SAN DIEGO, Calif - Mother Nature was not kind to No. 21/20 Minnesota (11-7) forcing back a pair of top-25 matchups to later in the day. After a two and a half hour delay the sun reappeared from the clouds as the Gophers fell to No. 22 Long Beach State in a pitcher's duel, 1-0. Minnesota closed out the day with a five inning loss to the No. 3/3 UCLA in an offensive slug fest, 12-4.
"We faced two great pitchers today," said head coach Jamie Trachsel. "It wasn't without battle, intent and fighting all day to see our commitment to the plan and the process come through. We came out ready to go and had great energy all day, it just came down to a couple days in the first game and then we put up a good fight against UCLA."
Game one | No. 22 Long Beach State 1, No. 21/20 Minnesota 0
Minnesota was no-hit for the first time since March 29, 2013 as 49ers' starter Cielo Meza struck out 11 hitters while allowing one walk.
Matching a career-high 10 strikeouts in the ballgame, Amber Fiser held strong on the mound against a tough Long Beach State hitting team. Fiser allowed a leadoff single and a walk to begin the fourth in a scoreless ball game. Taking matters in to her own hands, Fiser struck out the next three hitters to work out of the jam.
The Gophers' defense could not hold off the 49ers offense for long as LBSU struck first with a RBI triple in the fifth to score the only run of the game.
Minnesota's first and only base runner of the game came in the sixth as Carlie Brandt drew a one-out walk to deny Meza of a perfect game.
Game two | No. 3/3 UCLA 12, No. 21/20 Minnesota 4 (5 innings)
The top-25 matchup from the start showed it to be an offensive game as the teams combined for 21 hits and 16 runs.
UCLA struck early and often plating a pair of runs in both the first and second against Minnesota starter Carlie Brandt as only two of the four runs were earned.
The Gophers sent junior Sydney Smith to the circle in relief, as the UCLA bats jumped on Smith in the fourth using four hits to plate three runs to take a 7-0 lead.
Minnesota's bats did not go away quietly as Maddie Houlihan began her 2-for-2 day with a leadoff single in the fifth. Brandt reaching on a fielder's choice, scored the Gophers first run as Katelyn Kemmetmueller drove her in with a double that just caught the left field line. Kemmetumeuller crossed the plate two batters later as MaKenna Partain legged out an infield single to extend the inning.
The Bruins responded to the Gophers offensive inning with one of their own putting up another crooked number to lead 9-2 after five innings.
In the sixth, Kendyl Lindaman started the Gophers rally with a double to the center field wall. With one out Houlihan won the battle against UCLA relief pitcher Holly Azevedo collecting her first collegiate triple and scoring Lindaman. Houlihan scored on an ensuing wild pitch cutting the Gopher deficit to five.
Freshman right-hander Hannah Bailey entered the circle for Minnesota as UCLA's bats stayed hot in the sixth. Three hits, a Minnesota error and a wild pitch all led to the Bruins plating three runs for the shortened game win.
Minnesota closes out the San Diego Classic Sunday morning (Mar. 4) as they take on Colorado State at 11 a.m. CT.
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