Five Memorable Women’s College World Series Home Runs
The Women’s College World Series has provided fans with lasting memories of great softball for many years. When thinking back to WCWS moments from the past, it’s easy to recall great defensive plays, epic pitching performances and dramatic home runs that have all occurred in Oklahoma City.
Below, we look back at five of the most memorable home runs in WCWS history.
Nina Lindenberg’s Solo Shot Leads Fresno State Past Arizona
Arizona and UCLA dominated the softball landscape in the 1990s. Going into this 1998 matchup, it was considered a safe bet to put your money on Arizona since they had the experience and all the college stars, but Fresno State would not be denied.
Behind a strong pitching performance from Amanda Scott, the game was scoreless going into the bottom of the sixth before Nina Lindenberg, a three-time All-American, drilled a pitch from Nancy Evans deep over the left field fence. The bomb was the only run allowed by Evans in the game, but Scott made it stand up and Fresno State captured its first Women’s College World Series title.
Lauren Chamberlain Walks It Off For Oklahoma
In a 2013 championship series matchup between Tennessee and Oklahoma that seemed like it was going to be defined by great pitching, the long ball ended up being the deciding factor. Coming into the series, Oklahoma’s squad was being discussed as one of the greatest teams ever at the D1 level, but Tennessee had something to say about that.
After claiming the lead in the 11th inning, Tennessee seemed ready to win, but after tying the game in bottom half of the inning, Oklahoma had all the momentum heading into the 12th. Lauren Chamberlain, the eventual all-time NCAA home run leader, stepped up to the dish and drilled a ball over the left field fence to give Oklahoma the 5-3 win. Oklahoma would cruise to a Game 2 victory, but Chamberlain’s home run stands out as the defining moment of the series.
Megan Langenfeld’s Do-It-All Performance Guides UCLA
UCLA’s explosive power at the 2010 Women’s College World Series was something to behold as a softball fan. Every player in the Bruin lineup came ready to hit, but all eyes were on two-way player Megan Langenfeld as she seemed to be unstoppable in Oklahoma City that year.
Arizona and UCLA were tied in a high-scoring championship series Game 1 before Langenfeld launched an outside pitch—which she had struck out on prior to that at-bat—over the left field fence to give UCLA the victory. For the tournament, Langenfeld batted .705, going 12-for-17 with four home runs and nine RBIs, as well as reaching base in 18 of her 23 plate appearances for an OBP of .782. Langenfeld also recorded three victories in the circle at the 2010 WCWS.
Samantha Findlay’s Bat Leads Michigan To Title
Michigan dropped Game 1 of the 2005 championship series to UCLA, but the Bruins couldn’t handle the Wolverines in Game 2, setting up an epic winner-take-all Game 3. In that game, freshman Samantha Findlay launched a home run in the top of the 10th inning to give Michigan a 4-1 lead it would not relinquish. The Wolverines would eventually hold on and bring home the first softball national championship for a team east of the Mississippi.
Rachel Garcia Cements Legacy As A UCLA All-Time Great
A 2019 WCWS semifinal matchup between UCLA and Washington promised great pitching, defense and hitting, and delivered on those promises.
After striking out 16 Washington hitters, Garcia stepped up to the plate with two runners on in the bottom of the 10th and drilled Gabbie Plain’s offering deep over the fence in left to propel UCLA into the 2019 championship series, where the Bruins would go on to defeat Oklahoma for the national title.
Garcia’s performance in the 2019 WCWS is one of the best two-way performances in college softball history and firmly cemented her as one of the greatest Bruins ever.