Two-time defending NCAA Division I softball champion UCLA held all the advantages against Georgia going into its super-regional Friday night at UCLA. The banners that displayed the record 11 national championships on the Easton Stadium outfield wall provided the most obvious example.
None of that mattered to the Bulldogs. Jessica Doucette and Courtney Knight each hit two-run home runs to power Georgia to a surprising 4-1 victory over the Bruins in the first game of the best-of-three series.
UCLA (34-18) must win twice today or it will not play in the Women's College World Series for the first time since 1998.
Georgia defeated the Bruins for the first time in six meetings and needs one win to reach Oklahoma City for the first time in the program's nine-year history.
For the Bruins, it isn't a new situation. They defeated Cal State Fullerton twice on Sunday to advance out of the regional after losing to the Titans.
"It's very similar to last weekend," freshman pitcher Anjelica Selden said. "The team that we were tonight isn't who we are. Hopefully we'll come out strong tomorrow."
UCLA won all four games between the teams in February and Selden pitched shutouts in three of them while giving up only nine hits and striking out 43.
But the Bulldogs (55-13) are a different team and it showed when Doucette, a former El Segundo High player, and Knight connected on their game-changing shots in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.
"I wasn't as sharp as I usually am," said Selden, who holds the UCLA single-season strikeout record with 411. "The mistakes that I did make, they got their hits on."
Selden, who has had 23 double-digit strikeout games this season, finished with seven while yielding six hits in seven innings.
The Bruins managed only three hits off Georgia pitcher Michelle Green and scored their lone run on Emily Zaplatosch's homer in the sixth.
A four-run second inning gave Loyola Marymount a lead it would not relinquish and the Lions defeated Pepperdine, 7-3, in Game 1 of the West Coast Conference baseball championship series at Loyola's Page Stadium.
Junior Jeff Stevens (7-7) pitched eight strong innings to earn the victory. The win was the sixth in a row for the Lions (31-25), who have won 15 of their last 17.
Stevens held Pepperdine (36-21) to one run until the seventh, when the Waves loaded the bases and scored twice on three straight singles. But Stevens got Donald Brown to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Jairo Ochoa scattered four hits over eight innings and struck out nine to lead Chapman to an 8-1 victory over Wartburg (Iowa) in the first round of the NCAA Division III World Series at Grand Chute, Wis.
Ochoa (10-2) retired the first nine batters he faced and walked three. The Panthers (37-9) will play Wisconsin Whitewater today in a winner's bracket game.
Northwestern freshman Audra Cohen stopped the impressive run of UCLA's Riza Zalameda with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I women's singles tennis tournament at Athens, Ga.
Zalameda, a freshman who upset second-seeded Julie Coin of Clemson in the quarterfinals, was trying to become the first Bruin to win the singles title since Keri Phebus in 1996.
Cohen will play Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova, who defeated Florida's Jennifer Magley, 7-5, 6-4.
A Stanford team is assured of winning the doubles championship. In the semifinals, Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey defeated Northwestern's Cohen and Cristelle Grier, 6-2, 6-2, and Alice Barnes and Erin Burdette beat TCU's Ana Cetnik and Story Tweedie-Yates, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the NCAA Division I men's tennis tournament at College Station, Texas, UCLA sophomore Benjamin Kohlloeffel beat Boise State's Luke Shields, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, to advance to today's quarterfinals against Izak van der Merwe of Old Dominion, who beat Baylor's Benjamin Becker, 6-4, 7-6 (3).