Tonight, the UCLA softball team starts a three-game series against the Oregon State Beavers at 5 pm PT. Because of the Easter Holiday, this weekend’s series begins tonight and runs through Saturday.
Last TIme Out
Last weekend, the Bruins hosted the Oregon Ducks. After a loss on Friday, which cost the Bruins the top spot in this week’s polls, UCLA came back to win the series with wins on both Saturday, 8-3, and Sunday, 8-1.
Sunday’s game saw Holly Azevedo start for the Bruins. Despite the fact that she had allowed just one hit and struck out five through four innings, Kelly Inouye-Perez still opted to bring in Rachel Garcia for the final three innings of the game. Garcia gave up an unearned run on three hits and a walk with four strikouts en route to her 17th win of the season.
Kelli Godin got the Bruins on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. She reached on an error, then stole second and moved over to third on a throwing error. Briana Perez drove her in on a sacrifice fly to center to give UCLA a 1-0 lead.
But, the Ducks tied it 1-1 on a fielding error by Perez in the fifth.
In the bottom of the sixth, with the game still tied, the UCLA offense exploded as the Bruins sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. Bubba Nickles and Taylor Pack got the rally started with a pair of singles, which set up a three-run homer by Garcia that proved to be the game-winner. When UCLA loaded the bases with still no outs, Inouye-Perez sent Malia Quarles in to pinch-hit for Kinsley Washington and she hit a grand slam to make give the Bruins a big 8-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Garcia retired the side in order in the seventh to earn the win.
Oregon State Beavers
The Beavers are 21-15 overall but just 3-10 in Pac-12 play so far this season. They defeated Arizona State in their first conference game of the year and, then, they lost nine straight conference games before finally winning the first two games of last weekend’s series against UC Berkeley.
Given that, I’d normally say that, with the way the Beavers have played, I expect a Bruin sweep. But, last Friday, UCLA couldn’t get the job done. While it was just UCLA’s second loss of the season, it was enough to cost the Bruins the top spot in the polls.
So, as long as the Bruins get their offense moving, UCLA should be able to pull off a sweep.
This is your UCLA vs. Oregon State softball open thread.