UCLA secures 32nd WCWS trip with victory over Georgia

Photo: UCLA Athletics

Taylor Tinsley delivered an outstanding performance in the circle for the Bruins in game two of the Los Angeles Super Regional. The Lawrenceville, Ga. native sure rose to the occasion against her home state Bulldogs. Tinsley pitched a masterful game, leading UCLA to a 6-1 victory over Georgia and securing their 32nd trip to the Women’s College World Series.

Tinsley retired 13 straight batters at one point during the game, pitching to contact and Georgia never adjusted at the plate. The UCLA starter induced 11 flyouts and four groundouts, scattering four hits in the complete-game victory with six strikeouts.

The sophomore right-hander had faced the Bulldogs at the start of the season, suffering a loss. Ninety-eight days later, we witnessed an entire different pitcher and team who do not resemble anything close to the squad that played in Clearwater. This go around the Bruins provided their starter with plenty of offensive support tallying 11 hits on the day.

“It’s definitely a comfort feeling to know that our offense is going to have our backs.” Tinsley continued. “Me and (Kaitlyn Terry), we definitely know we’re going to get it done, but just to know that Shar, Maya and everybody else in the lineup, they’re definitely going to have us. Even on defense, too, I mean Maya has been lights out at short and our outfield has been kind of crazy. It’s been really rewarding to have the team have our back just like we have theirs.”

Sharlize Palacios was unstoppable at the plate, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a pair of home runs. Palacios and Maya Brady continue to deliver at the top of the lineup alongside Jadelyn Allchin. The trio along with starting centerfielder Janelle Meoño have a strong connection.

“We’ve really come a long way since travel ball. Maya, Nelly (Janelle Meoño), Jadelyn (Allchin), it feels so rewarding to be able to hug them and say we’re going to finish it at OKC. And just the belief and to be able to see (Brady) flourish, like I’ve always been her biggest fan since I was 12. It’s just so fun to play with her sister and knowing that you have family that has your back, it’s the most rewarding thing. And I know I have trust in her and support from her. It’s awesome to be able to look at her at short and be able to giveher that hug afterwards and say we’re making it to OKC.”

How It Happened

The Bruins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Sharlize Palacios smacked a single to left field put the Bruins up 1-0. UCLA scored again in the second to take a 2-1 lead after Georgia pushed a run across in the bottom of the inning on a Lyndi Rae Davis single up the middle.

Tinsley went on to retire the next 13 straight batters until giving up a single to Dallis Goodnight in the bottom of the sixth.

UCLA kept the pressure on, scoring two runs in the fourth on a Palacios two-run home run and single runs in the fifth and sixth. Palacios smacked an opposite-field home run in the sixth to extend the lead to five runs. The Bruins tallied 11 hits on the day for a total of 21 hits across two games.

UCLA will play the winner of the Alabama/Tennessee from the Knoxville Super Regional.

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