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UCLA Softball Goes for the Sweep against Stanford

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The Bruins will be looking for their second straight series sweep and eighth consecutive win when they meet the Cardinal this afternoon in the final game of their northern California road trip.

@UCLASoftball

#12 UCLA Softball (36-12, 10-7)

Opponent: Stanford (18-26, 1-16)

When: 12:00 PM PT, Sunday, April 30, 2017

Where: Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium. Stanford, CA

Audio: None

Video: Stanford Live Stream

Live Stats: Stanford StatBroadcast

Official Game Preview | Game Notes

For the second straight day, the Bruins claimed an ugly win against the Cardinal. One day after banging out 21 hits, UCLA managed just half a dozen, but with the help of six Stanford errors, the Bruins were able to hang on for a 6-5 victory. It was UCLA's seventh straight win, and fifth straight conference win.

UCLA fell behind early when Stanford put one run on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. Selina Ta'amilo plunked the first batter she faced, then uncorked a wild pitch to put the runner in scoring position, and after coming back to retire the next two batters, conceded an RBI single.

The Bruins struck back immediately. Rachel Garcia drew a base on balls to lead off the second. One out later, after forcing Garcia at second, Gabrielle Maurice stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Cardinal catcher. Maurice then scored when the Cardinal third baseman booted Paige Halstead's grounder to even the score at 1-1.

The Bruins weren't finished. Zoe Shaw walked, and when Delaney Spaulding ripped a double to left center, both Halstead and Shaw crossed the plate.

With the comfort of a 3-1 lead, Ta'amilo started to settle in, retiring the side in order in the second, third and fourth.

UCLA added another run in the top of the fourth. Maurice singled to right and stole second to lead off the inning. After Shaw drew her second walk of the game, Spaulding's ground ball was mishandled, allowing Maurice to come home to give Ta'amilo a 4-1 cushion.

Stanford clawed back two runs in the bottom of the fifth. A single, another hit batsman, and a second single was all Stanford needed to cut UCLA's lead to 4-3.

The Bruins restored their three-run lead in the top of the sixth. A one-out single by Halstead and a double to the gap in left center by Shaw put runners on second and third. Spaulding then hit a sacrifice flay to center to drive in the first run, and Shaw crossed the plate too thanks to an errant throw.

After working her way out of a jam in the sixth, Ta'amilo got into trouble again in the bottom of the seventh. Ta'amilo beaned the leadoff hitter--Ta'amilo's fourth HBP of the afternoon--and then surrendered a two-run homer to left by Stanford pinch hitter Montana Dixon. With the score 6-5, Coach KIP opted to keep Ta'amilo in the circle, and Ta'amilo got three straight outs to seal the victory.

Ta'amilo improved her record to 11-0 with her complete game five-hitter. No Bruin had more than one hit, but Delaney Spaulding collected three RBI, and Zoe Shaw got on base in each of her three plate appearances.

Despite winning the first two games of the series against Stanford, the Bruins are still tied with the Huskies for fourth place in the Pac-12 standings. However, UCLA is now just two games behind Oregon, and just two and a half games behind Utah. If the Bruins can stay hot for the remaining 2+ weeks of the season, they can make the Pac-12 title race very interesting. But to put themselves in position to do that, the Bruins will have to win today against the Cardinal to earn their second straight series win.

Go BRUINS!