The UCLA softball used four home runs to power their way past the Arizona Wildcats, 7-1, last night in the opening game of the NCAA Los Angeles Super Regional.
By winning last night, the Bruins now just need one more win over the Wildcats to head to next week’s Women’s College World Series. If UCLA has their way, that win could come tonight when the teams meet in Game 2 of the series.
The Bruins got things going right away against Arizona starter Taylor McQuillin. In the bottom of the first, Aaliyah Jordan hit an RBI double that scored Kylee Perez to give UCLA a 1-0 lead.
Madeline Jelenicki led off in the bottom of the second and homered to left center to make it 2-0, Bruins. That would prove to be the game-winning hit for UCLA because Bruin start Rachel Garcia held Arizona to just one hit and one walk over five innings while striking out eight.
In the bottom of the third, it was Kylee Perez hitting a homer to start off the inning. But, it was UCLA’s big rally in the fifth inning that really put the nail in the Wildcats’ coffin last night.
After Jordan led off with a walk, UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez sent Stevie Wisz in to pinch-run for her. That brought Garcia to the plate. With the count at 3-1, she blasted the ball over the fence in center to put UCLA up 5-0. Bubba Nickles kept the rally going with a single which brought up Jelenicki, who hit her second home run of the game and, by doing that, pretty much ended Arizona’s hopes of winning the game.
It also meant the end of the night for Rachel Garcia as Holly Azevedo came in to pitch the rest of the game. While she gave up a run in the top of the seventh, there was never a doubt that this game would be won by the Bruins.
Tonight, the teams meet again at 6 pm PT. While last night’s game aired on ESPN, tonight’s game shifts to ESPN2 as UCLA looks to break out their brooms and sweep their way into the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
As long as the Bruins keep their bats going, that should be the case tonight.
This is your NCAA Softball Super Regional Game Two open thread.
Go Bruins!!! Bring home 117!!!