Walk-off homer by Delaney Spaulding beats Michigan, keeps UCLA perfect
LOS ANGELES -- Freshman Delaney Spaulding saved her only hit on Tuesday for the right moment, belting a walk-off, three-run homer to left in the bottom of the eighth inning to give third-ranked UCLA a 4-1 victory against No. 4 Michigan at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins, who posted their fourth walk-off hit of the season, remain undefeated with a 17-0 record, while the Wolverines fall to 13-3.
UCLA had six hits, with senior Jessica Hall recording a pair. Hall started the game and struck out five in five shutout innings, allowing only two walks and two hits. She had 1-2-3 frames in the first and fifth, striking out a pair in the first. Junior Ally Carda relieved Hall to begin the sixth and gave up a run and three hits in three innings, but picked up the win to move to 10-0 on the year.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, the Bruins got on the board with one swing of the bat to start off the second, as Hall crushed her third homer of the season to straightaway center to make it 1-0.
Michigan's Megan Betsa held the Bruins scoreless for the rest of regulation, allowing just two base runners from the third through the seventh.
The Wolverines left a runner at third with one out in the second, a runner at second in the third and two more in the fourth, but finally broke through in the seventh. Kelsey Susalla led off the inning with a double to right and was pinch-run for by Brandi Virgil, who scored on a pinch-hit double to center off the bat of Taylor Hasselbach to even the game at one.
After a scoreless bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, Spaulding won it in the bottom of the eighth. Junior Tara Mueller led off with a perfect slap single over the Michigan third baseman. Carda then lifted a fly ball to right, but it was dropped by Nicole Sappingfield, allowing Mueller to reach second. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, Spaulding delivered her second walk-off and second career homer, sending one out to left to give the Bruins a 4-1 win.