UCLA softball beats Missouri, earns spot in Women’s College World Series

UCLA softball is heading back to Oklahoma City. For the first time since their 2010 championship run, the Bruins earned a spot in the Women’s College World Series — sweeping No. 10 Missouri this weekend.

The Tigers fell today in a 10-6 decision, one that followed UCLA’s 7-4 comeback win on Saturday. The No. 7 Bruins will open the WCWS on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. PT (ESPN2) against Pac-12 champion Oregon, which took two games in their regular-season series in April.

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UCLA baseball sets school record with 22nd conference win

This might be UCLA’s best baseball team yet.

The No. 2 Bruins beat Oregon, 4-3, on Friday night, plating the go-ahead run on a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth inning. The victory moved them to 22-6 in Pac-12 play, setting a new school record for conference wins. UCLA won 21 league games on their way to the national title in 2013, as well as in 1986 and 1979.

A three-run third inning gave the Bruins an early 3-1 lead, but the Ducks tied the game with a series of singles in the eighth. UCLA shortstop Kevin Kramer drew a four-pitch walk against reliever Garrett Cleavinger to push his team ahead.

The team already clinched its third conference title in five years by sweeping Arizona last weekend, but it can still set more milestones. Two more wins to close out the regular season would give UCLA a 44-12 record. The Bruins’ best-ever regular season came five years ago, when they went 43-13 and reached the College World Series final.

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Jim Mora on Everett Golson’s transfer: ‘I don’t want mercenaries’

The biggest transfer news of this college football offseason came earlier this week, when former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson transferred to Florida State.

The talented albeit turnover-prone passer will play immediately at FSU, after having submitting a list of 10 schools to the Fighting Irish’s compliance department as his potential destinations. That list, according to ESPN, also included Alabama, South Carolina and UCLA.

But the Bruins weren’t interested in the prospect of landing Golson as a graduate transfer, despite the fact that they are without a game-proven option to replace former three-year starter Brett Hundley.

“We never even talked about it,” head coach Jim Mora said today on the Rich Eisen Show. “I don’t want mercenaries on my team. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Do Pac-12 revenues stack up vs. other conferences?

» The Pac-12’s latest tax filings are out, and the Bay Area News Group’s Jon Wilner breaks down all the numbers. The conference distributed around $21 million to most members in the last fiscal year. But can the league keep pace with the SEC and Big Ten in the coming years?

» Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis discusses his decision to resign, announced earlier this month. Oregonian columnist John Canzano shares a story about one of De Carolis’ less-recognized accomplishments.

» Washington graduate assistant Gerald Alexander delivered his own son in a bathtub. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Linebackers

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins' "Spring Showcase" at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins’ “Spring Showcase” at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

A program vying for the title of “Linebacker U” is about to enter what could be a very interesting season.

Anthony Barr needed just one offseason to turn himself into a dynamic pass rusher, and helped anchor the defense in Jim Mora’s first two seasons. Eric Kendricks was quietly consistent throughout his career, but peaked last fall on his way to a Butkus Award and UCLA’s all-time tackles record. Can Myles Jack seize that leadership role as well as his two predecessors?

All signs point to yes. Jack has impressed from almost the first practice snaps he took as a Bruin, and has proven himself to be one of the best cover linebackers in college football. While his sophomore season didn’t fulfill the all-world expectations set by his incredible two-way debut in 2013, he still finished with 87 tackles and seven pass breakups. Continue reading

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