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UCLA eliminates Mizzou from softball super regional

UCLA eliminates Mizzou from softball super regional

Tori Finucane

Missouri pitcher Tori Finucane throws to a Kansas batter during the NCAA college Columbia Regional softball championship game Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. (Jenny Justus/Missourian via AP)

Missouri’s softball season ended Sunday in the NCAA super regionals with a 10-6 loss at UCLA. The Bruins, the No. 7 seed in the NCAA bracket, swept the first two games of the best-of-three series and advanced to the Women’s College World Series.

The Tigers, seeded 10th, finished the season with a 42-16 record. The Bruins (50-10) will face Oregon in Oklahoma City in the first round of the WCWS. UCLA opened the super regional with a 7-4 win on Saturday.

Needing to sweep two games Sunday at Easton Stadium, the Tigers twice left the bases loaded on a day they also lost pitcher Tori Finucane. In to replace starter Paige Lowary, Finucane had to leave the game with two outs in the fifth when she took a line drive off her face. Trainers surrounded her in the circle and helped her off the field as she held a bloody towel to her face. Finucane was treated at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and underwent a CT scan. She was expected to be released Sunday evening, the team announced on its Twitter account.

Lowary (18-7) re-entered the game and got the final out of the inning.

Mizzou began the day with four straight singles by Taylor Gadbois, Emily Crane, Sami Fagan and Amanda Sanchez and grabbed a 1-0 lead on Sanchez’s bouncer up the middle. But UCLA retired the next three hitters with the bases loaded.

UCLA tied it at in the second as Maddy Jelenicki got around the tag of catcher Kirsten Mack at the plate on a single by Mysha Sataraka. The Bruins went ahead 2-1 on a dribbler that got under the glove of second baseman Fagan, though right fielder Crane threw out Sataraka at the plate on the play. Delaney Spaulding crushed her 20th home run of the season for a 4-1 lead.

Sataraka made it 6-1 in the third with a towering homer off Lowary. Finucane came on in relief and got Mizzou out of the inning, though Stephany LaRosa slammed a three-run homer in the fourth to push the Bruins ahead 9-1.

Missouri scored a run in the fifth to avoid getting beat by the eight-run rule as Mack singled home Fagan. Pinch runner Kayla Kingsley was thrown out at home for the inning’s third out.

After a UCLA sacrifice fly put the mercy rule back in play in the sixth inning, Mizzou extended the game another inning with Kelsea Roth’s solo homer to lead off the sixth. The Tigers made it 10-5 with a bases-loaded walk but left the bases full.

Roth’s second homer of the day got the Tigers within 10-6 in the bottom of the seventh, but UCLA freshman Selina Ta’amilo relieved starter Ally Carda (31-10) and got the final three outs.

Truman loses in Division II • Mercyhurst outlasted Truman 3-1 in the Division II NCAA baseball championships with two runs in the 11th inning Sunday in Cary, N.C. Truman (35-21) next plays Tuesday against Cal Poly Pomona.

Illini, Missouri State to host regionals • The Illinois and Missouri State baseball teams were chosen as host sites for NCAA tournament regionals. The full 64-team field will be announced Monday. The Fighting Illini (47-8-1) won the Big Ten regular-season championship and lost in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. Missouri State (45-10) won the Missouri Valley Conference title on Sunday.

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