WCWS Day 4 Notes
Game 11: UCLA 5, Georgia 2
- UCLA (48-11) advanced to the best-of-three Women’s College World Series championship finals by defeating Georgia (50-13), 5-2. With the victory, UCLA advanced to its 19th WCWS championship game/series.
- The Bruins improved to 88-29 all-time in WCWS action and to 172-40 all-time in NCAA tournament play.
- UCLA holds a 12-1 all-time advantage over the Bulldogs and is 6-1 against Georgia in the NCAA tournament. The Bruins won this year’s only previous meeting (3-2 on Feb. 14).
- Georgia fell to 5-4 all-time at the WCWS. This marks the second straight year the Bulldogs reached the semifinals before exiting the tournament.
- UCLA hit two home runs today, snapping its NCAA tournament streak of seven straight games with at least three round trippers.
- With two outs in the second inning, B.B. Bates hit the Bruins’ seventh home run of the WCWS with a two-run blast well over the right field wall to give UCLA a 2-0 advantage. It was the freshman’s fifth homer of the season.
- UCLA sophomore Samantha Camuso hit her seventh home run of the NCAA tournament and second of the WCWS in the third inning. The shot gave the Bruins a 5-0 lead.
- The Bruins, who are 3-0 in this year’s WCWS, have already set an event record with their eight home runs. The previous mark of seven was set by Georgia last year in five games.
- UCLA has hit at least one home run in 19 of its last 20 contests. The Bruins have 102 homers on the year, a single-season school record.
- Bruins senior pitcher Megan Langenfeld improved to 14-1 on the year and to 3-0 in this year’s WCWS. Langenfeld gave up just two hits and struck out three in the complete game effort.
- Georgia sophomore pitcher Erin Arevalo took the loss and finished 20-7 on the year. The Lathrop, Calif., product gave up two runs (both on Bates’ second-inning homer) on two hits in 4.1 innings of work.
- Georgia junior outfielder Megan Wiggins reached base for the 34th consecutive game by doubling in the third inning. It marked the 102nd double of the year for the Bulldogs, a single-season school record.
- Junior outfielder Taylor Schlopy set the Georgia single-season record for runs scored (79) when she crossed home plate in the fourth inning. She scored a run in 48 of the team’s 63 games this year.
UCLA HEAD COACH KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ
“Every team sets out on a mission, on a journey to be able to get to this point in the season. Every coach’s hope is to be able to have your players play their best when they need to be at their best. As you can see, I’m so proud of their ability to settle into their game and do what they’re capable of doing. I simply have told them the only expectations they have are those expectations of themselves and what they know they’re capable of doing. We’re slowing the game down, and that’s simply all we’ve been able to do so we can get into it. Strong leadership, it’s really a team effort, and I’m proud of the big ‘W’ today to get UCLA back into the championship where we believe we belong.”
On the strengths of Arizona and Tennessee:
“Both of them (are) solid squads. Both have pitching, both have hitting, both play defense, just like all of them. For us, we’re really competing against the game. We respect the game, we understand how it works and our ability to get out there no matter who it is and be able to play. We played Tennessee I think in February and we were able to close with Arizona here in the end. At this point, this is a new season for all of us. What happened yesterday has nothing to do with what’s going to happen tomorrow. But I think the best part for us is that we’re playing our best ball and I’m really excited for that.”
On Coach John Wooden being on their minds today and his impact on the team:
“I think not every Bruin on this team has had the fortune to actually meet him, but the senior class (has). They had an opportunity to go to his house and we had an opportunity to meet him. But regardless, every Bruin that joins or commits to be a Bruin, whether they’re a student or student-athlete, knowing that they joined a family of tradition of excellence at UCLA. So you become part of a whole. And that ultimately allows all of us to kind of have a moment to feel that for Coach Wooden because he’s a part of our family; he’s a big part of our family. He’s a big part of why people want to come to UCLA and continue this tradition instead of going someplace else and being first. So absolutely, we played with inspiration today. He’s a part of our world, and part of the UCLA family and we take great pride in it.”
UCLA SENIOR PITCHER/INFIELDER MEGAN LANGENFELD
On what it means to get this far and play for the title for the first time:
“It’s a great feeling. It feels like it’s been a little too long. We have a bunch of alumni that are here and they keep telling us, ‘Don’t worry, you guys have it.’ Whatever ‘it’ is, I don’t know, but I guess we have ‘it.’ They said, ‘You guys look like the teams that have gotten there.’ So whatever ‘it’ is, we’re just going to keep doing ‘it’ and play our game and hopefully do what we’re supposed to do.”
On her sore fingers causing 96 of 111 pitches to be screwballs:
“I’m just forming some blisters on a few of my fingers, but it’s something that you just fight through and you kind of just forget about it. You pitch thru pain, you play thru pain. Whatever you can do to get the ‘W’ is kind of what I think. So if that means tearing my fingers apart, then I’ll tear my fingers apart to get the win.”
UCLA SOPHOMORE DESIGNATED PLAYER SAMANTHA CAMUSO
On what has been the key to her power surge in the postseason with seven homers in eight games:
“I’m just enjoying the moment. I’m just slowing the game down, staying within myself in my own swing, swinging at pitches I want to swing at. Overall I’m just trying to enjoy this experience. It’s obviously not something that’s just handed to you, and I’m just trying to have fun with it.”
GEORGIA HEAD COACH LU HARRIS-CHAMPER
“Obviously disappointed that we lost, but when you get down to it, you know, big picture, just super proud of this team and proud of their fight. This team hasn’t been shut out all year long, and Alisa (Goler) picking up those two RBI’s is fantastic. You always got a chance at any game when your team can be competing to put runs on the board. And hats off to UCLA for playing a great game. They did the little things and (Megan) Langenfeld was outstanding hitting her spots.”
On her strategy of frequent pitching changes:
“The goal is to have the hook when we needed the hook. Not to wait too long, not to let things get too out of control. That was the goal.”
On if Georgia returning all of its players next year makes this loss easier to stomach:
“A loss is never easy, but you are right about that. I love this team, I love the girls on it. They have great heart and they work hard. They work hard, they are nice and that will get you a long way in life.”
GEORGIA JUNIOR INFIELDER ALISA GOLER
On adjusting to Megan Langenfeld’s screwballs:
“Well, when you face a pitcher of her caliber, you have to do whatever you can in your power to try and basically help yourself out. A lot of things you probably noticed throughout the game were changes in positions in the box. And really just trying to get the barrel out in the front, especially for the righties. For the lefties, it was more just fouling it off, fouling it off until you get a good pitch. Like (Coach Harris-Champer) said, hats off to her. She is an awesome player and a great person and she just pitched one heck of a game.”