UCLA Softball published their 2021 Roster. Jacqui Prober, the pinch runner that scored the game winning walkoff run in the 2019 Finals, has graduated and elected not to return. Jenavee Peres, the former San Diego St. star that returned to softball after 2 years will return for her bonus year. Also missing from the roster is incoming freshman catcher Courtney Beaudin.
The Bruins have 9 seniors listed that will have the opportunity to return next year due to the Covid 19 shutdown. In spite of the roster congestion, no one has entered the transfer portal.
Four freshmen are listed on the roster. Carson Armijo, one of the few out of state recruits (Texas) on the roster, is listed as a utility player who can play all positions including providing depth at pitching in the future. Lauryn Carter is a hard hitting outfielder with speed and athleticism. Thessa Malau'ulu is a highly ranked 3rd baseman that could evolve into an excellent leadoff hitter. Outfielder Grace Guzman batted .466 and stole 76 bases for her career. She was committed to Michigan but failed admissions and committed to UCLA.
UCLA Softball Players Rank High in Preseason Player Rankings. As mentioned in a previous post UCLA’s 2021 starting lineup reads like an all-star team and one preseason ranking agrees.
Ranked #1 last year, UCLA has 3 players in the top 10 plus 4 more in the top 50.The #2-4 ranked Teams (2020) UW (2 Top Ten, +3 Top 50), Texas (1, +1), and UA (1, +2) also had multiple players ranked. 2019 runner up and 2020 #6 ranked Oklahoma (0, +4) has 4 players ranked in the top 50.
No surprise, Rachel Garcia is ranked #1 and is the ace of the pitching staff. She is backed up by ace 2.0 #8 ranked Megan Faraimo. The infield will be anchored by 3 year starter #33 Briana Perez at shortstop. #7 Aaliyah Jordan is the designated player because the outfield features #18 Bubba Nickles, #36 Maya Brady and #44 Kelli Godin.
Note: Kinsley Washington was left off the top 100.