Kelly Inouye-Perez finally did the right thing by starting someone other than Rachel Garcia in the circle. She started freshman Megan Faraimo and Faraimo delivered. It wasn’t necessarily Faraimo’s best game of the season, but she got the job done.
In the first five innings, Faraimo held James Madison scoreless while only allowing three hits and one walk. In the sixth, Faraimo finally found herself in a jam and that’s when Inouye-Perez, rightfully, made a call to the bullpen. She opted to go to sophomore Holly Azevedo to try to get the two out needed to stop JMU’s rally. Unfortunately, Azevedo gave up a pair of RBI singles, which scored JMU’s only runs of the game. After those two hits, Inouye-Perez had seen enough and she brought in Garcia to get the final five outs of the game. Garcia quickly put out the sixth inning fire with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice. She also threw a scoreless seventh for her seventh save of the season while Faraimo earned her 16th win of the season.
Offensively, the Bruins looked like a carbon copy of last night. Again, they scored four runs in the third and two more in the fourth. Tonight, as the away team, they also got to bat in the seventh. So, they added one more for insurance.
The only real difference was how the Bruins scored.
Kelli Godin led off the third with a bunt single. With one out, Godin stole second and took third when the throw got past Dukes’ shortstop Sara Jubas. Briana Perez drew a walk and then she stole second, too. With two outs, Garcia came to the plate and hit a two-run single through the left side of the infield, scoring both Godin and Perez and giving the Bruins a 2-0 advantage. Then, just like last night, it was time for a little long ball. Tonight, it was Taylor Pack who put it over the fence for a two-run homer and the 4-0 UCLA lead.
With one out in the fourth inning, Kinsley Washington and Godin each singled and Bubba Nickles walked to load the bases. With two outs, Aaliyah Jordan came to the plate and singled through the right side, scoring both Washington and Godin and UCLA was up 6-0.
The offensive cherry on top of this one came in the seventh when Pack put another ball over the fence. This time, it was to dead center.
And, now, the Bruins are headed back to Oklahoma City for their fifth consecutive Women’s College World Series.
If this team keeps playing like this and Inouye-Perez can avoid over-managing, this team has a very good chance to win it all and bring home UCLA’s 118th NCAA national championship.
Go Bruins!! Bring home NC# 118!!!