UCLA Routs Oklahoma In Game 1 Of WCWS Championship Series
OKLAHOMA CITY – With the crack of Aaliyah Jordan's bat in the top of the first inning on Monday night in Game 1 of the Women's College World Series championship series, it was clear that No. 2 UCLA came to play.
Jordan's solo shot—her 12th home run of the year—set the tone for the Bruins, who took 10 innings to score one run on Sunday. Just about the exact opposite offensive result occurred for UCLA on Monday, however, as the Bruins rapped out 16 hits in their 16–3 blowout win over top-seeded Oklahoma.
Monday's result marked the highest-ever run total in a WCWS championship series game, and also set a record for the most runs scored off of Oklahoma in a WCWS. In two games this season, UCLA has outscored the Sooners 23–3.
"Tonight this team just made history in that nobody was left on the bench," UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez told reporters on Monday. "That is the culture of this team."
Though Oklahoma answered back in the bottom of the second when senior Shay Knighten—the Most Outstanding Player at the 2017 WCWS—blasted a solo home run to tie the game at one, the Bruins were unfazed. UCLA went on an offensive onslaught from there, capitalizing on four Sooner errors and blasting three more home runs of their own after Knighten's bomb.
The UCLA scoring attack was incredibly balanced on Monday night at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, as eight different Bruins tallied at least one RBI in the game.
"Everyone is just so selfless," UCLA sophomore Briana Perez told reporters after the game. "Passing the bat was our goal the entire game."
Grace Green's solo home run in the sixth, along with a run-scoring single from Sydney Romero in the seventh, marked the only other offense the Sooners would garner in the game. They managed seven hits on the night off of three different UCLA pitchers.
"This game absolutely does not define us or our season," Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said after her team's loss on Monday. "This team is very resilient."
UCLA ace Rachel Garcia earned the win on Monday, as she pitched five innings and allowed just one run on three hits. Oklahoma starter Giselle "G" Juarez got the loss, surrendering four runs—three of which were earned—on five hits in four innings of work.
The Sooners and Bruins will meet again on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET. A UCLA win would grant the Bruins their first national title since 2010, while an Oklahoma victory would force a third and deciding game in the WCWS championship series on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET .