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Huskies bow out of softball series on Rachel Garcia’s walk-off HR for UCLA

UCLA players celebrate Rachel Garcia’s three-run home run in the 10th inning against Washington during the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (Sarah Phipps / Associated Press)
UCLA players celebrate Rachel Garcia’s three-run home run in the 10th inning against Washington during the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (Sarah Phipps / Associated Press)
By Cliff Brunt Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rachel Garcia hit a three-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning and threw a shutout as UCLA beat Washington 3-0 in 10 innings to reach the championship series.

Garcia, the two-time reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, threw 179 pitches and had 16 strikeouts.

No. 2 seed UCLA (54-6) will play Oklahoma in the championship series, which begins Monday. The Bruins are seeking their first national title since 2010. Jocelyn Alo’s monster two-run homer in the fifth inning helped Oklahoma defeat Alabama 7-3 on Sunday night to qualify for the championship series.

Oklahoma seeks its third Women’s College World Series title in four years and its fourth championship this decade. UCLA has 12 national titles, but none since 2010.

Gabbie Plain gave up the homer for No. 3 seed Washington (52-9). The Huskies, last year’s national runner up, left 12 runners on base.

There were numerous scoring threats throughout the game.

Washington got two runners on in the top of the seventh and did not score.

UCLA’s Taylor Pack walked to start the bottom of the seventh, prompting Washington to have Taran Alvelo replace Plain. Alvelo registered three straight outs to extend the game.

Washington loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Garcia struck out Madison Huskey. UCLA had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Garcia flied out to left field.

Washington had two on with two outs in the ninth, but Garcia struck out Sami Reynolds swinging.

Plain re-entered the game in the 10th to relieve Alvelo, only to give up the winner.

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