Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics
Posted by Tobi Umodu on May 31, 2009 - 6:37:41 PM
WESTWOOD—I was hoping I would not have to write this article at all, but unfortunately life does not always work out the way you want it to. This holds very true for the UCLA softball team as they were ousted from the Super Regionals by the Missouri Tigers on Sunday, May 24, in the third game of the series.
The Bruins went into the series defeating the Tigers earlier during preseason 2-1, so it was a tad bit ironic that after the first game on Saturday, the Tigers came out on top 2-1. Defensively the Bruins had no problems. Their ace, junior Megan Langenfeld pitched a complete game, allowing only five hits, two runs and one walk in seven innings while striking out six batters.
Unfortunately they were not able to translate their success on defensive over to their batting. They finished the game with only five hits, two by sophomore Katie Schroeder, and left seven runners on base. After the disappointing lost, they came Sunday with the need to win both games to move on in the tournament.
"It was a combination of a lot of different things,” said junior Kaila Shull about their performance on Saturday. “We came out Saturday and lost and that changes the dynamic of everything, knowing your going into Sunday having to win two games. We need to execute better offensively."
The Bruins did execute better offensively on Sunday, but tragically it only lasted one game. They got off to a fast start scoring the first run of the game in the first inning and followed with three more runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Shull. In the seventh the Bruins added some more insurance with another run scored by Lauren Mirabal to put UCLA up 5-0.
Once again the Bruins got another stellar pitching performance by junior Langenfeld. She pitched six innings allowing six hits, no runs, one walk and struck out another six batters to improve her record to 17-2.
With the momentum on their side, the Bruins were hoping it would carry over to the second game on Sunday, but that was not the case. The Tigers came on strong and relentless to knock the Bruins out of the tournament. Missouri scored five runs in the first and second innings to go up 5-0 and after UCLA freshman Monica Harrison finally put the Bruins on the board with her tenth homer of the season, the Tigers responded by scoring three more runs in the fourth inning and one run in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule and send Missouri to the College World Series in Oklahoma City.
"Really disappointing, never want to see your season end short...we felt prepared going into the weekend and things just didn't go our way," said Shull.
The loss caused the Bruins to finish their season 45-11 and still looking for the 12th national title. Fortunately for the Bruins they are a young team, and have almost all of their key players returning next year to try and erase the horrible feeling they have after Sunday's upset.
"We need to sharpen things up a bit more and make sure we learn how to make adjustments at the plate a little sooner and I think we'll be fine."
Note: Senior Amanda Kamekona and Junior Megan Langenfeld were both invited to attend the US Women's National Team Selection Camp and were both named first team All-Americans.
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