Last night at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, UC Santa Barbara did something no other team has done against the Bruins so far this season. The Gauchos scored first.
They managed score first because Maci Fines tripled to start the game and, two batters later, Alyssa Diaz drove her in.
But, if you want to beat the Bruins, you’re going to have to score more runs than that. Fortunately, the Gauchos didn’t. That was the only run allowed by Holly Azevedo, who pitched a complete mercy-rule shortened five-inning game for her fourth win of the year.
After only scoring four runs against Fordham on Thursday, the Bruin bats returned last night, even if the first hit of the night was a bunt single by Briana Perez. With Perez on first, Aaliyah Jordan tripled down the left field line to score Perez and Brianna Tautalafua walked to give UCLA runners on the corners with just one out. Rachel Garcia then drove Jordan in with a single to short and UCLA took a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins picked right back up where they left off in the bottom of the second. Kinsley Washington tripled and Briana Perez singled to left to drive her in while Briana’s older sister Kylee gave UCLA a pair of Perez sisters on first and second with just one out. A wild pitch to Jordan moved the sisters up to second and third while Jordan ended up walking to load the bases. Tautalafua’s fielder’s choice drove in Briana Perez to make it 4-1 and Garcia singled to left, scoring Jordan and picking up Garcia’s second RBI of the game.
With Washington on first in the bottom of the third, Briana Perez reached on a fielding error that let her end up on third and score Washington. Kylee Perez drove her sister in with a single through the right side and UCLA took a 7-1 lead.
The Bruins added another run in the fourth.
Kylee Perez walked and later stole second to give the Bruins the winning run in scoring position with one out. Jelly Felix walked and Garcia fouled out to bring up Bubba Nickles. Nickles singled to left-center to drive in Perez to give the Bruins a 9-1 lead, invoking the mercy-rule.
This evening, the Bruins have a doubleheader on tap. First, at 5 pm, they will face the Syracuse Orange. The Orange this season are 3-2. Yesterday, the Orange played a doubleheader at the Nutter Classic. They lost their first game to Utah, 6-0, but won game two against Sacramento State, 8-0.
In the second game, UCLA faces the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers. The Blazers don’t appear to be a very good team. They are just 1-6 so far this season. Yesterday, they lost both games of their Nutter Classic doubleheader. They dropped the first game to Stanford, 12-6, and the second to Cal Poly, 7-4. Personally, I’ll be surprised if this game isn’t shortened by the mercy rule.
This is your UCLA Softball Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic I, Day 2 doubleheader open thread.