Sunday, May 23, 2004
» Box Score
LOS ANGELES, CA—After making a tremendous run through the NCAA Region II field, the Alabama offense ran out of gas as they managed only four hits en route to a 7-0 loss at the hands of the host team and top seeded UCLA Bruins in the championship game of the 2004 NCAA Region II tournament.
After playing an epic, nine-inning affair with the Bruins on Saturday and then coming from four runs behind on Saturday night to defeat Long Beach St. to simply get into the championship game, the Tide was unable to get on track.
“Hats off to UCLA, they played a good game,” said Alabama Head Coach Patrick Murphy. “I thought it hurt when we had runners on first and second in the first inning and we weren’t able to advance them.”
UCLA struck first, scoring three runs on two hits in the top of the second inning, highlighted by a two-run single from Andrea Duran.
The Bruins added to its lead in the top of the third when Claire Sua took a 3-2 pitch from Erin Wright and sent it over the fence in right-center field for a 4-0 UCLA lead.
The Bruins added a run each in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings adding
Bama had its best scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first when they recorded back-to-back singles putting runners on first and second with one out, but they were not able to get anything across.
Wright (15-8) took the loss allowing four runs on four hits in three innings.
UCLA starter Keira Goerl picked up her fourth win of the tournament and held the Alabama offense in check allowing only four hits.
“We weren’t on our game as much as Goerl was today,” said Tide catcher Ashley Courtney. “With runners on, they put the ball in play and made things happen. We didn’t put the ball in play enough and we didn’t get enough runners on.”
For their efforts, Capper Reed, Stephanie VanBrakle and Courtney were all named to the All-Tournament team with Courtney and VanBrakle both being unanimous selections. Reed finished the tournament with a .357 average, hitting two home runs and driving in four runs. VanBrakle also hit two home runs while posting a .305 average and four RBI. She was also walked three times. Courtney finished with a .286 average but hit two home runs, drove in six runs while scoring four. She also drew four walks and stole two bases.
Alabama concludes its season, having posted its fifth straight 40-win season while advancing to its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament and second straight NCAA Regional championship.