2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

UCLA Softball Recap: Bruins Upset Tennessee At Mary Nutter 2024

UCLA Softball Recap: Bruins Upset Tennessee At Mary Nutter 2024

The No. 19 UCLA Bruins upset No. 5 Tennessee to help close out the final day of the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California.

Feb 26, 2024 by Matt Cannizzaro
UCLA Softball Recap: Bruins Upset Tennessee At Mary Nutter 2024

The long ball was the order of the day for UCLA and Tennessee, who wrapped up their time at the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California, on Sunday with a highly anticipated showdown.

The game featured five home runs – three by UCLA and two by Tennessee – which helped the No. 19 Bruins pull off a 6-2 upset of the No. 5-ranked Volunteers. 

Redshirt senior Sharlize Palacios led the onslaught for UCLA with solo shots in the second and sixth innings. They were her first two home runs of the 2024 campaign. The former Arizona Wildcat hit 10 last year in her first season with the Bruins.

The blast that ultimately secured the win for UCLA was off the bat of Jordan Woolery in the bottom of the third inning at Big League Dreams Cathedral City’s Wrigley Field. Her two-run homer to left field also scored All-American Maya Brady and put the Bruins ahead 4-1.

In all, UCLA collected nine hits in the win. Redshirt senior Janelle Meoño was 3 for 3 with two runs as a spark for the Bruins. 

Taylor Tinsley had another remarkable day in the circle, striking out nine in the complete-game victory. It was her second complete game in as many days, though the result against Tennessee was more favorable. Tinsley was on the losing end of UCLA’s 5-3 heartbreaker against Baylor on Saturday night. 

At the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Tinsley was 3-1 and recorded 30 strikeouts. For the season, she’s now 3-4.

Tennessee sent a pair of pitchers into the circle to try and slow the UCLA offense.

Karlyn Pickens, who had a 12-strikeout perfect game earlier in the event, started against the Bruins on Sunday and took the loss to fall to 4-2 on the year. She lasted 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on three hits, while striking out four. 

Payton Gottshall pitched the last 3 2/3 innings, but the damage already was done.

The Tennessee offense was fueled by sophomore Destiny Rodriguez and junior Sophia Nugent.

Rodriguez homered on the first pitch of the second inning to open the game’s scoring, and Nugent found the left-field bleachers in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to two runs at the time.

Tennessee started the day with a 10-2 six-inning victory over Hawaii, and the Volunteers finished the event with a 4-2 record. Their wins came against Loyola Marymount, Oregon State and the University of Central Florida. Their other loss was to Cal State Fullerton on Friday.

The Volunteers are 8-4 in 2024.

Though Baylor cooled off a red-hot UCLA squad Saturday night, the Bruins will leave Cathedral City with a 4-1 record for the event and a 7-5 mark for the season.

Heading into the Baylor game, UCLA was turning out one highlight after the next, collecting win after win in the most dramatic and exciting ways. Then came the late-game collapse that brought the momentum come to a halt – temporarily. 

How’d it all unfold?

UCLA used a final-inning rally to top Nebraska 9-8 on Friday. The Bruins then capitalized on a crucial Northwestern mistake Friday night to defeat the Wildcats 1-0. A three-run home run from All-American Maya Brady brought an early end to a 10-2 rout of Illinois on Saturday afternoon.

All was right in the Bruins’ world, as they found every crowd-pleasing way to double their number of wins in the young 2024 season – until Baylor used some of the same luck and magic in a five-run sixth inning that led to a 5-3 Bears victory Saturday night.

The quick rebound by UCLA and upset of Tennessee may see the Volunteers slip further in the rankings with a return trip to the Women’s College World Series still the ultimate goal. They already dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in the recent editions of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The Volunteers opened their 2024 season with four consecutive wins, before dropping a pair of games in a Shriners Children’s Clearwater Invitational that was shortened by inclement weather. 

Despite having four of their first of their first 10 games canceled because of the weather and then not playing for a week after a loss to No. 2-ranked Texas, the Volunteers had a solid weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

UCLA 6, Tennessee 2 - 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Concluding In California

Box Score


UCLA Softball Denies Tennessee In Final Inning To Win 6-2

Alannah Leach doubles to keep Tennessee alive against UCLA. 

Kiki Milloy gets an infield single with two outs. Leach advances to third. Runners on the corners, UCLA leading 6-2.

Taylor Tinsley finishes the complete-game performance with nine strikeouts. She posted a 3-1 record this weekend, while striking out 30.

UCLA finishes the event 4-1. Tennessee finishes 4-2.

UCLA Adds To Lead Against Tennessee Softball At Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

Sharlize Palacios hits her second home run of the game to start the sixth inning for UCLA. This one went to right field. The first one went over the wall in center field in the second inning. UCLA leads 6-2.

Thessa Malau'ulu reaches base with a single. Janelle Meoño gets her third hit of the game to put runners on first and second with two outs and Maya Brady at the plate.

Brady strikes out looking to end the inning. UCLA leads 6-2.

Tennessee Softball Scoreless In Sixth Inning Against UCLA

With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Destiny Rodriguez reaches base on a Maya Brady error at shortstop. 

The inning ends with no further excitement.

UCLA Softball Plates One Run In Bottom Of Fifth Inning Against Tennessee

Janelle Meoño gets her second hit of the game to start UCLA's fifth inning against Tennessee. This time, an infield single. 

Maya Brady does the same. Back-to-back infield singles for UCLA.

Both runners advance on a sacrifice bunt from Jadelyn Allchin. 

A sacrifice fly from Jordan Woolery scores Meoño. UCLA leads 5-2.

Megan Grant strikes out to end the inning. Brady is stranded at third base. 

UCLA Pitching Shines In Fifth Inning Against Tennessee

UCLA's Taylor Tinsley strikes out the side in the top of the fifth inning. She has seven strikeouts in the game.

Tennessee Double Play Shuts Down UCLA In Fourth Inning

Savannah Pola starts off UCLA's fourth inning with a base hit up the middle. 

Inning ends with no additional damage - oh, and a double play by Tennessee. 

Tennessee Softball Cuts Into Deficit With Fourth-Inning Home Run

Tennessee junior Sophia Nugent launches a Taylor Tinsley pitch into the left-field bleachers to cut into the Volunteers' deficit. UCLA leads 4-2 after the game's fourth home run. 

Alannah Leach reaches base with a two-out single. 

Tinsley ends the inning with a strikeout. UCLA leads 4-2.

Take A Look At Jordan Woolery's Two-Run Blast Against Tennessee Softball

Sophomore Jordan Wooley broke open UCLA's game with Tennessee. Check out this third-inning home run:

UCLA Bruins Score Three Runs In Third Inning Against Tennessee Softball

Janelle Meoño hits a leadoff triple for UCLA in he bottom of the third inning. She scores on a Maya Brady grounder up the middle. Brady is safe at first. UCLA leads 2-1.

Jordan Woolery blasts a two-run home run to left field, scoring Brady, to put the Bruins ahead 4-1. 

That's the end of the day for Karlyn Pickens, who is replaced in the circle by right-hander Payton Gottshall. She ends the inning. 

Go-Ahead Run For Tennessee Softball Thrown Out At Home By UCLA Outfielder

Kiki Milloy hits a one-out double to get into scoring position for Tennessee. She is thrown out at home trying to score on a Rylie West base hit to left field. West advances to second base on the play.

McKenna Gibson grounds out to end the inning.

UCLA Softball Home Run Ties Game Against Tennessee Softball

Megan Grant, who's hitting over .600 at this year's Mary Nutter, strikes out to start the bottom of the second inning. It's the second strikeout of the game for Tennessee's Karlyn Pickens. 

Sharlize Palacios offers the response from UCLA, hitting a one-out home run to straightaway center field to tie the game. It's her first home run in 2024.  

Thessa Malau'ulu reaches base on a throwing error. 

Madison Pacini strikes out to end the inning. It's the fourth strikeout for Pickens.

Tennessee Softball Takes 1-0 Lead Against UCLA At 2024 Mary Nutter

Sophomore Destiny Rodriguez hits the first pitch of the second inning over the left field wall to give Tennessee a 1-0 lead. It's the second home run of her collegiate career. 

The rest of the inning is uneventful and quickly comes to an end.

Tennessee leads 1-0.

Tennessee Softball Retires UCLA In Order In Bottom Of First Inning

It's three up and three down for UCLA in the first inning against Tennessee.

UCLA Starting Lineup For Tennessee Game At 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

See who's starting for UCLA against Tennessee on the final day of the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic:

UCLA Softball Holds Tennessee Scoreless In Opening Inning 

Taylor Tinsley is 2-1 for UCLA at the 2024 Mary Nutter. She opens the game with a strikeout of Tennessee home run queen Kiki Milloy.

McKenna Gibson gets the game's first hit but gets stranded at first base. Inning over.

UCAL Softball Vs. Tennessee Softball Underway At Big League Dreams Cathedral City

The final day of competition at the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic is wrapping up, and this top-25 matchup between UCLA and Tennessee will be a highlight. This is the 20th edition of the event.

Sophomore Taylor Tinsley is back in the circle for UCLA, and fellow sophomore Karlyn Pickens will handle things for Tennessee.

Starting Lineup For Tennessee Softball In Mary Nutter Meeting With UCLA

See who's starting for the Volunteers against UCLA on Sunday at the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California:

When Is The UCLA Vs. Tennessee Softball Game?

UCLA will take on Tennessee at Wrigley Field, part of Big League Dreams Cathedral City in Cathedral City, California, on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The UCLA Vs. Tennessee Softball Game

Watch the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on FloSoftball and the FloSports app.

FloSoftball is streaming several NCAA Division I college softball tournaments, including the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, THE Spring Games and the recent Candrea Classic.

Karlyn Pickens Perfect For Tennessee 

In Tennessee’s 4-0 win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday at the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Karlyn Pickens pitched the second perfect game of her collegiate career.

The performance included 12 strikeouts and helped Pickens become the third player in program history to toss multiple perfect games. Her first was a 15-strikeout effort against Appalachian State in March 2023. 

Tennessee Vs. UCLA History

Tennessee and UCLA have met 12 times in history (starting in 1998), with UCLA holding an 8-4 advantage in the series. 

The last time the two teams played was at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in 2022. UCLA won that matchup 2-1 in extra innings.

Maya Brady Is A Spark For UCLA

UCLA’s Maya Brady has spent a lifetime around softball and the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. 

Hear more about her time at the event and how she finds success on the field:

This And That: Tennessee Volunteers Softball

Did you know, the first year of softball at the University of Tennessee was 1996?

The Volunteers were the regular-season and tournament champions for the SEC in 2023. The last time they won the regular-season title was 2007. The last time they won the SEC tournament was 2011.

Graduate outfielder Kiki Milloy is the new all-time home run leader at Tennessee, thanks to two blasts during the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. She entered the week tied with Meghan Gregg with 57, who needed 42 more games to get to that number. Read more HERE.

Check out the Kiki Milloy chronicles:

USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll

The latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll came out this week, and Oklahoma continues its stranglehold on the top spot.

The Sooners, who entered the 2024 on a 53-game winning streak, are 12-0 to start the new campaign.

UCLA remained at No. 19 in this poll, while Tennessee landed in the No. 5 spot, falling from No. 2 in the previous edition.

Click HERE to see the complete rankings. 

About Big League Dreams Cathedral City

The Big League Dreams Sports Parks are scattered throughout the United States and provide recreational and tournament players of all ages the chance to compete on world-class fields, often built as replicas of famous stadiums from the storied history of Major League Baseball.

Along with the nostalgic fields, the Big League Dreams venues include a restaurant and bar, batting cages, play area for children, stadium seating and space for other sports (hockey, soccer, sand volleyball), events and competitions. 

Big League Dreams Cathedral City was the first of the eight BLD properties to open, doing so in 1998. The park includes five fields. Among them, Boston’s Fenway Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and New York’s Yankee Stadium.

2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Schedule

All times Eastern

Thursday, Feb. 22

Wrigley Field

  • Rutgers vs. Hawaii, 3 p.m.
  • Oregon vs. Central Florida, 5:30 p.m.
  • Oregon vs. Baylor, 8 p.m.
  • Notre Dame vs. Baylor 10:30 p.m.

Yankee Stadium

  • Bethune Cookman vs. BYU, 3 p.m.
  • Bethune Cookman vs. Oregon State, 5:30 p.m.
  • San Diego State vs. Missouri, 8 p.m.
  • Wisconsin vs. Missouri, 10:30 p.m.

Fenway Park

  • Oregon State vs. Wisconsin 2:30 p.m.
  • Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State, 5 p.m.
  • UC Riverside vs. Rutgers 7:30 p.m.
  • UC Riverside vs. BYU 10 p.m.

Des Moines Field

  • Mississippi State vs. Central Florida 2 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 23

Wrigley Field

  • San Diego State vs. Nebraska, 1 p.m.
  • UCLA vs. Nebraska, 3:30 p.m.
  • UCLA vs. Northwestern, 6 p.m.
  • Oklahoma vs. Mississippi State, 8:30 p.m.
  • Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin, 11 p.m.

Yankee Stadium

  • Hawaii vs. Fresno State, 1:30 p.m.
  • Hawaii vs. California, 4 p.m.
  • Notre Dame vs. Oregon, 6:30 p.m.
  • Long Beach State vs. Oregon, 9 p.m.
  • Central Florida vs. Oregon State, 11:30 p.m.

Fenway Park

  • Rutgers vs. Loyola Marymount, 1 p.m.
  • Tennessee vs. Loyola Marymount, 3:30 p.m.
  • Tennessee vs. CSU Fullerton, 6 p.m.
  • Missouri vs. Central Florida, 8:30 p.m.
  • Missouri vs. CSU Fullerton, 11 p.m.

Des Moines Field

  • Seattle University vs. CSU Northridge, 1 p.m.
  • Utah vs. CSU Northridge, 3:30 p.m.
  • Bethune Cookman vs. San Diego State, 6 p.m.
  • University of San Diego vs. Wisconsin, 8:30 p.m.
  • University of San Diego vs. Utah, 11 p.m.

Pawtucket Field

  • Illinois vs. California, 1:30 p.m.
  • Cal Poly vs. Rutgers, 3 p.m.
  • Long Beach State vs. BYU, 6:30 p.m.
  • UC Riverside vs. Seattle, 9 p.m.
  • UC Riverside vs. Baylor, 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Wrigley Field

  • Oregon vs. Nebraska, 1 p.m.
  • Oklahoma vs. San Diego State, 3:30 p.m.
  • UCLA vs. Illinois, 6 p.m.
  • UCLA vs. Baylor, 8:30 p.m.
  • Missouri vs. Baylor, 11 p.m.

Yankee Stadium

  • Seattle vs. California, 12:30 p.m.
  • Oregon State vs. Notre Dame, 3 p.m.
  • Oregon State vs. Tennessee, 5:30 p.m.
  • Central Florida vs. Tennessee, 8 p.m.
  • Central Florida vs. University of San Diego, 10:30 p.m.

Fenway Park

  • Northwestern vs. Loyola Marymount, 10 a.m.
  • Northwestern vs. University of San Diego, 3:30 p.m.
  • Notre Dame vs. Utah, 6 p.m.
  • Wisconsin vs. Utah, 8:30 p.m.
  • Rutgers vs. BYU 11 p.m.

Des Moines Field

  • Cal vs. Illinois, 12:30 p.m.
  • CSU Fullerton vs. Utah, 3 p.m.
  • CSU Fullerton vs. Mississippi State, 5:30 p.m.
  • Cal Poly vs. BYU, 8 p.m.
  • Mississippi State vs. Fresno State, 10:30 p.m.

Pawtucket Field

  • CSU Northridge vs. Bethune Cookman, 12:30 p.m.
  • Wisconsin vs. Long Beach State, 3 p.m.
  • CSU Northridge vs. Rutgers, 2:30 p.m.
  • Loyola Marymount vs. Bethune Cookman 8 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 25

Wrigley Field

  • Seattle vs. Oklahoma, noon
  • Loyola Marymount vs. Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m.
  • UCLA vs. Tennessee, 5 p.m.

Yankee Stadium

  • Nebraska vs. Utah, noon
  • Nebraska vs. CSU Fullerton, 2:30 p.m.
  • University of San Diego vs. UC Riverside, 5 p.m.

Fenway Park

  • Oregon State vs. Northwestern, noon
  • Tennessee vs. Hawaii, 2:30 p.m.
  • Fresno State vs. Cal Poly, 5 p.m.

Des Moines Field

  • Illinois vs. Hawaii, 11:30 a.m.
  • Fresno State vs. Long Beach State, 2:30 p.m.

Pawtucket Field

  • California vs. Long Beach State, noon
  • California vs. Cal Poly, 2:30 p.m.

Who Was Mary Nutter?

Mary Nutter was an All-American softball player and a pioneer in the sport. 

She was a coach at Pittsburgh State and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997.

Nutter died in 2012. 

Watch 2024 College Softball On FloSoftball

FloSoftball is your home to some of the top college softball tournaments in the country, as well as conference softball games from a varsity of conferences. Some of the tournaments streaming live on FloSoftball include: 

FloSoftball Archived Footage

Video footage from past seasons is archived and stored in a video library for FloSoftball subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscriptions.

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