After starting the season last weekend in Hawai’i, the UCLA softball team returns home to host the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament this weekend at Easton Stadium. The Bruins head into their doubleheader today with a perfect record, only allowing five runs in five games and closing out their last two games early due to the mercy rule.
Last Time Out
Last Saturday, UCLA concluded the Hawai’i Paradise Classic at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium with a doubleheader and started off the day facing the Georgia State Panthers. Georgia State scored in the first inning off a single and that would be the only time a Panther would round the bases. UCLA responded with a score of their own when Taylor Pack hit a single out to left field which brought home Briana Perez.
Georgia State would stay silent the rest of the game, but the Bruins would add three more runs in the bottom of the second. After Kinsley Washington reached on an error and Kelli Godin laid down a bunt for a base hit, Perez doubled to right center to score both runners. A sacrifice fly to left center by Bubba Nickles scored Perez and it was 4-1, Bruins.
UCLA added four more in the fourth. Godin started the rally with a single to left. Perez laid down a bunt and was safe at first to give the Bruins runners on first and second with no outs. Nickles drove in Godin with a single to left center and a sacrifice fly by Jacqui Prober scored Perez. Paige Halstead followed with a two-run homer to right center.
In the sixth, with Prober on first, Halstead doubled down the right field line scoring Prober and invoking the mercy rule with the score 9-1, Bruins.
The Bruins’ second game was against the Saint Mary’s Gaels and this one would end even quicker than the first in only five innings. UCLA scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning when Aaliyah Jordan homered to center after Nickles had walked.
After a scoreless second, Nickles led off the third with another Bruin homer to center.
In the fourth, the Bruins rallied again. Godin got things started when she reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second. Perez singled her home, but advanced to second on the throw home and moved up to third on a throwing error. Nickles and Jordan both walked to load the bases. Pack followed and doubled home both Perez and Nickles to give the Bruins a 6-0 lead.
The Gaels’ only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Abbey Mariani to cut UCLA’s lead to five.
In the fifth inning, the Bruins tacked on seven more runs to increase their lead to 13-1. Holly Azevedo took over for Rachel Garcia and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half of the inning, allowing UCLA to invoke the mercy rule.
Cal Poly Mustangs
The Mustangs are 2-3 so far this season. They opened the season last weekend losing both ends of a Saturday doubleheader to Portland State, 6-4, and Marshall, 6-5, but they rebounded on Sunday to sweep Portland State, 7-3, and San Diego, 7-3. Earlier today, Cal Poly began play in this weekend’s tournament with a game against Ole Miss which they lost, 5-2.
Boise State Broncos
The Broncos enter the weekend at .500, having beaten Northwestern State 2-1 last Sunday in the final game of the Texas Classic after losing to #16 Texas on Saturday and splitting Friday’s games, beating Boston College and losing to Northwestern State. Pitcher Kelsey Broadus was able to keep the Broncos in the game when the bats weren’t producing, as 42 of her 72 pitches on Sunday were strikes. Look for her to pace the game and give the Broncos an edge. Boise State plays UC Riverside immediately before the Bruins game against Cal Poly.
This tournament includes games against Ole Miss, Fresno State, UC Riverside, and Loyola Marymount, but none of these teams can stack up to the talent level of the Bruins. The only thing that could be a downer is the weather, as rain could wreck havoc on the schedule.