Lisa Fernandez suspended 2 games for contact with umpire

UCLA assistant coach Lisa Fernandez was ejected during the sixth inning of the softball team’s 8-2 win over Texas A&M at the WCWS. (AP photo)

Lisa Fernandez made contact with an umpire after the UCLA softball team’s assistant coach was ejected during the Bruins’ 8-2 win over Texas A&M in the Women’s College World Series Saturday morning. She will be suspended two games as a result of the contact, according to NCAA Softball Secretary and Rules Editor Vickie Van Kleeck.

Fernandez, one of the most famous pitchers to ever play softball, has coached at alma mater UCLA for 15 years. If UCLA is eliminated from the WCWS by Washington Saturday evening, Fernandez will also be suspended for the first game of next season.

The play that led to the ejection occurred in the sixth inning when UCLA senior Gabrielle Maurice hit her head on the ground trying to touch home plate. Fernandez was arguing that she was obstructed by the Texas A&M catcher, who made contact with Maurice as she fielded a throw and tagger Maurice on the face.

Maurice was called out, immediately inciting an argument between the home plate umpire and UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and Fernandez. Once Fernandez was ejected, she quickly walked closer and her hands briefly made contact with the home plate umpire’s chest protector.

“What you saw with myself and Coach Fernandez is I’m not going to tolerate allowing the players to put themselves in position to possibly get hurt,” Inouye-Perez said. “That is ultimately the job of the officials. We all simply had each other’s backs.” Continue reading “Lisa Fernandez suspended 2 games for contact with umpire” »

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UCLA softball team stays alive at WCWS; Lisa Fernandez ejected

The UCLA softball team’s stay at the Women’s College World Series got a little longer and a lot more memorable Saturday morning.

Facing elimination against ninth-seeded Texas A&M, the fifth-seeded Bruins responded with an 8-2 win in Oklahoma City that advanced them to a Saturday’s 4 p.m. quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Washington.

Redshirt freshman Rachel Garcia allowed one run on three hits in six innings and hit a two-run home run in UCLA’s five-run seventh inning that blew open a two-run game. The Bruins seemed particularly motivated in the seventh after a play in the sixth that left senior Gabrielle Maurice’s face scratched and bloodied and obviously struck a nerve with 15th-year assistant coach Lisa Fernandez.

On the back end of a double steal, Maurice was tagged in the face trying to avoid the Texas A&M catcher and slammed her head on the ground in the process.

Fernandez and UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez immediately began to argue the call – obstruction is a particularly sensitive subject after a questionable obstruction call against UCLA’s catcher awarded LSU the game-winning run in the Bruins’ 2-1 loss in Thursday’s WCWS opener – and Fernandez didn’t stop arguing until whe was ejected.

She appeared to make contact with the home plate umpire after being ejected, the punishment for which is a two-game suspension. The incident is being reviewed by the NCAA. Continue reading “UCLA softball team stays alive at WCWS; Lisa Fernandez ejected” »

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Griffin Canning reaches 300 strikeouts, but UCLA baseball drops NCAA opener

Pitcher Griffin Canning became the sixth pitcher in UCLA history to record 300 career strikeouts on Friday, but the Bruins lost 3-2 to Texas in the first round of the NCAA Long Beach Regional. (Photo by Don Liebig/UCLA Athletics)

Despite an outing that put Griffin Canning among the UCLA greats, the Bruins lost a tight 3-2 game to Texas in the first round of the Long Beach Regional on Friday at Blair Field.

Canning had six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings as he became just the sixth UCLA pitcher to reach 300 career strikeouts. The junior has 301 for his career and was the first Bruin to eclipse the mark since Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole finish their careers in 2011.

READ: UCLA loses tight duel to Texas

Two errors in the seventh inning and two-out walk in the eighth cost the Bruins in the close game as the Longhorns scored once in each inning.  Continue reading “Griffin Canning reaches 300 strikeouts, but UCLA baseball drops NCAA opener” »

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UCLA baseball starts NCAA tournament in Long Beach Regional

Jon Olsen progression into a reliable third starter has helped UCLA return to the NCAA tournament this year. (Photo courtesy Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)

Brett Stephens‘ days as a Bruin are winding down. But the senior left fielder is set on making these final days last as long as possible.

“We’re really proud of this team for getting to postseason because it’s hard to do,” he said before UCLA’s NCAA tournament opener against Texas on Friday at 4 p.m. “But we’re not done yet.”

The Bruins are the third seed in the Long Beach Regional. Host Long Beach State and San Diego State play in the second first-round game Friday at 8 p.m.

 

First baseman Sean Bouchard and pitchers Griffin Canning and Jon Olsen were named All-Pac-12 on Thursday. Canning will take the mound Friday in the regional opener after he was also named second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Olsen’s progression as a reliable third starter was a major catalyst for UCLA’s return to the postseason, head coach Jon Savage said. The 6-foot-3 righty was 6-0 in Pac-12 play.

Bouchard leads the team with 43 RBIs and nine home runs while hitting .305. It was the junior’s first all-conference honor.

Here’s the weekend schedule for the Long Beach Regional at Blair Field: Continue reading “UCLA baseball starts NCAA tournament in Long Beach Regional” »

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UCLA drops WCWS opener marred by controversial calls


Fourteen years ago, the UCLA softball team lost its opening game in the Women’s College World Series. It went on to become the second team to ever win a national championship after being diverted to the loser’s bracket in its first game.

That is a similarity the 2017 Bruins are hoping to share with the 2003 team after dropping Thursday’s WCWS game to LSU, 2-1. There was a distinct difference, however, in their opening performances. UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez would know. She was an assistant at UCLA in 2003.

“In 2003 we lost Game 1, but in a whole different way,” Inouye-Perez said. “We just didn’t show up and play our game, and it didn’t feel really good. Today we played UCLA softball. I’m proud of them. But I also said we need to figure out how to be 1 percent better to be able to get after the next W.”

READ: UCLA’s controversial WCWS loss hinges on two plays at the plate

The UCLA softball coach directly addressed the controversial call at the plate that awarded LSU the game-winning run in the fifth inning and prompted a heated discussion between Inouye-Perez and the home plate umpire. Continue reading “UCLA drops WCWS opener marred by controversial calls” »

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