OKLAHOMA CITY — A two-out solo home run from UCLA’s Aaliyah Jordan was only the beginning of Oklahoma's struggles in its 16-3 loss in game one of the Women’s College World Series championship Monday night.
Junior LHP Giselle Juarez allowed Jordan's homer in the first while her defense committed three errors in a row in the third inning to prompt two runs for the Bruins.
A throwing error to first base allowed UCLA's Kinsley Washington to advance to second. Washington was able to make it home after senior second baseman Caleigh Clifton committed a throwing error to Shay Knighten, the first baseman — although the ball looked catchable. Senior left fielder Falepolima Aviu let a sleeper roll past her to allow UCLA's Kelli Godin to score after having reached third, making the score 3-1 UCLA.
Oklahoma's three runs came from a second inning Knighten solo home run, a solo home run from freshman Grace Green in the sixth and an RBI single from senior third baseman Sydney Romero in the bottom of the seventh.
UCLA's Rachel Garcia — the 2019 USA Softball Player of the Year — threw 411 pitches throughout the entire WCWS going into the game, but appeared as if she was coming off a longer break. She finished the game with just three allowed hits and a run on 61 pitches. Garcia also went 2-for-5 at the plate with a two-run home run and four RBIs.
Junior RHP Mariah Lopez replaced Juarez in the fifth inning, and allowed three earned runs with a home run. Junior Shannon Saile pitched in the sixth to get the final two outs of the inning. She allowed four runs and two home runs to make the score 11-1 going into the bottom half inning.
Junior centerfielder Nicole Mendes entered the circle in the seventh inning, and allowed five hits and four runs. It was 16-2 when the bottom half of the inning came long.
Game two will be at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 3. Game three, if necessary, will be at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, June 4.