LOS ANGELES - The third-seeded Bruins tossed their third straight shutout on Sunday to win the Los Angeles Regional, as UCLA defeated Notre Dame by a score of 1-0 at Easton Stadium. Junior Ally Carda and sophomore Paige McDuffee teamed up on the four-hit blanking in the circle, while senior Jessica Hall drove in the game’s lone run.
The Bruins (51-6) advance to next weekend’s Super Regionals, which will take place at Easton Stadium against #14-seed Kentucky. The best 2-of-3 Los Angeles Super Regional will begin on Saturday, May 24 at 5 p.m. Game 2 will be on Sunday, May 25 at 12 p.m., while the if necessary Game 3 will be later Sunday at 3 p.m. All three contests will be aired live on ESPNU, while live audio and stats will be available at UCLABruins.com.
Carda improved to 31-4 on the season, striking out four in 4 1/3 innings, giving up just two hits and two walks. She fanned a pair in the first and posted a 1-2-3 inning in the second. McDuffee tossed 2 2/3 innings of relief to record her second save of the year, fanning one and also allowing two hits and two walks. At the plate, UCLA had six different players record its six hits.
The three straight shutouts for the Bruins were the first time they have accomplished that feat since 2010. It also marked the first time UCLA has posted three shutouts in a Regional in the current four-team format (since 2005). Junior Stephany LaRosa set a school record by reaching base in 39 straight games when she singled in the first inning, breaking the 38-game mark set by Carda last year.
The first three innings were scoreless, as UCLA, playing as the visiting team, stranded a pair in the top of the first, while Notre Dame (41-13) left the bases loaded and had a runner thrown out at home in the bottom of the third.
After sophomore Mysha Sataraka snared a line drive off the bat of Chloe Saganowich to open the bottom of the third, Lauren Stuhr drew a walk, Karley Wester singled to left and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Jenna Simon followed with a tapper to short, as the throw home by freshman Delaney Spaulding to LaRosa was in time to nab Stuhr. After an intentional walk to Emilee Koerner, Katey Haus smashed a line drive to the left side, but again it found Sataraka’s glove to end the threat.
UCLA scored the only run of the game in the fourth. Sataraka drew a walk to open the frame and was pinch-run for by junior Jessica Amaral, who moved to second on a sacrifice by freshman Gabrielle Maurice and scored on a single to left by Hall to put the Bruins up 1-0.
The seventh inning saw both teams strand the bases loaded, as the Bruins held on for the victory. In the bottom of the seventh, Stuhr singled up the middle with one out, Wester reached on a fielding error by Sataraka at third, and one out later, Koerner was intentionally walked. Haus followed with a grounder to second, as junior Gracie Goulder flipped to Carda to send the Bruins to the Super Regionals.