This afternoon, the UCLA Bruins softball team demonstrated why they are the number 2 seed in this year’s Women’s College World Series when they beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 7-2, in Game 2 of the competition.
Rachel Garcia showed why she was selected as the National Player of the Year, the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year by giving up just two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven batters over seven inning of work.
Meanwhile, the Bruin offense made sure she had enough runs to win the game. More specifically, the Bruin leadoff batters did.
Bubba Nickles started off the game with a bang when she homered to lead off the bottom of the first for UCLA.
In the second, Taylor Pack led off the inning with a single and Colleen Sullivan’s single moved her to second. A walk by Brianna Tautalafua loaded the bases for Kinsley Washington and Washington also walked, scoring Pack.
The third inning started with a leadoff walk to Aaliyah Jordan. When Garcia singled through the left side, Jordan hustled and ended up safe at third and she made it 3-0, Bruins, when Pack hit a sacrifice fly to center.
That would be enough for the Bruins to take this one, even though they had a little scare in the sixth when Garcia gave up a pair of runs in the top half of the inning, but a solid throw from Nickles to Washington ended the Gopher rally and UCLA still led, 3-2.
With one out in the bottom half of the inning, both Washington and Kelli Godin singled. Nickles reached on an error allowing Washington to score. After Briana Perez struck out for the second out of the inning, Jordan came up and went deep to right for a three-run homer to ensure the Bruin win, 7-2.
With today’s win, UCLA advances to Game 5 of the Women’s College World Series where they will face the 6-seed Arizona Wildcats who defeated the 3-seed Washington Huskies, 3-1, in extra innings in Game 1. The Bruins will be looking for payback because Arizona was the only team to beat the Bruins twice during the regular season. First pitch will be at 4 pm PT on ESPN.