What every NCAA softball team said at Devon Park


The Women’s College World Series begins Thursday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.

Eight teams will compete in a double-elimination tournament with a national championship on the line. And while second-seeded OU hopes to win its fourth straight title, it will have to earn it against a stacked field.

Here’s what each team had to say during media day on Wednesday:

More: Which teams are participating in the Women’s College World Series? Super regional softball winners follow

UCLA enters WCWS with a battle-tested team

The first inning of the Bruins’ first game set the tone for their season.

UCLA faced Maryland in the Stacy Winsberg Tournament on February 9 and trailed 4-0 with the first inning in the books. It was an early test for the Bruins, who rallied to earn a 6-5 victory.

“That’s how our season started,” said UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “But I think there’s a journey throughout the season for a reason. You learn your lessons and really figure out who you are as a team.”

No. 6-seeded UCLA has since overcome many obstacles en route to the Women’s College Series, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Thursday with a matchup against No. 14 Alabama.

The Bruins lost two starters to injuries in the first week. They started with a 3-4 record. They navigated a competitive Pac-12 to a conference regular season and tournament title.

And as UCLA prepares to face an even more competitive field in the Women’s College World Series, Inouye-Perez feels her team is ready for the challenge.

“We built a lot of trust,” Inouye-Perez said. “I believe we have been tested. … When the going got tough, certain people quit and there are other people who reach the next level. This team decided to keep moving forward and keep improving even though it was quite a challenge. We have been preparing for this all season.”

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