UCLA beats Alabama in the College World Series

The No. 6 UCLA Bruins softball team continued their winning ways when they beat Alabama 4-1 in the opening game of the double elimination College Softball National Championships in Oklahoma City on Thursday. Jordan Woolery broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Bruins the victory. It was their 14th victory in a row. Up next for the Bruins is No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday at 12 p.m. on ABC.

The 43-10 Bruins are red hot and appear to be on a mission this year. With a solid mix of senior leadership and young talent, this group looks poised to make some noise in the Women's College World Series. While the bats of Maya Brady (.431), Sharlize Palacios (.387) and Megan Grant (.342) have driven the Bruins thus far, it is the unproven arms of Kaitlyn Terry and Taylor Tinsley, who had never pitched in a collegiate post season game prior to this year, that continue to respond in high pressure situations when the lights are the brightest.

In game one of the Super Regionals last weekend, UCLA sent freshman Terry to the mound. Terry gave up four hits and no runs over the course of six innings in this game to extend her record to 21-1. Similar to the arm of Terry, the bats were electric in game one and superstar Maya Brady opened the scoring from her leadoff spot with a solo home run to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage. Brady had a second solo shot in the fifth inning that sparked a four run Bruins burst which was capped off by a three-run homerun by sophomore Woolery to give the Bruins a 6-0 lead. The game concluded in the bottom of the 6th inning with the 8-run mercy run rule when Savanna Pola singled to drive in two runs to complete an 8-0 shutout.

In game two of the Super Regionals, UCLA sent Tinsley to the mound who also only allowed four hits over the course of the game to match her teammate Terry from the previous night. Sharlize Palacios carried a hot bat into game two, as she matched her teammate Brady's two home run night from the previous night, with her own two homerun night while going 3-3 and driving in four runs on the night. Thessa Malau'ulu had three hits of her own and Brady added two hits. Tinsley ended up pitching a complete game and the Bruins swept the Georgia Bulldogs with a 6-1 victory to advance.

Sharlize Palacios summed up the team's bond, the past weekend and the mindset going into Oklahoma City best "I'm happy to be here with my girls. This is the team I want to take to OKC. This is the army I want to go toe-to-toe with anyone, and I can't wait to finish up my career with these girls."

 

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