Six-run third inning propels UAB to 6-3 upset of UCLA in NCAA regional play
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Chandler Orr homered down the left-field line during a six-run third inning to lift UAB past No. 16 UCLA 6-3 in the Louisville Regional opener Friday at Ulmer Stadium.
It marks the Blazers' second win over a Pac-12 school this season, as UAB (38-16) opened the year with a 4-3 win against Washington on Feb. 7 in Honolulu.
"I told the girls that they can be that Cinderella team that advances to the super regionals and that everyone in the nation is talking about," UAB head coach Marla Townsend. "They beat the game, and even when things weren't going our way, we didn't let it affect us mentally. We stayed focused throughout, and Lannah [Campbell] was phenomenal in the circle."
Campbell (13-5) threw her eighth complete game of the year, striking out seven and only allowing two earned runs. For UCLA, Jessica Hall (9-7) picked up the start and the loss, as she threw the first two innings, allowed three runs and walked two. Ally Carda, who started the game at first base, entered the game with no outs in the third inning.
UCLA (37-19) got on the board first, as B.B. Bates hit a solo home run to center field with one out in the top of the first. The Bruins stretched their lead to two runs in the second as Britney Rodriguez reached on a single to left-center and was scored on a double down the left-field line by Gracie Goulder.
The Blazers broke the game open in the top of the third, as Caitlin Attfield led things off with a single up the middle, and was advanced to second when Heather Pearson singled to right-center. The runners executed a double steal during Whitney Fletcher's at-bat. After loading the count, Fletcher singled to left field to score Attfield and get UAB on the board, trailing 2-1.
Kate Armstrong hit into a fielder's choice to third base, and UCLA tried to throw Pearson out at home, but a miscue by the catcher allowed her to score and tie the game at 2, with Fletcher advancing to third and Armstrong took second.
With no outs and runners in scoring position, Kristen McGrath then singled up the middle to clear the bases. Anna Kimbrell then doubled, and Kelly Britt, in to run for McGrath, was thrown out at home to record the first out of the inning.
Orr then launched her fifth home run of the year -- and her second of the postseason -- to give the Blazers their 6-2 lead.
UCLA recorded its third and final run in the bottom of the third frame, as Stephany Larosa reached on a single to right. The Bruins then loaded the bases and a single by Hall batted in the run.
In the final four innings, UAB held UCLA to only two hits. In the bottom of the seventh, Carda doubled to left for the Bruins with one out, but was stranded as Megan McGrath grabbed a foul popup and Amy Dennis grabbed a flyout all the way at the fence in left to end the game.