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” »
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” »
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” »
Senior Gabrielle Maurice plays a critical role in UCLA’s defense in left field. (Photo courtesy Katie Meyers)
UCLA isn’t just happy to be back in Oklahoma City for the third straight year. The Bruins are itching for a title.
“Third time’s the charm,” senior Gabrielle Maurice said. “We’re hoping to get after it this year.”
READ: UCLA calm, confident heading into WCWS
It’s been seven years since UCLA’s last title, the longest drought in school history for the nation’s most decorated program. The Bruins start the hunt for their 12th NCAA title Thursday against No. 13 LSU at 11:30 a.m. PT in the first round of the Women’s College World Series.
Compared to the 2015 team that was making UCLA’s first World Series appearance in four years, this squad in Oklahoma City has confidence and composure while dealing with the pressures of the sport’s biggest stage.
“Great excitement, but there’s also a great calm,” head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “We can’t wait to get out there and play with a great focus we’ve been playing with.”
No. 5 UCLA (47-13) vs. No. 13 LSU (47-20)
When: Thursday, 11:30 a.m. PT
Where: USA Hall of Fame Stadium (Oklahoma City)
Pitcher Rachel Garcia and UCLA softball will face LSU in the first round of the Women’s College World Series. (Photo courtesy Katie Meyers)
Since it became the first team to punch its ticket to the 2017 Women’s College World Series on Friday, UCLA got to watch as the rest of the field filled in this weekend.
The Bruins (47-13) found out their World Series first-round opponent Sunday as No. 13 LSU upset No. 4 Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional. The Tigers (47-20) lost the first game of the Super Regional, but bounced back to win two in a row and advance to their third straight World Series.
To win their first national championship since 2010, the Bruins have to survive a four-team, double-elimination bracket, then win a best-of-three series against the winner of the other World Series bracket. UCLA’s grouping also includes No. 1 Florida (55-8) and No. 9 Texas A&M (47-11).
The World Series starts June 1 in Oklahoma City.
UPDATED: No. 3 Oregon, No. 6 Washington, No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 15 Baylor make up the second bracket. Baylor upset Pac-12 champion Arizona, the No. 2 seed, in the Super Regional.