After a stellar weekend, the Bruins head into tonight’s game 5-0 as they take on Fordham University.
In game one on Sunday, redshirt sophomore Rachel Garcia pitched six innings without giving up a hit, which included eight strikeouts, and got her first win of the year. UCLA was unable to score until the second inning, but, in the end, eight Bruins combined for 13 hits. Cal Poly didn’t score a run until the sixth inning, but the Bruins proved to be too much for the Mustangs and wound up winning 7-2.
In game two against UC Riverside, Brianna Tautalafua began the scoring with a three-run homer in the first. UCLA put up three additional runs in the second inning, one in the fourth, and six more in the fifth to end the game early on the mercy rule when Tautalafua knocked a grand slam out of Easton Stadium. She ended up 4-for-4 with two homers, and set a new personal best with seven RBIs. Freshman pitcher Holly Azevedo got her third win of the season, with a final score of 13-2.
Tonight, the Bruins face Fordham at 6:00 pm PT. The Rams have been selected to defend their Atlantic 10 league title for the sixth straight year, and return some of the stellar players that led to their fifth straight championship last year. A-10 Co-Pitcher of the Year Lauren Quense and Player of the Year runner-up Madi Shaw, First Team selection Skylar Johnston, and All-Rookie honoree Madie Aughinbaugh are all returning, and are looking to lead their team to another round of NCAAs, despite the fact that they also lost many players at the end of last year.
Johnston earned the First Team nod with an amazing conference season, batting a league-high .491/.554/.614 with a team-high 28 hits, seven doubles, 16 RBIs, and an 8/3 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Aughinbaugh, a two-time Rookie of the Week and Pitcher of the Week, finished her freshman year with a 2.16 ERA over 29 games, 19 starts including 10 complete games, three shutouts, and an overall 16-5 record.
In other Bruin softball news, freshman Briana Perez was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after opening the season by going 11 for 18 at the plate with two home runs, 11 RBIs, two doubles, a triple. As a result, she leads the team among hitters with at least 10 at-bats with a .611 batting average and a 1.167 slugging percentage. She also scored nine runs and stole two bases.
Tonight’s game will not be televised, but live audio and live stats will be available.
This is your UCLA Softball open thread.