The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic continues again today and the UCLA softball team will play another doubleheader this afternoon. The Bruins will face Nebraska first at 3 pm PT and they will play #16 Kentucky in the nitecap.
Last TIme Out
Yesterday, the Bruins also played a doubleheader. UCLA played the #4 Oklahoma Sooners in their first game and the Bruins won 7-1 behind another strong pitching effort from Rachel Garcia (5-0). Garcia threw a complete game and allowed just one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out 15.
The Sooners actually got on the board first with a solo homer in the second inning. That was the only run that Garcia allowed, but it wasn’t for a lack of opportunities. Oklahoma stranded six runners in the final five innings..
The Bruins finally put together a rally in the bottom of the third. Kinsley Washington got the rally started with an infield single with one out. Kelli Godin bunted to advance Washington and Godin was safe at first. An infield single by Briana Perez loaded the bases with Bruins. After Bubba Nickles struck out, Aaliyah Jordan double to right-center to clear the bases and just like that, UCLA was up 3-1.
In the fourth, the Bruins added three insurance runs on a pair of singles by Washington and Briana Perez. A solo shot by Nickles in sixth made it 7-1, UCLA, and that was the final score.
In the nitecap against the Missouri Tigers, Megan Faraimo threw a mercy-rule shortened complete game, allowing three runs and one earned run on five hits while striking out nine, as UCLA crushed the Tigers, 11-3.
The Bruin bats came alive in the first inning. Perez led things off with a infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. She scored on a triple by Nickles and Taylor Pack drove Nickles in on a single through the left side to give UCLA a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Missouri managed to score their only three runs of the game, but the Bruins got those runs back in the bottom of the third when UCLA mounted a three-run rally of their own. A couple of infield errors gave the Bruins Garcia on second and Washington on first with two outs. Colleen Sullivan hit a single back to the pitcher which scored Garcia to tie the game at three. Brianna Tautalafua, pinch-hitting for Julie Rodriguez, tripled to right to score Washington and Sullivan and retake the lead, 5-3.
Sullivan scored an insurance run in the fifth when Tautalafua reached on an error and the Bruins scored five times in the bottom of the sixth to increase their lead to eight and end the game due to the mercy rule.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are 8-4 so far this season. Entering this weekend, the Huskers had only lost twice, both times to Texas Tech at the Lone Star College Classic. But, then, yesterday they lost to San Diego State, 4-0, and again to Arizona State, 6-5. Their most impressive win so far this season was a 5-4 extra inning win over the BYU Cougars on Thursday.
It’s been a roller coaster season so far for Kentucky. The Wildcats started the season losing three of their five games at the Houston Invitational. Last weekend, they lost to #4 Oklahoma in a mercy-rule shortened game and then they lost a close game to Texas before bouncing back to win a shortened game over Oregon. On Friday, they lost a close one to #5 Washington. Despite losing all those games, the Wildcats are off to a 7-6 start.
The big question is which Wildcat team will show up to play the Bruins today?
Personally, I think UCLA will end one of these two games early and, if I had to pick one, I’d say it will probably be the game against the Wildcats rather than the game against the Cornhuskers.
Either way, it should be another pair of wins for the Bruins.
This is your UCLA softball Mary Nutter Classic Day Three open thread.