June 8, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The five-seed Bruins scattered 19 hits off Arizona pitching and the Wildcats couldn't keep up with the pace in a 15-9 loss in the Women's College World Series Tuesday night.
UCLA won its 11th title in program history with the victory, while Arizona finished runner up for the fifth time in its history.
Much like Arizona did last night, UCLA (50-11) drew first blood. Megan Langenfeld hit her WCWS-record fourth home run in the first after Monica Harrison singled with one out in the first. The Bruins loaded the bases, but Fowler induced two popouts to end the half, 2-0 UCLA.
Brittany Lastrapes had another leadoff hit, in the form of a single, to start Arizona's at-bats and later moved to second on a wild pitch. But Lauren Schutzler, K'Lee Arredondo and Stacie Chambers all watched strike three go by to leave Lastrapes in scoring position.
Fowler was lifted in favor of Akamine after the freshman hit B.B. Bates in the helmet to lead off the second. GiOnna DiSalvatore hit an infield single that was stopped by a diving Arredondo, and the runners moved up on a wild pitch after a fielder's choice. It left first base open for the red-hot Langenfeld, who was given the free pass. But Andrea Harrison took the 1-1 pitch to centerfield for a grand slam that gave UCLA a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom half, Lini Koria blasted a home run halfway up the left field bleachers to put Arizona on the board.
After a quiet third, Kaila Shull took the margin to 7-1 with an RBI double, but Arizona (52-14) struck back with a three-run fourth. With the bases loaded, Koria drew a walk and Kristen Arriola hit a two-RBI single to bring UA within three.
But UCLA had a monster fifth, putting seven runs on the board, highlighted by a three-run homer by Julie Burney.
Chambers hit her 20th home run of the season - a two-run shot - in the fifth.
Ashley Ralston-Alvarez came into pitch the UA sixth and gave up a home run in the first postseason action of her career.
The junior Chambers hit another two-run bomb in the sixth, and an error plated another Arizona run in the seventh, capping the scoring.
Fowler took the loss and finished the season at 38-9, the second-best freshman season in Arizona history.
Aleah Macon (13-1) picked up the win for the Bruins.
Arredondo, Fowler, Lastrapes and Karissa Buchanan were named to the WCWS 12-player All-Tournament team and were honored after the game.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Mike Candrea
"First off, I want to congratulate UCLA and the Pac-10 for a job well done. I think we expelled a lot of energy to get here. I'm very proud of this team for the fight that they put up throughout this week and I really have no regrets. For our seniors, it's always tough to end the season on a losing note. But like I told them, as many kids that dream of getting into the College World Series and getting into the championship series, unfortunately at Arizona it's kind of a standard and you have to learn how to deal with it. I think it's going to make our young kids stronger. You have to learn from these experiences and this is something that you can't teach in practice. But I've been through a lot in my life and let's keep this in perspective that there's a lot to be thankful for and I'm very happy for the performance that these kids gave us. They gave us a hell of a ride as a coaching staff and as fans. And no regrets."
On the effect last night's game had on his team tonight:
"I don't think any. Last night was last night. I felt like we came to the ballpark ready to play and we just didn't have all of the things that we needed to together to make this game close. UCLA is a good hitting team and we tried to do what we could to make it a football game. It was a pretty close football game, but we missed a few extra points and a couple field goals."
On freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler:
"She has thrown a bunch. I mean my God, she has really done a miraculous job to get us here and I told you I was going to ride her as much as I can. But when she can't feel the ball it's time. I'm going to always put her health in front of the competition."
On the decision to pitch to UCLA's Megan Langenfeld:
"Well, we tried not to. Unfortunately, we didn't quite execute the plan."
On all the home runs this week and what it means for the game:
"It just depends on what the game wants. I think the right people are on it right now and are trying to get a grip on the game. I love the home run, I just don't think that the home run should be hit by everyone in the lineup. And there are a lot of home runs being hit. It's not my job. My job is to play with what they approve and I have some thoughts about it that I think could help the game."
ARIZONA SENIOR SHORTSTOP K'Lee Arredondo
On reflecting on her overall career at Arizona:
"Well, it's been a long journey. Sarah (Akamine) and I came here as freshmen and we were fortunate to go all the way that year. The past two years were definitely a grind. But the way this team works, this year it all came together. I think Sarah and I did a great job as seniors to lead this team get to this point and really bring everyone together and show everyone what it feels like to be in the championship game. I know this team is just going to be stronger next year, and I expect them to be at this point next year, but on the other side."
ARIZONA SENIOR PITCHER Sarah Akamine
On reflecting on her overall career at Arizona:
"I wouldn't change anybody on this team for anyone. It was the greatest experience I've ever had, especially (my) senior year. It's just great to see Kenzie as a freshman step up, and she's my hero. Lauren (Schutzler) is going to be a great senior next year and I wouldn't change this experience for anything."