College softball: UCLA claims first spot in 2017 Women's College World Series with series sweep vs. Ole Miss
LOS ANGELES — Behind a dominant pitching performance in the circle from junior Selina Ta'amilo and redshirt freshman Rachel Garcia, the fifth-ranked Bruins scored in the first inning and the run held up, as UCLA punched its ticket to the Women's College World Series with a 1-0 victory over No. 12 seed Ole Miss Friday night at Easton Stadium.
The first game for the Bruins (47-13) in Oklahoma City will be next Thursday, June 1 against the winner of the Florida State-LSU Super Regional. Game time and television information will be determined.
Ta'amilo was handed the baton to open the game and struck out four in 3+ innings, giving up three hits and two walks. The junior struck out a pair in the first and one each in the second and third. She gave way in the fourth to Garcia, who fanned five in four hitless innings of shutout relief. She gave up just one walk to improve to 22-7 on the season. Garcia struck out one batter each in the fourth and fifth, two in the sixth and another in the seventh, retiring the final six batters of the game.
At the plate, UCLA had four hits, as sophomore Brianna Tautalafua produced a pair.
The only run of the game came in the top of the first. With two outs, Tautalafua doubled down the left-field line and came home on a single up the middle just to the edge of the outfield-infield cutout by junior Madeline Jelenicki to make it 1-0.
Ole Miss (43-20) had some chances, but left seven on base, stranding a runner at third in the first and a pair in scoring position in the second and fourth. Following a leadoff single and walk for the Rebels in the fourth, Garcia entered and got the next three outs on a sacrifice, line out and strikeout to end the threat.