2015 Women’s College World Series: Day 2 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 2 Wrap Up

The winner’s brackets at the 2015 Women’s College World Series were pared by two teams going into elimination Saturday. The LSU Tigers took on the Florida Gators in the first game on Friday while the nightcap was between the UCLA Bruins and Michigan Wolverines.

A recap of Thursday’s opening day action can be found here. A schedule of the Women’s College World Series can be found here and is updated upon completion of each game.

#5 LSU Versus #1 Florida – Game 5 Recap

The Florida Gators won their 13th straight postseason game on Friday night with a 4-0 victory over LSU. Lauren Haeger went the distance and was in complete control after a rocky first inning. She struck out four Tigers while giving up only five hits and no walks.

The Gators nearly started as well as they could. Kelsey Stewart led off with a triple while Haeger drew a walk two batters later. Kirsti Merritt hit a bunt single that popped up and fell in front of LSU’s Carley Hoover, but Hoover could not get an out on the play to load the bases. Hoover settled down to force an infield pop out and strike out to end the bases load threat with no damage done.

LSU also had an excellent start, but like the Gators could not capitalize. A single by A.J. Andrews through the right side into right field and perfectly placed bunt by Bailey Landry put runners on base with no outs. A flare to left field by Bianka Bell loaded the bases with no outs.

A great snag by Taylore Fuller at third base kept the game scoreless. A ground ball by Kellsi Kloss was hit to Kathlyn Medina at shortstop and Medina was able to apply the tag to the runner head to third followed by a throw to first for the double play.

The Gators had another chance in the top of the third. A two out hit by Merritt was followed up by a stolen base and advancement to third on a high throw from the catcher. Fuller drew a walk to put runners on the corners and she stole second, but the Gators could not break through with the runners in scoring position for the second time after a second strike out by Bailey Castro.

Florida finally was able to score in the top of the fifth. After a lead off single by Nicole DeWitt, Haeger came up and hit a two run homer to left field for the first runs of the game for a 2-0 lead. After the home run, Merritt bunted to reach base while Castro drew a walk and was subsequently pinch ran for by Justine McLean. A sacrifice fly resulted in runners on the corners while McLean stole second, but a ground out to third left the Tigers down 2-0 after four and a half innings.

The Gators began the sixth with a lead off double from Aubree Munro to left field while Jessica Damico came in to pinch run for her. A ground ball by Stewart was thrown to first for the out while Damico was thrown out at third trying to advance. DeWitt came up with two outs and hit a high riser towards right field that just got over the wall for a solo shot.

The home run by DeWitt caused Hoover to be replaced by Kelsee Selman for LSU. Selman was able to get a ground out from Haeger to minimize the damage, but LSU still trailed 3-0 after the top of the sixth.

The top of the seventh saw the Gators put runners on base again. Merritt was able to single to center field past the diving shortstop while Fuller put a bunt down perfectly that landed between the catcher and pitcher to put runners on the first two bases with no outs.

While McLean struck out looking, Merritt took off to steal third and a wide throw allowed her to score for a 4-0 Florida lead and Fuller on second. Kayli Kvistad then drew a walk to put runners on first and second with only one out. Once again, the damage was limited to only one run after a line out to first and fly out to center. LSU went into the bottom of the seventh trailing 4-0.

Lauren Haeger threw another complete game shut out this tournament while the Gators move onto the semifinals where they will await the winner of game 9 (those teams have yet to bet determined).

LSU will play an elimination game on Saturday against the winner between Alabama and Oregon. The game between LSU and Alabama or Oregon will be played at 9:30 PM Eastern Time on Saturday.

#7 UCLA Versus #3 Michigan – Game 6 Recap

An entertaining and very offensive affair between UCLA and Michigan saw the Wolverines win 10-4 over the Bruins on Friday night. Three runs batted in apiece from Kelly Christner and Kelsey Susalla lifted Michigan after falling behind 3-0 after one inning.

UCLA showed no grogginess after their finish in the wee hours of Friday morning. Delaney Spaulding hit a lead off double to right center field while Allexis Bennett singled to the shortstop. Ally Carda was able to tough out a walk in a ten pitch at bat to load the bases with no outs. A strike out was followed by a single to left field from Mysha Sataraka to score Spaulding and give the Bruins a 1-0 lead with only one out on the board.

After a foul out for the second out of the inning, a walk drawn by Maddy Jelenicki brought home another run to make it 2-0. Morgan Betsa then hit Gracie Goulder with a pitch that precipitated a change of pitcher for Michigan to Haylie Wagner. Wagner was able to get a strike out to end the inning, but the Wolverines trailed 3-0 after one inning of play.

Michigan came out in the top of the second with a decent response to the deficit. Kelsey Susalla singled and Lauren Sweet walked with both of those runners moving up on a sacrifice bunt. A fly out by Wagner may have produced a run on a sacrifice fly, but Susalla elected to stay on third to keep it a 3-0 deficit and with two outs. A fly out by the next batter ended the inning with no runs scored, which compounded the decision to stay at third even more.

The Wolverines were back in the top of a third with another excellent opportunity and more than took advantage of it. Abby Ramirez started with a single while Sierra Lawrence drew a walk. Sierra Romero sacrificed the runners up a base with Kelly Christner ground ball dribbling to right field to bring home Ramirez for a 3-1 deficit.

A stolen by Christner set up Susalla with a double to right center off the glove of a diving Kylee Perez for UCLA. Both Lawrence and Christner scored while Susalla moved all the way up to third on a throwing error to home. Lindsay Montemarano was able to hit a deep fly ball to center field to score Susalla for a 4-3 Michigan lead. Despite a wild pitch by Carda to advance Nikki Wald up to second, a fly out on the warning track in right field ended the top of the third.

The bottom of the third was also crazy, particularly in the fashion it ended. It began with Stephany LaRosa being hit by a pitch while Sataraka was able to single to left field. A sacrifice bunt moved those two runners up before the craziness ensued. A ground out by Jelenicki to first put both runners in a run down situation, with Sataraka at second in no man’s land. The throw to third was poor, which allowed LaRosa to score. However, Sataraka was caught in a run down after the run scored and the inning ended with her being tagged out. UCLA tied the game at four apiece, but could have reclaimed the lead.

The fourth inning produced base runners for both teams, but neither team was able to get a runner past second and a relatively easy inning for this offensive game.

Michigan was back in business in the top of the fifth after back-to-back singles by Susalla and Sweet put runners on the corner. UCLA opted to bring Ally Carda back to the circle after she was removed in the top of the fourth following a lead off single by Michigan. Carda’s first pitch was a sacrifice fly from Montemarano that scored Susalla to give Michigan a 5-4 lead. The Bruins were able to keep the damage down to one run thanks to a ground out double play from Michigan.

In the bottom of the fifth, Carda was able to start with a lead off bloop single to left and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by LaRosa. The Wolverines would not allow her to advance any farther thanks to a strike out and ground out. Michigan held a 5-4 lead after five innings.

Michigan was able to add valuable insurance runs in the top half of the sixth. Abby Ramirez started the rally with a single before a pop out and strike out put the Wolverines down to their last out of the inning. Kelly Christner was able to hit a double to the right field wall to score Ramirez and Susalla then singled to left field that brought home Susalla for a 7-4 Michigan lead. A walk to Lauren Sweet put runners on second and third, but a pop out in shallow right field ended the possibility of more runs being scored.

In the bottom of the sixth, UCLA got a lead off single from Maddy Jelenicki while Sam Duran pinch ran for her. A ground out moved Duran up to second and a great diving catch in center field by Sierra Lawrence ended the inning with Michigan still leading by three runs.

Michigan’s offense was not done. The top of the seventh started with a pop out followed by back-to-back singles. A single to left field by Lawrence scored one run while Sierra Romero hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ramirez. A single to center field by Christner made it 10-4 as Lawrence scored. A wild pitch, walk, and another wild pitch but Christner on third and Susalla on second with two outs. A pop out in foul territory ended the inning with UCLA needing six runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extras.

Haylie Wagner pitched very well after replacing Megan Betsa with only two outs gone in the first inning. She surrendered only one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five batters.

Michigan is now off until Sunday where they will need one win on Sunday to make the Championship Series. Their opponent will be determined on Saturday.

For UCLA, they will now need to win on Saturday or they will be eliminated. The Bruins will face the winner of the Tennessee and Auburn game on Saturday at 7 PM Eastern Time.

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