The UCLA softball team travels to Tucson this weekend for a series against the Arizona Wildcats. The Bruins are looking to get back to their winning ways after dropping last Sunday’s game 4-1 to Stanford.
Unranked Stanford, who was a major underdog for Sunday’s game, pulled off the upset with solid pitching and by capitalizing on a couple of Bruin mistakes. Stanford pitchers Maddy Dwyer and Carolyn Lee did their part when it mattered and allowed only one run despite giving the Bruins an ample opportunity to grab more. While UCLA’s batters picked up seven hits and two walks, the Bruins also left 7 on base.
Stanford scored four runs in a wild 3rd inning. After loading the bases early in the inning, they scored their first run with a single from Hannah Howell. Shortstop Kristina Inouye singled on the next at-bat scoring two and then three on an error in the infield. Those four runs would be enough to seal the game and the Cardinal would pick up a big win.
In the fifth, the Bruins scored their only run when Aaliyah Jordan singled home Kinsley Washington, who had doubled down the left field line.
In the seventh, UCLA had runners on the corners with two out when Jordan came to the plate as the tying run, but she flew out to center for the third out of inning and final out of the game.
UCLA now prepares for what is potentially a tough three-game series against #11 Arizona. Despite arguably being one of the best teams in the nation this year, the Wildcats have lost six of their last nine and being swept on the road by both #3 Oregon and #1 Washington.
The Wildcats are not particularly strong in any one department, but don’t have any considerable weaknesses. The Cats are led by junior pitcher Taylor McQuillin, who has a 1.39 ERA (and that’s after allowing 7 earned runs to Oregon on Sunday). Offensively, Arizona is led by outfielder Alyssa Palomino, who is batting .427 with 11 home runs.