Rachel Garcia fanned seven batters over seven innings and the Bruins’ bats went yard twice as No. 2 UCLA took a 7-2 win over No. 7 Minnesota on Thursday in the Women’s College World Series.
The game was filled with long balls, head-turning strikeouts and highlight-material diving catches.
Here’s all the big plays from the second game of the day in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- The scoring started in the bottom of the first for UCLA, when Bubba Nickles took the third pitch she saw and whacked it over the left field fence, giving the Bruins an early 1-0 lead. It was the 17th homer of the year for Nickles, who is slugging .716 this season.
- Minnesota then walked in a UCLA run in the second inning, and then the Bruins added a third score in the third inning, when Aaliyah Jordan scampered home after Taylor Pack flew out to centerfield.
- From the circle, Garcia continued to deal. In the midst of her seven-strikeout outing, she passed Lisa Fernandez to climb to fifth all-time in Bruins strikeouts. At the plate, Garcia also notched a hit and drew two walks on Thursday.
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- But Garcia also had some help in keeping the Gophers off the bases, as her defense made a few incredible plays for outs. The Bruins rank 24th in the country in fielding percentage this season.
- However, the Bruins couldn’t hang on to this hit into left field from Natalie DenHartog. Her top of the sixth inning double drove in Maddie Houlihan for Minnesota’s first run of the day. It was the 64th RBI of the year for DenHartog, a freshman.
- The Gophers cut into the Bruins lead even further with a single from Allie Arneson, which drove in DenHartog.
- UCLA added to its lead by scoring on a Minnesota fielding error in the bottom of the sixth inning. Then, with two runners on, Jordan made another big offensive play, sending the first pitch she saw over the right field fence.
Jordan’s 11th dinger of the season capped off the win for UCLA, who will face Pac-12 rival Arizona on Friday in the winner’s bracket.
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.