LOS ANGELES (May 27, 2006) – The University of South Florida softball team lost a close game, 2-0, to the No. 1 UCLA Bruins on Saturday afternoon in the first game of a three-game series of the 2006 NCAA Super Regional held at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles.
The No. 25 Bulls (50-24) and the Bruins (47-7) were evenly matched in the game, with both teams tallying five hits each. The only difference in the game was that UCLA brought home two runs whereas the Bulls stranded seven base runners.
“We were just a little short,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “We had opportunities to score some runs early, just getting into that comfort zone of being aggressive, and we did that very well. We had the right people at bat at the right time, but maybe the ball will bounce a little differently for us tomorrow.”
USF’s Bree Spence and UCLA’s Anjelica Selden had solid outings in the circle, combining to give up 10 hits. Selden (32-5) came out the victor, pitching a complete-game shutout. Spence (21-10) gave up two runs – both were earned – in six innings of work.
After USF worked two hits off of Selden in the first inning, the Bulls couldn’t bring any runs home, as two strikeouts and a ground out ended the scoring opportunity.
In the bottom of the first inning, UCLA got on the board, jumping out to a 1-0 lead. A lead-off walk came back and hurt USF, as the runner eventually scored thanks to a RBI single by Emily Zaplatosch.
After getting two runners on base in the second inning and stranding both, Seldon retired the side in the third, fourth and fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Bulls put together their best scoring chance, loading up the bases with no outs. Samantha Ray led off the inning with a bunt single and Christie Chapman followed that up with a walk. Tiffany Stewart came up to the batters box and got hit by a pitch to the load up the bases, but that came to an end as Krista Holle grounded into a double play and UCLA got the force at home and Holle out at first. With runners at second and third, Ashley Bullion popped up to the shortstop to end the inning.
With one swing of the bat, UCLA added an insurance run to its lead, as Lisa Dodd hit a solo hot to left field to make the score 2-0.
With their only chance to tie up the game in the top of the seventh inning, the Bulls got a runner on and had the tying run at the plate, but Selden got the final two outs thanks to a strikeout and a ground out to end the game.
The Bulls will take on UCLA on Sunday at 3 p.m. USF will have to win that game to force a game three.