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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball: Wildcats fall in extra innings

Colin Darland/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Colin Darland
Colin Darland/Arizona Daily Wildcat

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — It was more of a boxing match than a softball game.

 

The Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins traded blows throughout the night before UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld delivered the knockout punch in the bottom of the eight inning to give the Bruins the 6-5 win and 1-0 lead in the championship series.

“”When you’re going in to a game against UCLA it’s going to be prizefight,”” said Arizona head coach Mike Candrea. “”The last one standing is the one that wins.””

Prior to the Langenfeld hit, the amount of runs, hits and errors were tied between Arizona and UCLA.

Even the way runs were scored in the game was filled with drama — an RBI double that walked the line between fair and foul, close calls on the base path and the combined four home runs was the most hit in a single WCWS championship game.

“”Emotionally it’s going to be that way,”” Kenzie Fowler said. “”It’s the championship of the college world series so you have to be ready for anything.””

The score was tied four times throughout the night. Every time one team would take the advantage, the other would respond.

The Wildcats (52-13) took the 1-0 lead in the first. The Bruins answered in the bottom of the inning.

UCLA took the 2-1 advantage in the third. Arizona tied the score in the top of the fifth.

Not to be outdone, the Bruins put up two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off a two RBI double off the bat of Monica Harrison that toed the line between fair and foul down the left field chalk line.

“”It’s a game of inches and it’s a game of execution,”” Candrea said.

The Bruins, with the 4-2 lead, needed just three outs to close out the game.

The Wildcats would not throw in the towel, however, and hit two clutch home runs — a two-run jack off the bat of K’Lee Arredondo and a follow up solo shot by Stacie Chambers — to take the 5-4 lead.

“”I think we were both just looking for good pitches and she served them up there to us and we just took advantage of it,”” Chambers said.

Arredondo agreed that being relaxed at the plate was important, but noted that her bat was inspired to respond to UCLA’s scoring. She homered off the first pitch she saw from Langenfeld in the at bat.

“”It gave me a little fire to go in there and do something big for this team,”” Arredondo said. “”I really felt like I wanted to go up there and I told myself if Lauren (Schutzler) gets on I’m going to score her and I just stuck with that. “”

Aleah Macon came in to replace Langenfeld in the circle. She would move to play first base to keep her bat in the game.

This time it would be Arizona that needed just three outs to get the decision.

The first two came quickly as Arizona’s Kenzie Fowler struck out Andrea Harrison for her 12th strikeout of the game and Samantha Camuso fouled out to Brittany Lastrapes.

Dani Yudin stepped to the plate and sent a ball to left center that should have ended the game and gave the Wildcats the victory. But a miscommunication between Lastrapes and Schutzler caused the ball to fall and Yudin to land at second.

“”It was well played to the most part,”” Candrea said. “”The one part that wasn’t ended up costing us.””

Bruin Julie Burney was intentionally walked to get to Kaila Shull, who did not waste her opportunity. She doubled to right field on a ball that Arizona’s Karissa Buchanan nearly caught. The RBI once again tied the game and sent the game to extra innings.

“”Competitive excellence,”” said UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez of what her team focused on during the game. “”Be able to throw punches, not play to the scoreboard and tonight was a great example of a team victory.””

Langenfeld’s shot gave the decision to UCLA. She hit two home runs in the game — both solo shots — and had an RBI single in the third inning that gave UCLA (49-11) a 2-1 advantage at the time.

“”She’s been on fire and it was a situation where we kind of talked about not letting her beat us and tonight she hits two home runs and (we) couldn’t get her out,”” said Candrea.

The match came down to the big play at the big time and Langenfeld delivered for the Bruins. Arizona, like it has had to do for nearly the entire WCWS, will have to avoid elimination tomorrow in Game 2 which starts at 5:05 p.m. Pacific time.

“”This team spilled they’re guts and they’ve been spilling it all week and you know what, we just need to stay together and get ready to play tomorrow and not make a big deal out of it,”” Candrea said.

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