Whoops! It happened again. The visiting Bruins, rallied from behind for the second night in a row and pulled out another crucial Women’s College World Series win over #2 seed, the Florida Gators. A triumph that may become one of their more memorable games ever played in this Series.
To set the stage, Rachel Garcia, now (28-3) after her win, gave it her all but made a few crucial mistakes that the Gators made her pay for.
Let’s take look at the series of events that occurred. Florida manufactured a run in their first at-bats when there was a Bruin fielding error, a single, and then a rare Garcia wild pitch that brought across the first Seminole run of the game. They then came back in the following frame and went up 2-0 on solo home run by SS/Sophia Reynoso. They scored two more runs in the third when their power hitter, 1B Kayli Kvistad slammed a 2-run homer to center field giving the Gators a 4-0 lead.
In nearly a repeat move of their previous game, just the night before, the Bruins mounted their comeback. Here ‘show it started. First, Kylee Perez reached 1st on throwing we error, Next, Briana Perez reached on a fielder’s choice. Aaliyah Jordan was then hit by a pitch. A wild pitch was then thrown by the Gators starter, Kelly Barnhill. Rachel Garcia then drew a walk to load the bases. Bubba Nickles was up next and earned herself an RBI from a walk. This was run #1 for the Bruins. After Madeline Jelenicki fouled out to the shortstop, Aaliyah Jordan was sent home from third on the shallow catch down the left field foul line. And with the entire stadium locked in that on that play, Jordan was credited with avoiding the tag applied by the Florida catcher. That call was certainly protested by Gators Head Coach, Tim Walton.This made it 2-0. In hindsight, this was the play of the game.
Thus, the stage was set for the surprise starting catcher, Taylor Pack who promptly homered to left for a three-run RBI at-bat. Brianna Tataulafua struck out swinging to end the inning. The Bruins had once again taken the lead via the long ball, this time the score was UCLA 5, Florida 4. Both teams did not score in the 5th. In the sixth, the visiting Bruins put one more on the board when Bubba Nickles homered to left center. The Gators Jordan Roberts counteredwith her own four-bagger down the left field line, making the score 6-5, Bruins. Neither team threatened or scored in the final inning but Rachel Garcia struck out the side to secure the win.
Garcia’s partial game pitching stats for the night included the following: 15 Ks (in “back-to-back” WCWS games), 2 walks, and 7 hits. Her record now stands at (29-3). For more coverage of the Bruin games, click here.
Photo Gallery Credits: Jazmine Sosa/UCLA Athletics