UCLA Softball 2021 Season Preview Part 3

Not since the glory days of UCLA Basketball has a Bruin team been stacked with so many talented players. The 2021 Bruins return everyone from last season’s 25-1 team except Jacqui Prober and add Olympians Rachel Garcia and Bubba Nickles. The roster sports 4 Softball America preseason All Americans and 8 Softball America Top 100 players. UCLA adds 5 freshmen including two players ranked in the Softball America top 100 recruits.


Pitching will be the absolute strength of this team. The 2020 team ERA (1.20) was better than 2019 (1.43). Rachel Garcia (2019 29-1 1.14) added to a rotation of 2020 pitcher of the year Megan Faraimo (13-1, 0.85 ERA), Holly Azevedo (8-0, 1.74 ERA) and Lexi Sosa (4-0, 1.50 ERA) creates a nightmare for opponents. UCLA is scheduled for 15 double headers this year and reliance on a single pitcher to carry the load will not be an issue for this team.


The Bruins have tremendous flexibility on offense. UCLA has speed and power options at every position in the lineup. Last year’s offense batted .368 and averaged over 9 hits, 3 walks and 2 stolen bases generating over 7 runs per game. 14/15 players with starts last year batted over .300. Rachel Garcia (2019 .343) and Bubba Nickles (2019 .390) are back from the National Team.


The Bruins were equally dominant on defense (.974 Field %, 16 Errors). The infield was solid with Briana Perez at short and Kinsley Washington at 2nd anchoring the infield with Delaney Wisz and Seneca Curo at the corners. Freshman Alyssa Garcia emerged as the primary starting catcher (18/26 games) allowing only 3 stolen bases and 3 passed balls on the season. Kelli Godin (Left) and Maya Brady (Center) in the outfield put speed in both alleys. With Bubba Nickles back in center, Maya Brady will probably move to right.


UCLA added 4 freshmen to the roster. UCLA’s depth (25 players) and the COVID-19 Waiver impacted recruiting over the next two years. For the first time in 6 years the Bruins did not have a Flo Softball Hot 100 top 10 recruit but continues to have recruits (Thessa Malau’ulu, Lauryn Carter) selected for the Premier Girls Fastpitch All-American Game (2016-2019 13 players).

Carson Armijo UTIL 5-10 R/R

Long time commit Carson Armijo P/1st base is a rare out of state signee (Texas). Last year she batted .328 including 4 HRs. She had 50 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings. She batted .366 (3 HRs), with a 1.73 earned run average as a sophomore. High School Career Batting Average .370.

Grace Guzman OF 5-4 L/R

Softball America Top 100 Recruit was originally a verbal commit to Michigan until she came to her senses and signed with UCLA. Adding another speedster like Kelli Godin, she specializes in infield singles and struck out only 19 times in 319 plate appearances. She stole 76 bases and scored 104 runs during her high school career. Her brother Michael Guzman played tennis at UCLA before graduating in 2018.

Thessa Malau'ulu INF 5-7 L/R

SA Top 100 and Flo softball hot 100 recruit Thessa Malau'ulu adds speed and defense to the lineup. A career .447 hitter was 33/33 in stolen bases with a .974 Fielding %. Her older sister plays softball for Miss St. and she will add another football father to the stands.

Lauryn Carter OF 5-10 R/R

Lauryn Carter adds another powerful bat and speed in the outfield to the lineup. She batted .667 and hit 15 HRs during her sophomore and junior years. She stole 19/28 bases and had a .926 Fielding %. Pressed into relief in one game, Carter recorded a 9-out save.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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