LOS ANGELES — Host UCLA answered a Kentucky grand slam with one of its own to defeat the Cats 6-4 Saturday night in the opener of a best-of-three NCAA super regional.
UK must win twice Sunday to advance to the College World Series for the first time in history. Game 2 is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the teams would play again at 6 with a UK win.
UCLA took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after right fielder Emily Gaines dropped a fly ball by Delaney Spaulding.
The Cats answered, emphatically, one inning later when Griffin Joiner launched a grand slam down the left-field line, putting UK ahead 4-2.
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That lead stood until the bottom of the sixth, when Spaulding lined a two-out grand slam almost to the same spot as Joiner's. The rally was fueled by another error by a UK outfielder. This time, center fielder Sylver Samuel dropped a fly ball that would have been the first out of the inning.