Last night, the UCLA softball team survived a seventh inning scare to defeat the Arizona Wildcats, 5-4. The win allowed the Bruins to clinch a share of the Pac-12 Conference championship and it eliminated Arizona from contention. But, the Washington Huskies defeated Stanford, 8-0, to remain a game behind UCLA. That means, either a UCLA victory or Washington loss today will make the Bruins the sole Pac-12 champs.
Today, UCLA plays Arizona at Noon PT.
Last night’s game wasn’t a particular easy one for the Bruins. UCLA starter Megan Faraimo gave up a one-out solo home run in the first inning as the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Faraimo gave up two walks, which prompted Kelly Inouye-Perez to turn to Rachel Garcia, who got the Bruins out of the jam without Arizona adding any runs.
That wasn’t the case in the third, though, as Garcia gave up a two-run homer, which gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. It also resulted in Inouye-Perez having Holly Azevedo finish the inning.
UCLA started their comeback in the bottom of the third when Garcia hit a two-out single to left. Taylor Pack got the Bruins on the board by hitting a two-run homer, which closed that gap to 3-2.
UCLA continued their comeback in the fourth inning. Kinsley Washington hit a one-out single to center to start the Bruin rally. Briana Perez moved Washington to second when she drew a two-out walk which gave UCLA runners on first and second for Bubba Nickles. Nickles singled to center, scoring Washington and moving Perez to third. That sent Arizona to the bullpen for a pitching change, but it didn’t work out. Aaliyah Jordan came to the plate and double home both Perez and Nickles to put the Bruins up, 5-3.
Azevedo held the Wildcats scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings and the score remained 5-3 heading into the seventh. Azevedo gave up a single and, then, hit two batters with pitches to load the bases, which resulted in another UCLA pitching change as Inouye-Perez went back to Garcia for the final three outs. After getting two outs, Garcia hit a batter which brought home a run for Arizona to make it 5-4 with the bases still loaded, but Garcia was able to get the next batter to ground out ending the game.
Azevedo earned her 11th win by throwing four innings and giving up one run on two hits and no walks with four strikeouts and two hit batters while Garcia earned her third save for her work in the ninth inning.
Today’s game begins at Noon PT and will air on Pac-12 Networks National and Los Angeles.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats softball game three open thread.