(Photo Credit: ASUCLA)
Following last Sunday's loss to Washington, the #15-ranked UCLA softball team got right back into action in mid-week, taking on Cal State Northridge before taking on Utah in the weekend series. The Bruins found their groove during the week, putting up 35 runs in just 4 game.
Starting on Wednesday, the Bruins wasted no time in jumping down the throats of their San Fernando Valley opponents, knocking in 8 of their 10 runs in the first three innings, en route to a 10-3 win. Ally Carda got the start for UCLA and despite a solid performance (3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 K), she left early enough to not be able to notch the win. Destiny Rodino (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K), coming on in relief in the fourth inning, kept CSUN at bay to earn her fourth win of the year. Jessica Hall came on for the final two frames, throwing two perfect innings (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K). Offensively, it was a fireworks show for the Blue and Gold, let by Katie Schroeder (3-3, 4 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR), Talee Snow (2-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR), B.B. Bates (3-4, 1 R, 4 RBI), and Stephany LaRosa (3-3, 3 R, 1 RBI).
Turning to the weekend series, on Friday, UCLA took on Utah at Easton Stadium and the Bruins, on the strength of the long ball and a pitching gem by Jessica Hall, picked up a 5-0 win. Hall (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K) went the distance for UCLA, blowing the Utes away and flashing her pitching dominance. At the plate, UCLA used the long-ball to lead them to victory, with Dani Yudin (1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR), Samantha Camuso (1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR), and Alyssa Tiumalu (1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR).Saturday's game wasn't as easy, as UCLA nearly squandered a 10 run advantage, squeaking out a close 11-8 victory. After putting up 10 runs in the first three innings to Utah's zero, the Bruins looked to be in cruise control. But 8 runs in the next three innings made things close, with Jessica Hall needing to pitch a shut-out seventh inning to wrap things up. Ally Carda (4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 K) got the start for the Bruins, going four innings and picking up her 13th victory of the year. Things got hairy when Destiny Rodino (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 K) came in relief in the fifth inning, as she got rocked for three runs in just one-third of an inning. Jessica Hall (2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 K) followed after Rodino got the hook, doing enough to stymie the Utah comeback attempt to led Carda pick up the win. At the plate, the Bruin slugfest was led by homers from Stephany LaRosa (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR) and Andrea Harrison (2-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR), with Katie Schroeder (2-2, 2 R, 1 RBI), Alyssa Tiumalu (2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI), and Talee Snow (2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI) also contributing to the big offensive game.
Finally, on Sunday, the Bruins blew out Utah, 9-1, ending the game early after six innings due to the mercy rule. Jessica Hall (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 K) took the hill to start for UCLA and put in a solid five innings to pick up her sixteenth win of the season. Ally Carda (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K) took over in the sixth and closed out Utah. Offensively, UCLA was led by the usual big hitters, LaRosa (2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR), B.B. Bates (1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR), and Andrea Harrison (2-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR).
At the end of the clean sweep week, the Bruins now find themselves at 33-12 overall and 9-6 in Pac-12 play. The ladies will take the week off, instead resting before heading to Berkeley for a critical road trip this weekend.
Fire away with your thoughts, opinions, and analysis on the softball team in the comment thread.