UCLA is one of four teams still playing for a chance at a national championship in the 2022 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The Bruins (50-9), the No. 5 national seed, have staved off elimination twice in the past three days. They defeated Northwestern, 6-1, on Friday and Florida, 8-0, on Sunday after losing to Texas in their first game in Oklahoma City.
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Their reward for advancing out of the losers’ bracket? A date with No. 1 overall seed Oklahoma on Monday at 12 p.m. ET. If the Bruins win, they must beat the Sooners again on Monday at 2:30 p.m. ET to reach the finals.
𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐞 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬 🍿
(5) @UCLASoftball 🆚 (1) @OU_Softball
📆 Monday, June 6
⏰ 12 PM ET
⏰ If necessary – appx. 2:30 PM ET
📺 @espn #WCWS x 📸 @ESPNImages pic.twitter.com/w72vwCMFhD
— NCAA Softball (@NCAASoftball) June 5, 2022
A key piece in the Bruins’ quest for a second national championship in the past three tournaments (they also won in 2019) is redshirt senior catcher Delanie Wisz, a 2022 Pac-12 first-team honoree and second-team All-American. She’s already racked up four hits in nine at-bats in three games the Women’s College World Series, including a home run against Texas.
Wisz is a versatile defender, sometimes playing third base like she did against Florida in addition to her catching duties. She’s also the only UCLA starter to have a batting average higher than .400 and leads the team with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs. In order to defeat Oklahoma, the Bruins will need to rely heavily on their veteran leader.
Wisz’s importance to the team hasn’t been overlooked. In fact, ahead of UCLA’s trip to Oklahoma City, former Bruins catcher Jen Schroeder surprised Wisz with customized catching gear inspired by her faith and her family.
“The idea,” Schroeder said this week in a story by the Los Angeles Times, “was that people would see this gear and she would put this gear on and she would feel the way that I saw her: as this confident, bold, amazing athlete.”
The chest protector features a cross because Wisz is outspoken about her faith in Christ on and off the field, already having “Audience of One” embroidered on her glove. Uniquely, the vertical portion of the cross on the chest protector is an exact replica of the scar from multiple heart surgeries on Wisz’s sister, Stevie.
Stevie, who was diagnosed with aortic stenosis as a baby, is also a follower of Christ and was part of UCLA’s 2019 title-winning team.
The inside of the chest protector features another cross, Delanie’s number 97 and a copy of a tattoo that honors her brother, Hunter, who passed away 17 days after he was born.
UCLA's @delanieewisz shares the emotional story behind each and every thing on her personalized catchers gear.
Hear what every detail means to her. #WCWS x @UCLASoftball pic.twitter.com/grAmoddo4C
— NCAA Softball (@NCAASoftball) June 6, 2022
“That gear is super special to me,” Delanie said after the win over Northwestern, according to the L.A. Times. “I’m just so beyond blessed to have been able to receive something like that.”
Delanie was able to transfer into the UCLA program from Loyola Marymount the season after her sister’s national title in 2019 due to a need for catchers, and recently, she reflected on the path God ordained for her softball career.
“I believe that God had His hand over my journey and I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” Wisz told the L.A. Times after leading UCLA to a super-regional sweep of Duke. “So it’s just a dream to be able to wear this uniform.”
Wisz describes herself as a “Follower of Jesus Christ” in her Instagram bio and sometimes posts about her faith.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
She knows that she might leave Oklahoma City as a national champion, or she might leave with a loss. Either way, she’s grateful to be glorifying God with her play and, now, with her catching gear.
“My faith plays a huge role in my softball career,” Wisz told His Huddle last month. “One thing that I always remember, whether I’m having the best season of my life or the worst, is that I’m only playing for Him.”
– UCLA’s Stevie Wisz provides laughs, inspiration, faith in the WCWS
– UCLA softball’s Stevie Wisz faces 3rd open-heart surgery, thanks God for her story
– UCLA softball ace Megan Faraimo casts her cares on God ahead of NCAA super regionals
– ‘Audience of One’ mantra helping No. 1 Oklahoma softball keep focus on Christ
– Indiana Wesleyan softball team hosts worship night at NAIA World Series: ‘God won!’