Tonight’s game could become an instant classic when the #2 UCLA Bruins face the #3 Florida Gators in the opening game of the Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. And, if you don’t have tickets, you might be out of luck because the Cal State Fullerton website says that tonight’s game is sold out.
Last Time Out
On Sunday, the Bruins played their final game of the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City and the game ended the same way as UCLA’s other games — with another Bruin win. But, before I discuss Sunday’s game, I need to take you back to Saturday’s game against Kentucky.
In that game, freshman pitcher Megan Faraimo didn’t get out of the first inning. In fact, she didn’t record an out as head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez opted to make a pitching change to bring in Rachel Garcia after Faraimo gave up two early runs.
What a difference a day makes.
On Sunday, Faraimo had some good stuff as she threw her second no-hitter in just eight days against Colorado State. Not only did she not allow any runs or any hits, she didn’t give up any walks either. She also struck out nine. The only thing which kept this from being a perfect game were two Bruin errors and a hit-by-pitch.
It was a good thing that Faraimo pitched well because UCLA didn’t generate a whole lot of offense in this one. Kinsley Washington doubled and scored on an error in the bottom of the second to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, UCLA added a pair of insurance runs. Aaliyah Jordan led off the inning with a single and Rachel Garcia followed with one of her own. Inouye-Perez opted to pinch-run for both players as Taylor Pack came to the plate. Pack singled home Anna Vines who had taken over for Jordan at second to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Julie Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Alana Snow, who had gone in for Garcia. That made it 3-0, UCLA and, with Faraimo finishing up the no-no, that was enough for the Bruins to stay undefeated.
Tonight’s game against the Gators is the first of two meetings between the teams this weekend. They meet again on Friday morning.
The Gators come in to tonight’s game with an 18-0 record including wins over Michigan, Arizona and Arizona State, but the Bruins will be the highest-ranked team the Gators have faced so far.
I don’t think playing a team like the Gators will faze the Bruins much after last weekend’s win over #4 Oklahoma. Realistically, I expect UCLA will edge the Gators tonight due to the fact that the Bruins will not have had to travel quite as far to get to Fullerton for tonight’s game.
This is your UCLA vs. Florida Judi Garman Classic opening game thread.