June 6, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Freshman B.B. Bates got the fifth-seeded Bruins on the board with a two-run homer in the second and sophomore Samantha Camuso added a three-run shot in the third, as UCLA advanced to the championship round of the Women's College World Series with a 5-2 victory over #6 Georgia on Sunday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Bruins improve to 48-11 on the season and will face #10 Arizona in the finals. The best 2-of-3 Championship Series begins on Monday at 5 p.m. PT/7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 HD and ESPN3.com, with Gametracker on UCLABruins.com.
Senior Megan Langenfeld earned the win to move to 14-1 on the year, striking out three in seven innings and giving up just two runs, two hits and a walk. She retired the first nine batters of the game and then set down the final 12 of the contest.
Junior GiOnna DiSalvatore had a pair of base knocks, as the Bruins had five hits as a team.
The Bruins scored first for the fifth straight game and the third time in the WCWS, putting two on the board on one swing of the bat in the bottom of the second. Camuso led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Julie Burney. One out later, Bates launched a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right field for her fifth home run of the season to give UCLA a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Bruins set a WCWS record with their eighth home run in Oklahoma City. With one out and sophomore Andrea Harrison at first, sophomore Dani Yudin was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on. Junior Grace Murray entered the game as a pinch-runner for Harrison and came home along with Yudin on a three-run bomb by Camuso to center on a 1-1 pitch to increase the margin to 5-0. It was Camuso's seventh home run of the postseason, second of the WCWS and 15th of the year. The eight homers break the single-team mark set by Georgia in last season's WCWS.
The Bulldogs rallied with a pair in the top of the fourth. Taylor Schlopy became Georgia's first base runner of the game following a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double to left by Megan Wiggins. Alisa Goler followed with a bloop single to left to plate both runners and cut the deficit to 5-2. But Langenfeld got the next three outs in a row to keep the damage to a pair of runs.
UCLA (48-11) advanced to the best-of-three Women's College World Series championship finals by defeating Georgia (50-13), 5-2. With the victory, UCLA advanced to its 19th WCWS championship game/series ... The Bruins improved to 88-29 all-time in WCWS action and to 172-40 all-time in NCAA tournament play ... UCLA holds a 12-1 all-time advantage over the Bulldogs and is 6-1 against Georgia in the NCAA tournament. The Bruins won this year's only previous meeting (3-2 on Feb. 14) ... With two outs in the second inning, B.B. Bates hit the Bruins' seventh home run of the WCWS with a two-run blast well over the right field wall to give UCLA a 2-0 advantage. It was the freshman's fifth homer of the season ... UCLA sophomore Samantha Camuso hit her seventh home run of the NCAA tournament and second of the WCWS in the third inning. The shot gave the Bruins a 5-0 lead ... The Bruins, who are 3-0 in this year's WCWS, have already set an event record with their eight home runs. The previous mark of seven was set by Georgia last year in five games ... UCLA has hit at least one home run in 19 of its last 20 contests. The Bruins have 102 homers on the year, a single-season school record ... Bruins senior pitcher Megan Langenfeld improved to 14-1 on the year and to 3-0 in this year's WCWS. Langenfeld gave up just two hits and struck out three in the complete game effort.
UCLA HEAD COACH Kelly Inouye-Perez
Opening comment: "Every team sets out on a mission, on a journey to be able to get to this point in the season. Every coach's hope is to be able to have your players play their best when they need to be at their best. As you can see, I'm so proud of their ability to settle into their game and do what they're capable of doing. I simply have told them the only expectations they have are those expectations of themselves and what they know they're capable of doing. We're slowing the game down, and that's simply all we've been able to do so we can get into it. Strong leadership, it's really a team effort, and I'm proud of the big `W' today to get UCLA back into the championship where we believe we belong."
On the strengths of Arizona and Tennessee: "Both of them (are) solid squads. Both have pitching, both have hitting, both play defense, just like all of them. For us, we're really competing against the game. We respect the game, we understand how it works and our ability to get out there no matter who it is and be able to play. We played Tennessee I think in February and we were able to close with Arizona here in the end. At this point, this is a new season for all of us. What happened yesterday has nothing to do with what's going to happen tomorrow. But I think the best part for us is that we're playing our best ball and I'm really excited for that."
On Coach John Wooden being on their minds today and his impact on the team: "I think not every Bruin on this team has had the fortune to actually meet him, but the senior class (has). They had an opportunity to go to his house and we had an opportunity to meet him. But regardless, every Bruin that joins or commits to be a Bruin, whether they're a student or student-athlete, knowing that they joined a family of tradition of excellence at UCLA. So you become part of a whole. And that ultimately allows all of us to kind of have a moment to feel that for Coach Wooden because he's a part of our family; he's a big part of our family. He's a big part of why people want to come to UCLA and continue this tradition instead of going someplace else and being first. So absolutely, we played with inspiration today. He's a part of our world, and part of the UCLA family and we take great pride in it."
UCLA SENIOR PITCHER/INFIELDER Megan Langenfeld
On what it means to get this far and play for the title for the first time: "It's a great feeling. It feels like it's been a little too long. We have a bunch of alumni that are here and they keep telling us, `Don't worry, you guys have it.' Whatever `it' is, I don't know, but I guess we have `it.' They said, `You guys look like the teams that have gotten there.' So whatever `it' is, we're just going to keep doing `it' and play our game and hopefully do what we're supposed to do."
On her sore fingers causing 96 of 111 pitches to be screwballs: "I'm just forming some blisters on a few of my fingers, but it's something that you just fight through and you kind of just forget about it. You pitch thru pain, you play thru pain. Whatever you can do to get the `W' is kind of what I think. So if that means tearing my fingers apart, then I'll tear my fingers apart to get the win."
UCLA SOPHOMORE DESIGNATED PLAYER Samantha Camuso
On what has been the key to her power surge in the postseason with seven homers in eight games: "I'm just enjoying the moment. I'm just slowing the game down, staying within myself in my own swing, swinging at pitches I want to swing at. Overall I'm just trying to enjoy this experience. It's obviously not something that's just handed to you, and I'm just trying to have fun with it."