The #2 UCLA Bruins softball team will begin play at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City tonight with a 8:00 pm PT game against the Texas A&M Aggies. UCLA will play six games in Cathedral City over the next four days.
Last Time Out
In a doubleheader that wrapped up the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament on Sunday, UCLA broke the school record for the most runs scored in a single inning when they put up 16 runs in the bottom of the first against UC Riverside. That surpassed the previous school record of 13 runs scored on April 21, 1992 against Cal Poly Pomona.
On the mound, sophomore Holly Azevedo allowed three runs on three hits and one walk over five innings.
In the bottom of the first, UCLA got on the scoreboard with a two-run homer by Bubba Nickles, which also drove in Briana Perez. Redshirt sophomore Aaliyah Jordan added a solo shot to right-center which made it 3-0, Bruins. After Rachel Garcia and Taylor Pack walked, Brianna Tautalafua singled to load the bases. Paige Halstead also drew a walk, but with nowhere to put here, Garcia came home to put UCLA up 4-0.
Kinsley Washington singled to left field scoring Pack and Tautalafua. With the score now 6-0, the Highlanders made a pitching change. The inning continued as the Bruins scored two more runs and batted around the order. In her second at-bat of the inning, with the bases loaded, Jordan hit a two-run single and it was 10-0 and still no outs. Garcia followed and cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left-center and UCLA had a 13-0 lead, tying the school record. With two on and two out, Kelli Godin broke the record when she singled up the middle, scoring Halstead and Washington. In her third at-bat of the first inning, Perez doubled to right-center to score Godin.
UC Riverside would end the possibility of a shutout in the second when Emma Ramelot sent a solo homer to left field. UCR would score again in the top of the fourth when Melanie Olmos doubled to right center, allowing Brittany Garcia and Raena Robinson to score.
Bubba Nickles added a solo homer in the fourth for the Bruins’ 17th run of the game. When UCR was unable to amass any kind of comeback in the top of the fifth, the game was over due to a well-deserved mercy rule.
UCLA’s late game against Loyola Marymount wasn’t nearly as explosive offensively. In this one, Rachel Garcia threw a complete game and only allowed one run on four hits while striking out 14.
After an LMU homer in the top of the third, UCLA answered in the bottom of the third with a two-out single by Nickles which scored Tautalafua to tie the game, 1-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Godin singled and, subsequently, stole second. She, then, advanced to third when freshman Anna Vines grounded out to first. That brought up Perez, who laid down a bunt that she stretched into a double when no one was home at second base. After Nickles struck out swinging, Jordan singled to score both Godin and Perez, the final two runs of the game, putting the Bruins up 3-1.
UCLA will take on the #23 Texas A&M Aggies tonight at 8:00 pm PT. The Aggies have had some high-scoring games this year, beating Northern Colorado 18-2 on February 8 and California Baptist on February 10, 15-0. They had a three-win streak broken by McNeese State on Sunday when they lost 3-1. Earlier today, they played Nebraska. Tonight’s game between the Bruins and the Aggies could be another high scoring game for both teams. The Aggies are the best offensive opponent UCLA has faced so far this season. The Bruins will likely play seven tough innings.
This is your UCLA softball Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Day One open thread.