Note From The Editor #1: The UCLA Bruins punched their third straight ticket to the prestigious 2017 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) with their “back-to-back” wins over the Ole Miss “Rebels” on May 25th and May 26th. With their #5 seed, the Bruins took advantage of playing on their home field at Easton Stadium in front of their highly supportive fan base from throughout greater Los Angeles and Southern California. The Bruins were the hosts of the Los Angeles Super Regional and its “two-out-of three” playoff format. This marked the first time that the NCAA sanctioned this format to span three separate days, depending on whether or not an “if, or a tie-breakng third game” were necessary. The Bruins were selected as the At-Large Team after finishing tied for 3rd place at (16-8) with the Washington Huskies in PAC-12 conference play this season.
Brief Super Regional Recap: After defeating the Rebels in a dramatic 11 inning come from behind, 8-7 win in Game #1, the Bruins’ confidence rose to a season-high level and they took the field with the intention of sweeping the Rebels by any means necessary in Game #2. Who could predict that the game would turn into a pitchers duel, highlighted with many defensive gems displayed by both teams. The Bruins would score the game’s only run in their first at-bats when Madeline Jelenicki drove in Brianna Tautalafua, who led off the inning with a double. Coach Inouye-Perez, after conferencing with her assistant coaches, Lisa Fernandez and Kirk Walker, made the decision to start Ta’amilo giving her the opportunity to hold the Rebel bats at bay, while keeping the Bruins ace, Rachel Garcia, ready to come on in relief should that have been the case. As clearly envisioned, Ta’amilo delivered three solid innings of pressure-packed pitching as she held the Rebels to no runs on just three hits. However, after Ta’amilo faced two batters in the 4th, the move was made to bring in Garcia with the minimum goal of preserving the slim one run lead. And deliver she did. Garcia kept the shut out going and after a few tense runners-on-base in scoring positions, she made the right pitches from her arsenal and got her defense to make the big plays to close out the Rebels for the last four innings. And now, its time to head back to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The games begin on June 1st. Now it’s time to “Play Ball” once again, so Let’s Go Bruins!!!
To follow the Bruins on their journey to the World Series, click here. ESPN will televise the tournament so be sure to check for the day and time that the Buins play next.
Note #2 From the Editor: So proud and so glad to see more Chicana/Latina student-athletes continue to shine and contribute big-time for their respective teams in the NCAA national softball tournament. At this time, we take a moment to acknowledge the talents of Ole Miss student-athlete, #35 Alyssa Gonzalez/FR/1B & Pinch-hitter. Gonzalez, a native of Chino, CA. and a graduate of Chino HS, played an important role with her offensive power, as she went 5 for 6 with 4 RBIs in the two games of the Super Regional. For more background on Alyssa and the Ole Miss team click here. Rico Cabrera, Sr./Editor, EastLASportsScene.Com
Photo Gallery & Video Credits: Erik Sarni, Videographer & Digital Photographer, EastLASportsScene.Com