Softball's season ends with 2-0 loss in WCWS to No. 1 UCLA
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sophomore righthander Anjelica Selden threw a three-hitter and the No. 1 seeded Bruins scored both its runs on solo home runs, as UCLA defeated Texas, 2-0, Saturday night in an elimination game of the 2006 Women's Softball College World Series.
The Bruins hit both home runs off USA Softball National Player of the Year Cat Osterman, as UT's senior lefty ace yielded five hits, walked none and struck out nine in her final appearance in the Longhorn burnt orange and white. The Bruin home runs were collected by leadoff hitter and third baseman Andrea Duran who hit a two-out inside-the-park homer in the third inning, and by catcher Emily Zaplatosch who rapped her solo shot to left field with one out in the fourth.
UCLA, now 50-8, advances in the elimination bracket to face Northwestern on Sunday, June 3 at 2 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2.
Texas ends its season with a school-best 55 wins, finishing 55-9. The Longhorns were making their fourth trip to the elite Women's College World Series, also going in 1998, 2003 and 2005. The last two trips, UT placed third, just missing a berth in the championship game series.
Osterman ends her brilliant four-year career with a 38-4 mark as a senior. The four-time All-American finished the year with an 0.42 ERA and 630 strikeouts. Osterman is the all-time NCAA strikeout leader with 2,265, and her 630 K's this year are the second-highest single season total in NCAA history.
This is the third time in a row that the Bruins have eliminated the Longhorns from NCAA Championship contention in the WCWS. In 2003, UCLA swept Texas 3-0, 2-1 to eliminate the Longhorns; in 2005, a 3-0 UCLA victory on June 5th in elimination play ended UT's run to the title and kept Texas from advancing to the best two-out-of-three championship series.
Duran's hit in the top of the third was an inside-the-park home run as she hit a sinking line drive to right, and rightfielder Amber Hall elected to dive for the ball. The ball eluded Hall's outstretched glove and rolled past her to the right field wall. Second baseman Chez Sievers, who was running out on the play, and Hall chased the ball down as it ricocheted off the wall, and Hall grabbed it and relayed to the cutoff (shortstop Desiree Williams).
Williams rifled a throw to home, and Duran, from five feet up the line, attempted a deep hook slide to avoid the tag of catcher Megan Willis. Duran's hook slide forced Willis to spin and tag her, and on the tag, the ball popped out of Willis' glove. Duran, who had over-slid the plate, crawled back to tag the plate for the 1-0 lead as the play was ruled a home run. It was Duran's 15th of the year.
In the top of the fourth, Zaplatosch then connected her for seventh homer of the year, belting a one-out solo shot to left center for the 2-0 UCLA edge.
The home runs were the eighth and ninth off Osterman this season.
Selden is now 35-6, picking up her second win of the day after defeating Alabama 4-1 to send the Crimson Tide home. Selden scattered three singles and struck out 12 while walking none.
Two of the three hits off Selden were infield hits, a bunt single by Tina Boutelle in the first and a bunt single by Hall in the seventh. The other hit was a chopper up the middle by Desiree Williams in the third.
The Longhorns left three on base, as no runner advanced past first.
This year in NCAA Championship play, the Longhorns went 6-2. UT's all-time NCAA Championship record is now 26-14, which includes a 5-8 mark in WCWS competition.
A crowd of 7,436 watched the Saturday's session with the Tennessee/Arizona State and Texas/ULCA set the second-largest single-session attendance mark in WCWS history, and was the largest for a non-championship game session. The record is 8,049, set in the 2000 title game between Oklahoma and UCLA.
The Texas-UCLA game was the final of loser's bracket games on "Elimination Saturday" at the WCWS. In earlier games Saturday, No. 6 seed Arizona State defeated No. 7 Oregon State (3-1), eliminating the Beavers; UCLA beat No. 5 Alabama (4-1); and No. 8 Tennessee then stopped ASU (3-1 in nine innings). Eliminated from the WCWS with Texas and OSU were Alabama and Arizona State.
· UCLA and Texas met for the third time in WCWS history. The Bruins have been responsible for knocking Texas out of the WCWS on all three occasions. In 2003, the Longhorns were eliminated from the championship game after UCLA handed them a 3-0 loss. It was the same story in 2005 as the Bruins' 3-0 victory stood in the way of UT advancing to the finals.
· UCLA's Emily Zaplatosch went 3-for-3 against UT's Cat Osterman, including a home run, double and a single. She became the only player this season to tally three hits in a game against Osterman. Her seven total bases were also the most against Osterman in a game this year.
· UCLA recorded back-to-back hits against Osterman in the second inning with singles by Zaplatosch and Jodi Legaspi. UCLA became the seventh team to register consecutive hits against Osterman this season. No team posted three straight hits against Osterman this season.
· Osterman gave up just 19 runs this season, 14 of those coming off of nine homers she surrendered. The two home runs by UCLA tonight marked the most blasts she has given up in a WCWS contest. The only other time she has given up two home runs this season was in a 5-0 loss to Texas A&M (May 11) in the Big 12 Championship.
· Osterman, the three-time USA Softball Player of the Year, finished her career as the NCAA's career strikeout leader with 2,265 K's. In her four-year career at Texas she owned a 0.506 ERA in 1,105.1 innings pitched and finishes with a career record of 136-25. She was a four-time NFCA All-American, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and four-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. She owns 10 UT career pitching records and 12 single-season marks.
Texas Senior Pitcher Cat Osterman
Texas Junior Catcher Megan Willis
On if she bobbled the ball before trying to apply the tag on Andrea Duran's inside-the-park homer...
On how she feels about it being the last time she caught for Cat Osterman...
Texas Senior Right Fielder Amber Hall