UCLA Softball Wins Pac-12 Title; Wraps Up Regular Season This Afternoon
The Bruins won their 11th Pac-12 championship when they took game one of a doubleheader against Arizona.
The UCLA softball team clinched their 11th Pac-12 Conference championship yesterday when they beat Arizona, 6-2, in game one of yesterday’s doubleheader. Having won the conference title, the Bruins had a let-down in game two and lost to the Wildcats, 5-1. Today, the teams will wrap up the regular season when they conclude the series at 1 pm PT. The season finale will air on Pac-12 Networks.
Last Time Out
While the score doesn’t look like it, the first game of yesterday’s twinbill turned out to be a real pitcher’s duel. That’s because neither team scored in the first five innings of the game.
UCLA ended the scoring drought when they got on the board in the top of the sixth. Briana Perez started the Bruins’ rally with a single up the middle and she was followed by Rachel Garcia who hit a two-run homer to give UCLA the lead. Delanie Wisz then hit the first pitch she saw down the left field line for a double which prompted Kelly Inouye-Perez to send Grace Guzman to pinch-run for Wisz. Freshman phenom Maya Brady singled to give the Bruins runners on the corners with still no outs and she stole second before Anna Vines hit a sacrifice fly that scored Guzman. After five and a half, the Bruins led 3-0.
With one out in the seventh, Aaliyah Jordan singled through the left side and Taylor Edwards pinch-ran for her. Perez laid down a bunt which she managed to leg out, giving UCLA runners on first and second. Rachel Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Arizona throw out Edwards at third. That set the stage for Wisz, who hit a three-run homer to double the Bruins’ lead to 6-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, UCLA starter Megan Faraimo gave up a lead off single to Arizona’s Jessie Harper. Dejah Mulipola took the third pitch she saw from Faraimo and sent it over the right field fence for a two-run homer. The Wildcat rally continued when Alyssa Palomino doubled with one out, but Faraimo got Malia Martinez to strike out and Carlie Scupin to fo ul out to end the Wildcats’ hopes of a comeback win.
Faraimo struck out ten batters while scattering five hits for her 17th win of the year while Hanah Bowen took the loss.
In the nitecap, Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the third on a two-run homer by Mulipola. After UCLA starter Holly Azevedo gave up a lead-off single in the fourth, Inouye-Perez brought Rachel Garcia in to pitch. But a single and a throwing error left the bases loaded. The Wildcats scored another run on a fielder’s choice where everybody was safe and, then, they got two more on a two-out single to right by Mulipola. After four, UCLA trailed, 5-0.
UCLA’s biggest threat came in the fifth. The Bruins loaded the bases on a walk by Jordan, a single by Perez and a walk by Rachel Garcia. That brought up Wisz and Jordan scored when she was hit by a pitch. Unfortunately, UCLA stranded three runners and the Bruins trailed, 5-1, after five.
The Bruins had the makings of a seventh-inning rally when both Jordan and Perez walked to start the inning, but Rachel Garcia hit into a third-to-first double play and Wisz grounded out to end the game as the Bruins fell, 5-1.
This afternoon, UCLA will look for their 41st win of the season when the teams conclude the regular season starting at 1 pm PT.
#2 UCLA Softball (40-4, 18-2)
Opponent: #8 Arizona Wildcats (36-12, 12-9)
When: 1:00 pm PT, Saturday, May 15, 2021
Where: Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ
TV: Pac-12 Networks National, Los Angeles and Arizona
Live Stream: Pac-12.com
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast