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Softball: UCLA tops Oklahoma to win 13th national title

By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — UCLA is back on top.
Kinsley Washington’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Bruins past Oklahoma 5-4 on Tuesday night, and UCLA won the championship series 2-0. It is the school’s 13th national title, and first since 2010.
Rachel Garcia was named the Most Outstanding Player of the World Series. She threw 179 pitches and hit a walk-off homer in the semifinal win over Washington on Sunday, then got the victory in Game 1 against Oklahoma on Monday. She gave up four runs and eight hits to earn the win in the clincher on Tuesday.
Brianna Tautalafua had three hits, and Washington and Aaliyah Jordan each had two for UCLA (56-6).
The Bruins rolled past the Sooners 16-3 in Game 1 on Monday and tied the record for most runs scored in a World Series game.
Oklahoma provided much more resistance in Game 2. Shay Knighten hit a solo homer with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie score and force UCLA to bat again.
The Sooners (57-6) were trying to win their third title in four years.
Bubba Nickles and Briana Perez hit solo homers on Giselle “G” Juarez’s first four pitches. UCLA loaded the bases after that, but Juarez escaped with just a 2-0 deficit.
Jordan’s solo shot in the third made it 3-1, but the Bruins left the bases loaded again.
In the fourth, Oklahoma’s Nicole Mendes singled and later scored on a single by Falepolima Aviu. Lynnsie Elam’s double scored pinch runner Raegan Rogers to tie the score. With runners on second and third with one out, Garcia intentially walked Sydney Romero to load the bases. Caleigh Clifton struck out, then Jocelyn Alo grounded out to end the threat.
Tautalafua’s solo homer in the fifth put UCLA up 4-3. After Knighten’s homer tied it, pinch-runner Jacqui Prober scored the game-winner on Washington’s hit.
___
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

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