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#2 UCLA Softball Drops Series Opener Against #6 Arizona, 5-3

In a hard fought battle, UCLA was unable to hang on to bring home the win.

Junior Bubba Nickles extended her hit streak to seventeen games last night.
Rand Bleimeister/

Even with Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year Rachel Garcia matching her season high of fifteen strikeouts, UCLA could not get enough going offensively to beat Arizona last night. Garcia lost her first game of the season. Meanwhile, Washington topped Stanford, 5-2, to tighten the top of the Pac-12 standings.

Bubba Nickles started off the bottom of the first with a single. Briana Perez laid down a bunt single to move Nickles to second and Garcia singled through the right side, scoring Nickles. With the bases loaded and one out, Brianna Tautalafua hit what would have been a sacrifice fly to right field, but Perez left third early and was called out. That double play ended what could have been an even bigger inning for the Bruins but, instead, it was just 1-0, UCLA.

Scoring would dry up until the fourth when Arizona got on the board with a home run. UCLA answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Tautalafua hit a two-out homer of her own to center field. Colleen Sullivan drew a walk and advanced to third when Kinsley Washington singled. Kelly Godin also walked to load the bases for Nickles. She singled to score Sullivan, but. unfortunately, Washington also tried to score on the play and she was out at home, ending the fourth inning with the score 3-1, Bruins.

Arizona added two more runs in the top of the fifth and they added two more in the top of the seventh, putting UCLA down 5-3 heading into their last at bat. With two outs, Garcia doubled to right center. That brought the tying run to the plate in Taylor Pack, but she struck out swinging to end the game in Arizona’s favor, 5-3.

UCLA will take on Arizona in game two today at 5:00 pm PT, and the game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks National and Los Angeles. This game will be pivotal as these teams are now separated by one game in the conference standings.

This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats softball game two open thread.

Go Bruins!