2015 Women’s College World Series: Day 1 Wrap Up

2015 Women's College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)
2015 Women’s College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)

2015 Women’s College World Series: Day 1 Wrap Up

The 2015 Women’s College World Series got underway with four games played on Thursday night and into early Friday morning due to some severe weather in Oklahoma City. Each game is recapped below while a schedule for the upcoming games can be found here.

#8 Tennessee Versus #1 Florida – Game 1 Recap

The Florida Gators opened their defense of the National Championship with a 7-2 win over Tennessee on Thursday. Another complete game by Lauren Haeger lifted the Gators to the victory.

The Gators started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a rocket to left field by Haeger to give them a 1-0 lead. Florida loaded the bases after a walk, single, and hit by pitch, but could not add to their lead.

The Gators would have another chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the second. Following a walk and ground out, Kelsey Stewart singled to put runners on first and second with only one out. A grounder back to the pitcher advanced the runners and the Volunteers opted to load the bases by intentionally walking Haeger. Bailey Castro came up next, but could not capitalized as her strike out ended the rally.

Florida did add to their lead in the bottom of the third. Following a strike out and walk, Kayli Kvistad came up and drilled a shot to right center field to put the Gators up 3-0. The three run lead would not last long, however.

The Volunteers finally got their first runner on base in the top of the fourth following Shaliyah Geathers being hit by a pitch. A fly out brought Megan Geer up to the plate and she hit a two run shot to left field to make it a one run game again at 3-2.

Florida would respond in the bottom of the fourth. After two quick outs, Haeger was able to single to left field and advanced to second on a wild pitch while Castro was hit by a pitch. Kirsti Merritt was able to hit a hard ground ball to second, but it was not fielded by Geer that allowed Haeger to score. Merritt then stole second and while sliding head first the ball went off her helmet allowing Castro to waltz home for a 5-2 Florida lead after four innings.

The bottom of the sixth saw the Gators add more insurance runs. A lead off single from Stewart was followed by a ground out and Stewart was able to get to third on a stolen base. After Haeger was hit by a pitch (and pinch ran for by Jessica Damico), a throw by the catcher to third base went into left field that scored Stewart. Damico scored on a bunt back to the pitcher that was not fielded cleanly to make it 7-2.

The Gators were able to load the bases, but could not score another run. It would not matter as the Volunteers went down in order to end the game in the top of the seventh.

Haeger gave up only one hit (the two run homer by Geer) while striking out four batters and allowing no walks.

Florida moves into the winner’s bracket and will face the winner of LSU and Auburn game on Friday at 7 PM Eastern Time. Tennessee will be playing the loser of LSU and Auburn on Saturday at 12 PM Eastern Time.

#5 LSU Versus #4 Auburn – Game 2 Recap

The LSU Tigers sound defeated fellow SEC rival Auburn 6-1 on Friday afternoon in the second game of the Women’s College World Series. LSU’s Carley Hoover gave up only one run in a complete game.

LSU got on top first with a solo shot to left field by Bianka bell in the top half of the first inning. Auburn was unable to answer with LSU taking a 1-0 lead after one inning.

In the top of the second, LSU Constance Quinn hit a bloop single to right field and an error fielding the ball put her on second. Sydney Bourg came up and struck out to end the rally.

In the top of the third, Emily Griggs led off with a lead off single to left field before a double play with Auburn’s third baseman Kasey Cooper charging and catch a bunt then throwing down to first. LSU, however, would still come out with a bigger lead.

A two out single by Bailey Landry and walk drawn by Bell put runners on first and second. Sahvanna Jaquish then delivered a ball into the right center field gap to drive home two runs on a double. Up next was Kellsi Kloss and she drove an 0-1 pitch to left off the foul pole. LSU led 5-0 after just two and a half innings of play.

Auburn was in great position to score in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back singles put runners on first and second while a close ground out put runners on the corners. A fly out by Cooper ended the threat and Auburn was still looking for their first run of the game.

LSU put runners on first and second in the top of the fourth following back-to-back singles, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. The bottom of the fourth saw a tremendous catch by A.J. Andrews in center field as LSU led 5-0 after four innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, Auburn got a lead off double from Morgan Estell and she was sacrificed to third on a bunt by the next batter. Up next was Jenna Abbott who hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Estell and make it a 5-1 deficit.

LSU started the top of the sixth with a single from Quinn while Griggs singled two batters later. A ground ball by Andrews back to the pitcher was thrown over the third baseman’s head and Quinn was able to score. Griggs moved to third and Andrews, despite a stumbling out of the batter’s box, was able to move all the way to second. Auburn settled down to limit the damage to one run in the top of the sixth to trail 6-1.

The bottom of the sixth began with a single by Emily Carosone and she advanced to third on back-to-back ground outs. She could not score after another ground out ended the inning and Auburn trailed 6-1 after six.

Auburn had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh. H Fagan reached first base after LSU’s Sandra Simmons could not hold on to the ball. Estell then came up to hit a bunt single with her speed to put runners on first and second with no outs. Jade Rhodes then hit into a double play with a ground ball back to third base and she was thrown out at first. A strike out ended the game.

Carley Hoover went the distance giving up only one run on six hits while striking out five Auburn Tigers.

LSU will move to the winner’s bracket and face the defending National Champions, the Florida Gators on Friday at 7 PM Eastern Time.

Auburn drops into the loser’s bracket and will face the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday at 12 PM Eastern Time. The loser of that game will be eliminated while the winner will play a second game on Saturday.

#6 Alabama Versus #3 Michigan – Game 3 Recap

Another excellent pitching performance by Megan Betsa helped send the Michigan Wolverines to the winner’s bracket with a 5-0 win. She pitched a complete game shutout giving up only four hits and one walk while striking out six batters.

The Wolverines struck first in the bottom of the first. Kelly Christner took an 0-2 pitch to right field with a line drive over the wall and a 1-0 Michigan lead.

Neither team was able to get a runner on base in the second and third innings. Alabama got their second base runner and first hit in the top of the fourth, but that was the extent of that rally for the Tide.

Michigan was able to load the bases in the bottom half of the fourth after a single by Sierra Romero, walk by Christner, and single by Kelsey Susalla. After battling back to get a full count, Lauren Sweet took a 3-2 pitch to right center field that just go over the fence for a grand slam and a 5-0 Michigan lead. Michigan was unable to add to the lead despite putting a runner in scoring position.

Michigan had another chance to tack on runs in the bottom of the fifth after a walk by Romero, but she was thrown out trying to steal second. Christner then drew a walk and she successfully stole second, but Susalla’s strike out ended the inning.

Alabama finally put together a serious threat in the top of the sixth. Demi Turner singled up the middle with one out and then tagged up to second base following a fly out. Jadyn Spencer singled to shortstop to put runners on first and second, the first time Alabama had a runner in scoring position in the game. The Wolverines got out of the jam by forcing a pop out from Marisa Runyon to end the top of the sixth still five runs to the good.

The Tide were unable to get more than a runner on first and were shut out for the second time this season. The other game was against fellow WCWS participant Florida.

Michigan moves to the winner’s bracket and will face either UCLA or Oregon on Friday evening. Alabama moves to the loser’s bracket to face the loser between UCLA and Oregon.

#7 UCLA Versus #2 Oregon – Game 4 Recap

UCLA upset the second seeded Oregon Ducks 7-1 on Friday night. UCLA’s Ally Carda pitched a complete game giving up one run on six hits with only one walk and three strike outs.

Despite a steady rain in the first couple of innings, the game was played through the precipitation. Oregon had a great opportunity in the bottom of the first, but an uncharacteristic base running mistake hurt them. After a fielder’s choice got Janie Takeda on base, Jenna Lilley hit a single to right field, but Takeda hesitated rounding second and was thrown out at third. The Ducks would not score in the bottom of the first.

The Bruins were able to get a couple of runs of Cheridan Hawkins in the top of the second. Stephany LaRosa hit a bomb to straightaway center field to lead off the inning. Gabrielle Maurice did the same, but to left field with two outs and UCLA led 2-0 after the top of the second.

The game was delayed at the start of the top of the third with UCLA leading 2-0. A lightning strike in the area was the cause for the delay that lasted about 45 minutes.

Delaney Spaulding hit a one out double in the top of the third and later advanced to third on a ground out, but Carda’s ground out ended the rally. Oregon had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the third with a lead off runner getting on after an error. Nikki Udria was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, but Takeda lined out into a double play while Lilley lined out to end the inning.

The Ducks threatened again in the bottom of the fourth back-to-back singles to open the frame put the Ducks in great scoring position. Carda settled down to get the next two batters out before another single loaded the bases. Yet another ground out ended the threat and UCLA held a 2-0 lead after four innings.

A largely uneventful fifth inning gave way to the game changing sixth inning. With runners on second and third with two outs, Mysha Sataraka hit a pop fly to right field that could not be handled properly allowing both runners to score for a 4-0 lead. More defensive issues would haunt the the Ducks.

Maurice struck out for the third out of the inning, but a wild pitch allowed her to make it to first to keep the inning alive. A single by Gracie Goulder brought home one run while Kylee Perez‘s single to right field brought home to more runs to make it 7-0.

Oregon was able to get one run across in the bottom of the seventh after a lead off double from Koral Costa and a single by Lauren Lindvall scored Costa. A wild pitch allowed Lindvall to move to second, but Carda forced a foul out and then hit Udria with a pitch. Another pop out and another wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but Carda was able to work out of the jam by forcing a pop out to end the game.

UCLA will have a quick turnaround by taking on the Michigan Wolverines on Friday evening at 9:30 PM Eastern Time. Oregon will play on Saturday to keep their Championship hopes alive against Alabama at 2:30 PM Eastern Time.

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