FanPost

UCLA Softball Heads to the College World Series

#2 UCLA (44-4) took 3 games to beat unseeded Virginia Tech (36-13) in the LA Super regional.

UCLA started Rachel Garcia (16-0, 0.78 ERA) against Hokies’ ace Keely Rochard (28-8, 1.24 ERA) in the first game. The Bruins fumbled and bumbled their way to a 7-2 loss. UCLA’s defense committed a season high 5 errors and 5 "didn’t get there". A frustrated Garcia (4 Innings, 9 H, 6 R, 7 K) pitched well in the loss with many of Virginia Tech’s hits a result of Bruins unable to make a play. Megan Faraimo (18-3, 1.18 ERA) came in relief (2 Inning, H, 4K) followed by Holly Azevedo (8-1 1.74 ERA) (1 Inning, H, R, BB, 3 K) to finished out the game. UCLA’s offense (3/24, 2 R, BB) was lethargic and unable to figure out Rochard’s (7 Inning, 3 H, 2 R, BB, 12K) rise ball.

In the second game, Megan Faraimo (18-3, 1.34 ERA) started against Keely Rochard (28-9, 1.26 ERA). The Bruins squeezed out a 2-0 victory behind a 1 hit shutout by Faraimo (7 Innings, H, 2 BB, 11 K) and solo home runs by Maya Brady (1/3, R, RBI, HR) and Aaliyah Jordan (1/3, R, RBI, HR). Except for the home runs Rochard (7 Innings, 4 H, 2 R, 8 K, 2 HR) shutdown the Bruin offense (2/24).

Rachel Garcia (16-1, 1.01 ERA) returned to pitch against Keely Rochard (28-10, 1.28 ERA). Garcia (7 Inning 2 H, 13 K) threw a 2-Hit shutout for a 6-0 victory. Rochard (4 Innings, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2K) was clearly fatigued and was relieved by Ivy Rosenberry (6-4, 3.06 ERA) for the final 2 innings (2 Innings, H, BB). The Bruin offense (6/24, 6 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 2 HR) used home runs by Maya Brady (1/3, R, 3 RBI, HR) and Briana Perez (1/3, R, RBI, HR) and errors by Virginia Tech (2 unearned runs) to generate their 6 runs.

It took extraordinary pitching by Rachel Garcia (1-1, 11 Innings, 11 H, 4 ER, 20 K) and Megan Faraimo (1-0, 9 Innings, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 15 K) to overcome Virginia Tech. After the first game, the Hokies were held to no runs and 3 hits (0.00 ERA, .067 OBA). The UCLA offense (13/74, 10 R, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 4 HR) struggled and scored 6 of its 10 runs off home runs by Maya Brady (2), Aaliyah Jordan (1), and Briana Perez (1). The UCLA defense committed 5 errors and 5 "couldn’t make the play" to lose the first game but recovered without an error in the next two games.

Note: Bubba Nickles entered games 1 and 2 as a defensive replacement and started game 3.

Note: NCAA SEC Bias: 4/5 SEC teams in the top 8 failed to make the CWS.

Next Game: Florida St. (44-10-1, 26-5-1)

UCLA will be in the lower bracket with Florida St., Georgia, and Oklahoma St. UCLA will face Florida St. in the first game (2019 NC vs. 2018 NC).

UCLA Last played Florida St. in 2020. The Bruins beat the Seminoles 3-2 behind the pitching of Megan Faraimo (7 Innings, 5 H, 2 R, ER, 2 BB, 13 K) (1.00 ERA, .185 OBA). Katherine Sandercock (5 Innings, 5 H, 2 R, BB, K) took the loss. UCLA’s offense batted .345 but left 7 runners stranded.

The last time UCLA met Florida St. in the college world series (2018), they won the opening game (7-4) chasing Seminoles ace Meghan King (4. 2/3 Inning, 5 H, R, BB 6 K) then pounding Kylee Hanson in relief (5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, BB, K).

FSU fought their way out of the loser’s bracket to face UCLA in the semifinal series. The Bruins were knocked out of the tournament losing back-to-back games (1-3, 6-12). Rachel Garcia (6 Innings, 8 H, 3 R, BB, 7 K) was out dueled by King (7 Inning, 7 H, R, BB, 10 K) in the first game, when the Bruin offense (7/27, R, 2 BB LOB 8) failed to provide run support. In the night cap, a clearly fatigued Garcia (3 Inning, 3 H, 2 R, ER, 5 K) had to retire after 3 innings. Selena Ta’amilo and Holly Azevedo were ineffective in relief (4 Innings, 7 H, 10 R, BB, 3 K). The Seminoles moved on to beat Washington in the finals and win the title.

Meghan King is gone but the Seminoles are led by a Trio of pitchers. Katherine Sandercock (24-2, 1.09 ERA), Caylan Arnold (10-6 1.66 ERA), and Danielle Watson (10-1, 2.20 ERA) are the strength of this team. They went 2-0 upsetting #7 LSU in the super regional (1-0, 4-3 (9)). The FSU pitching staff (1.31 ERA, .175 OBA) held LSU in check until the Seminole offense (.241 BA, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB) could score. The offensive star for FSU is Sydney Sherril (.313, .466 OB%, .456 SLG). She batted .333 in the super regional and scored 2 runs including the winning run in the first game.

Georgia (34-21, 7-17) will play Oklahoma St. (46-10,15-3) in the other lower bracket game.

UCLA played Georgia in 2020 and scored 7 runs early in contest to coast to an 8-3 victory. The Bruin offense scored 5 in 2nd to chase starter Ally Cutting (2 Innings, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 2 K). Lauren Mathis (4 Inning, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K) closed out the game. UCLA’s offense (10/30 8 R, 8 RBI, 5 BB, LOB 11) dominated scoring 8 runs while leaving 11 stranded.

The Bulldog’s ace is Mary Wilson Avant (20-10, 2.69 ERA). She pitched every inning in the Super Regional sweeping Florida (4-0, 6-0) with 2 complete game shutouts (.142 OBA). Lacey Finche (.338 BA, .737 SLG, .511 SLG), Jaiden Fields (.308 BA, .548 SLG), and Sydney Chambley (.307, .647 SLG) comprise a powerful middle of their lineup.

UCLA beat Oklahoma St. in 2018 (7-2). 6 current Bruin starters played (.438 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, BB, DBL, HR) and Holly Azevedo (7 Innings, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K) pitched a complete game. UCLA jumped out to a 5-0 lead and coasted to a victory.

The Cowgirls’ offense is formidable. The top half of the OSU line up hit above .300 BA, .400 OB% and .500 SLG with sluggers Alysen Febrey (.414 BA, .822 SLG) and Hayley Busby (.390 BA, .868 SLG) batting 3 and 4. Chelsea Alexander (.385, .468 OB%, .505 SLG) bating 9th turns the lineup over.

The Cowgirls rely on a pitching duo. Carrie Eberle (24-3, 1.47 ERA) and Kelly Maxwell (15-4, 1.69 ERA) pitched over 75% of the innings during the regular season.

Oklahoma St. won 2/3 close games over Texas in their super regional (6-1, 2-4 ,2-0). Eberle and Maxwell combined (1.81 ERA, .228 OBA) to limit the Longhorn offense keeping the Cowgirls in every game.



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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