Sophomore Kinsley Washington drove in the winning run in the Bruins’ last at-bat to clinch the national championship in softball at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
The title is the 118th NCAA championship in the athletic history of UCLA and the 13th national championship for the softball program.
UCLA defeated Oklahoma, 5-4, to sweep the best-of-three championship series. As they had done all year, after Oklahoma tied the game with a two-out solo homer in the top of the seventh, the Bruins punched back in their next at-bat. Senior Taylor Pack got the rally started with a single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice by senior Brianna Tautalafua. After a fielder’s choice and a pitch that got away, Washington stroked a pitch into left field to score pinch runner Jacqui Prober.
“They’re a really gutsy, relentless team, and I’m so proud that they enjoyed it,” said UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “They had fun, they had each other’s backs.”