UCLA Softball Week in Review 20210425

#2 UCLA (25-2, 8-1) faced off with #6 University of Washington (34-6, 12-2) in a show down to determine the Pac 12 league leader. Bubba Nickles was not in the lineup this weekend, but was spotted in the dugout, with her left hand wrapped encouraging her teammates. Kinsley Washington (Series .357 OB%) replaced her in at the leadoff spot and Anna Vines and Thessa Malau’ ulu (3/8, R, BB) replaced her on the field.

UCLA beat Washington in the first game (6-1). Huskies’ ace Gabbie Plain (23-0, 0.93 ERA) got the start against Rachel Garcia (7-0, 0.47 ERA). Plain (3 innings, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 K) and Garcia (7 Innings, 3 H, 1 R, BB, 6 K) were in a pitching duel until the bottom of the 3rd inning. Anna Vines (1/1, R) started the Bruin rally with a single followed by a two out walk by Kinsley Washington (0/1, R, 2 BB). Briana Perez (1/3, R, 3 RBI) hit a 3-run home run to provide UCLA the lead. The Huskies scored an unearned run on a botched double play in the top of the 4th but was shut down the rest of the way. Pat Moore (2-0, 5.07 ERA) entered in relief of Plain after the Bruins got 2 runners aboard. Moore (3 Innings, 3 H, 2 R, K) allowed 3 more runs.

Washington evened the series in the second game (7-4) moving the Huskies within a half a game of the Pac 12 lead. Megan Faraimo (11-2, 0.86 ERA) got the start against Plain (23-1, 1.09 ERA). Faraimo (1 Inning, 3 H, 3 R, K) struggled giving up 2 runs in the 1st inning and yielded to Rachel Garcia (8-0, 0.40) after two runners reached in the top of the 2nd. Garcia (1 2/3, 4 H, R, 4 K) was clearly fatigued and Faraimo (5 1/3 Innings, 10 H, 6 R, 5 K) returned to pitch. The Bruins (8/28, 4 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, DBL, HR) managed to get 12 baserunners but left 8 stranded including 2 in the bottom of the 7th.

Holly Azevedo (5-0, 2.04 ERA) started the non-conference game against Sarah Willis (2-1, 3.41 ERA). Azevedo (7 Innings, 7 H, R, RBI, BB, 6 K) looked strong pitching a complete game win (6-1). The Bruin offense (9/28, 6 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB) chased Willis (4 2/3, 8 H, 6 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K) in the 5th. Pat Moore ((2-0, 4.00 ERA)) entered in relief and shut down UCLA (1 1/3 Innings, H, K) the rest of the way.

UCLA stayed atop the conference after winning Sunday (4-2). In a surprise move, Megan Faraimo (11-3, 1.33 ERA) started for the Bruins. Also surprising was the lineup card from Washington. Gabbie Plain was listed as the starting pitcher, but in a last-minute move Kelley Lynch (5-5, 3.97 ERA) was given the start. Faraimo (7.0 Innings, 6 H, 2 R, 6 K) pitched a strong game after she struggled on Saturday. Lynch (1 Inning, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, K) was relieved after she gave up back-to-back home runs in bottom of the first resulting in a 3 run Bruin lead. Brooke Nelson (2-0, 8.11 ERA) was brought in to stop the UCLA Offense (5/22, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 HR) home run barrage. Nelson (3 Innings, 3 H, R, K) was relieved by Pat Moore (2-0, 3.81 ERA) who closed out the game (2 Innings, BB, 5 K).

This weekend was a tale of run production. UCLA (.280 BA, 9 BB3 Dbls, 7 HR, 19 LOB) and Washington (.291 BA, 2 BB, 6 Dbls, 4 HR, 21 LOB) offensive production seemed similar but, UCLA averaged 5 runs per game and outside of their victory, Washington averaged 1 run per game. UCLA’s pitching staff had a 2.50 ERA vs. Washington 5.04 ERA.

Around the Pac 12

Pac 12 teams continue to beat each other up in conference play shuffling the middle third of the standings.

#2 UCLA (28-3, 10-2) went 2-1 in conference play and 1-0 in non-conference play against #6 Washington (35-9, 13-4) to remain on top of the Pac-12.

#8 Arizona (31-8, 9-5) swept 4 games from Utah (17-23, 2-13) to move back into 3rd behind Washington.

The series between #13 ASU (28-11, 9-6) and UC Berkeley (16-12, 3-6) was cancelled due to Covid protocols.

Oregon (30-10, 8-7) continued its decline going 1-2 in conference play and 1-0 in non-conference play against Stanford (25-13, 5-7) and dropping to 5th.

Oregon St. (15-20, 3-12) took a break from softball this week.

Next Game: @University of Utah

Apr 30 (Fri) 4:00 PM PT

May 1 (Sat) 1:00 PM PT

May 1 (Sat) 3:30 PM PT

May 2 (Sun) 11:00 AM PT

Next Week Preview

UCLA (28-3, 10-2) rolls into Utah (17-23, 2-13) leading the conference standing.

The Bruins swept Utah (3-0, 9-1 (5),10-0 (5)) in 2019 with dominating pitching performances. Rachel Garcia, Megan Faraimo and Holly Azevedo combined to allow only one run in 17 innings.

UCLA edged Utah (6-5) earlier this year. Lexi Sosa (2 innings, 2 H, 2 R, 4K) and Holly Azevedo (1 2/3 innings, 3 H, 3 R, 2 K) struggled early and Megan Faraimo (3 1/3 innings, 6K) entered to shut down the Utah hitters. The UCLA offense (.300 10 H, 6 R) scored 3 runs in the top of the sixth to earn the victory.

Utah is struggling in conference play this year. The pitching staff has a combined 6.86 ERA. Their top pitchers Mariah Lopez (1-6, 7.27 ERA) and Sydney Sandez (1-3, 5.46 ERA) clearly overwhelmed. Their offense (.254 BA) averages less than 3 runs per game and has only one batter over .300 (Haley Denning .390).

UCLA enters the series with 3 batters hitting over .300 (+ Alyssa Garcia .296) not including Bubba Nickles (.500). They are averaging 5 runs per game. The Bruins have a 1.37 team ERA with Rachel Garcia (5-0, 0.74 ERA) and Megan Faraimo (4-2, 2.25) pitching over 90% of the innings.

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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