Share “Arizona, UCLA go home”

By Mike Baldwin Modified: June 1, 2008 at 12:23 am •  Published: June 1, 2008
Four teams remain at the Women's College World Series.

UCLA and Arizona aren't among the four still playing.

That's stop-the-presses news.

For the first time in 22 years, the finals will not include either of the two programs that have dominated softball for more than two decades.

Saturdays at the WCWS are losers' bracket survivor showdowns. Top-seeded Florida posted a 2-0 win Saturday night at Hall of Fame Stadium to send UCLA home. Earlier in the day, Alabama sent two-time defending champion Arizona home. The Crimson Tide routed Arizona 5-1.

"This is a huge win for our program,” said Florida coach Tim Walton. "The name UCLA and College World Series go hand in hand. To come out on top in the losers' bracket with our backs against the wall is a tremendous accomplishment.”

Florida junior right-hander Stacey Nelson tossed her second shutout of the day, capped by a five-hitter against the 11-time national champion UCLA Bruins.

"It's tough when Arizona and UCLA match up in the first round for either of us to get to the championship,” said UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. "Obviously, there is a lot of talent around the country. But it's difficult with the Pac 10 teams on the same side of the bracket.”

The Gators, 69-4, will play Texas A&M today at noon and must defeat the Aggies twice to advance to the best-of-3 finals.

Florida had to escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the seventh inning in the day's first game to survive a 2-0, nine-inning win over Virginia Tech. By the end of the day, Nelson, 47-4, had thrown two shutouts.

"It definitely was a good day,” Nelson said.

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