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Woolery's 3-run homer puts No. 6 UCLA over No. 14 Alabama 4-1 in Women's College World Series opener

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Jordan Woolery's moment was so big that she could barely recall it.

Her three-run homer in the sixth inning lifted No. 6 UCLA to a 4-1 win over No. 14 Alabama on Thursday in the Women's College World Series opener for both teams.

“I think I blacked out after I hit it,” Woolery said. “I don’t really remember, honestly.”

Woolery's blast against Alabama's Kayla Beaver came with two outs and broke a 1-1 tie.

Taylor Tinsley got the win for UCLA in three innings of shutout relief. She stepped in for Kaitlyn Terry, who allowed one run on four hits in four innings.

Maya Brady had two hits for UCLA, which won its 14th straight. The Bruins haven't lost since April 27.

UCLA (43-10) advanced to play three-time defending national champion Oklahoma on Saturday, with the winner moving to the semifinals. The tournament is double-elimination during bracket play, then shifts to a best-of-three format for the championship series.

Beaver went the distance and gave up four runs on four hits in six innings for Alabama (38-19), which will play No. 10 seed Duke on Friday in an elimination game.

The Crimson Tide won two elimination games on the road against No. 3 Tennessee in super regionals.

“We’re going to look forward to tomorrow,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “We’ve been here before. Our backs have been against the wall, so it’s no big deal. We’re going to fight like hell.”

Thursday's game started 1 1/2 hours late after lightning and rain delays.

Beaver retired the first seven batters she faced before she hit Janelle Meono with a pitch. Brady singled, then Jadelyn Allchin singled to knock in Meono for the game's first run.

Alabama's Bailey Dowling singled to start the fifth, and UCLA pulled Terry. The Crimson Tide loaded the bases against Tinsley with one out. Kenleigh Cahalan's hard RBI single to right field tied the score, but UCLA right fielder Megan Grant threw out Kali Heivilin at home to end the inning.

“Of course, you got to send the runner,” UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “I’m kind of glad they did because Megan was in position. She’s got a good arm. The ball was hit right to her. I felt really good, if we were able to play catch, that she was going to be out at the plate.”

In the sixth, Brady singled and Alabama intentionally walked Sharlize Palacios to put runners on first and second with one out. Beaver struck out Grant looking for the second out before Woolery cranked her 10th homer of the season.

“It was a well-played game,” Murphy said. “They had an opportunity to win it, they did it. One good swing.”

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports