they were together, they accomplished what they wanted to as individuals, but more important they brought home the trophy as a team. Number 106 is big, because they will forever be in UCLA athletics history. I am very happy for them for that."
On all three UCLA softball coaches in history now owning national titles: "It's indescribable. Being a part of this is bigger than any one person. It's not about the coaching staff, and (former coaches) Sharron Backus and Sue Enquist would say the same. It's about bringing together student-athletes and making sure that they have a wonderful experience; knowing that family comes first, then school and then softball. When you commit to being a Bruin, you commit to being a Bruin for life. I have taken on this responsibility knowing that there are going to be a lot of expectations, and I shared with the players that the only expectations are the expectations we have of ourselves and I expect to get this team back here. I am very proud that they were able to step up and represent UCLA softball. More importantly, they were very connected and they will be Bruins for life. I can't wait and I hope that they will come back and help carry on this wonderful tradition that has been created by Sharron and Sue, and I am so fortunate to be able to carry it on."
UCLA SENIOR PITCHER/INFIELDER Megan Langenfeld
On if she was surprised to see a good pitch in her first-inning at-bat that resulted in a home run: "I was a little surprised, but it was right there. I just had to take advantage of it. It just happened. It just went over the fence and it put us up two to nothing. I think that really sent the message that we were here to play. It wasn't going to be handed to us and that we had to earn it. We were ready to go from the first inning on."
On overcoming multiple injuries throughout the season: "This year has been, I think, my hardest year, as far as injuries go. I was hit in an at-bat against UCR early in the season. It hit my right elbow and it sent tingling and numbness all the way from the middle of my bicep all the way down to my fingers. For the first full week I had to do everything left-handed. I couldn't eat. I couldn't comb my hair. I couldn't brush my teeth. There were a lot of things I couldn't do. Luckily my team had my back through the whole time I was gone. I was able to get back in it and then had this little hamstring (injury) happen the day before regionals. Perfect timing, right? Again my team had my back all the way through regionals, supers and now. It was definitely a challenging year but I wouldn't trade it for anything."
UCLA SOPHOMORE OUTFIELDER Andrea Harrison
On her second-inning grand slam and winning the national championship: "It's the best feeling in the world. This is what I signed up for. This is the reason why I committed to UCLA. It's the reason why I put a lot of things off and sacrificed a lot of things. You can't change the feeling that this team has right now."
UCLA (50-11) won its 11th NCAA softball title and first since 2004. The 11 titles are the most by any team in NCAA history ... Kelly Inouye-Perez won her first national championship as UCLA's skipper. She won three titles as a player (1989, '90, '92). All three head coaches in UCLA history have won national titles (Sharron Backus and Sue Enquist were the others) ... The Pac-10 owns 22 NCAA national titles in softball, the most of any conference ... The Bruins collected 19 hits in tonight's game, the most ever by a team in a WCWS championship game/finals contest ... UCLA scored 15 runs in tonight's contest, a WCWS championship game/finals record. The previous mark was set in 2008 when Arizona State defeated Texas A&M 11-0 for the crown ... Tonight's 24 combined runs were the most in a WCWS championship game/finals contest. The previous record of 12 runs was set in 1997 when Arizona defeated UCLA 10-2 in five innings for the crown ... Arizona and UCLA combined to hit seven home runs tonight (four by UCLA, three by Arizona), the most ever in a WCWS game ... The Bruins registered 14 long balls in this year's WCWS, doubling the previous record of seven hit by Georgia last year ... UCLA hit two or more home runs in every game of the NCAA tournament (10 games). The Bruins set a school record with 108 homers on the year ... UCLA's Megan Langenfeld hit her fourth home run of the WCWS in her first at-bat tonight after hitting two last night. She finished the season with a team-high 20 round trippers ... UCLA's Andrea Harrison hit the first grand slam in a WCWS championship game/finals contest. It was the first grand slam of her career and just the seventh in WCWS history ... Harrison finished with a WCWS-record 11 RBI, the most by any player in WCWS history ... Bruins pitcher Aleah Macon made her fourth start of the NCAA tournament and first of the WCWS in tonight's contest. The sophomore improved to 13-1 on the year after allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits in 4.1 innings of work. She struck out seven and walked three ... UCLA junior pitcher Donna Kerr pitched 2.2 innings in relief, surrendering three hits and three runs (two earned) while throwing four strikeouts. It was her first appearance of the WCWS and only her third appearance of the NCAA tournament ... Arizona's Stacie Chambers and UCLA's Andrea Harrison and Langenfeld all finished the WCWS with four home runs. The most home runs hit by a player prior to this year was three ... Langenfeld was named the WCWS most outstanding player after going 12-for-17 at the plate with four homers, eight runs and nine RBI. She finished with a .706 batting average, the second-highest mark in WCWS history. Arizona's Leah O'Brien holds the record with a .750 batting average in 1994 ... Langenfeld's eight runs set also set a WCWS record. The previous record of seven runs was set by Arizona's Alison Johnson in 1997 ... Lastrapes and UCLA catcher Kaila Shull both hit four doubles in the event, the most in WCWS history. The previous mark of three doubles was set by Michigan's Samantha Findlay in 2005 ... This year's field combined to bat .285, breaking the previous mark of .281 set during the 1996 WCWS ... A record 141 runs were scored during this year's WCWS. The previous mark of 120 was set last year ... A total of 226 hits were recorded during this year's WCWS, breaking the previous mark of 199 in 1996 ... Thirty-five home runs were hit during the WCWS, shattering the previous record of 24 last year ... Tonight's attendance of 6,092 increased this year's WCWS total to 62,562 (nine sessions), an event record. The previous record was 62,463, set in 2007 (10 sessions). This year's 6,951-per-session average also eclipsed the record of 6,724 that was set last year.