Tuesday, July 23

Bruins deal double damage

UCLA dominates UCSB in doubleheader, scoring a total of 25 runs during the day

With some patience and keen observation, GiOnna DiSalvatore took it upon herself to ignite the offense.

After taking the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara (4-3) with a lopsided 14-0 victory, No. 4 UCLA (5-1) found itself down a run after three innings in game two before the junior second baseman raked in a career-high six RBI to rally the Bruins past the Gauchos 11-1 and complete the two-game road sweep.

“It’s always fun to see a player dominate like that,” coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “(DiSalvatore’s) patience at the plate allowed her to get good pitches, and when a player like GiOnna gets in the zone, she can do some serious damage.”

DiSalvatore and her teammates drove in 25 runs by day’s end.

In game one, the Bruins showcased their many ways of getting on the scoreboard with some power at the plate and zip on the base paths. Junior center fielder Katie Schroeder led off with a single, then promptly stole second. Two outs later, senior first baseman Megan Langenfeld turned in an infield single and collected the RBI after Schroeder legged it from second to home.

With runners on first and second, and her team up 4-0 in the top of the third, senior catcher Kaila Shull put down a bunt, but an error by the Gauchos’ Jackie Sweet brought in a run and advanced pinch-runner Grace Murray from first to third. The Bruins then executed a double steal to increase the lead to 6-0.

UCLA went on to invoke the mercy rule, thanks to three home runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

In the circle, junior pitcher Donna Kerr had another solid outing, allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out three through three innings. Freshman Destiny Rodino made her collegiate debut, taking over for Kerr in the fourth to close out the game with a pair of scoreless innings.

The Gauchos seized the early 1-0 lead in game two on Jessica Beristianos’ first-inning RBI single off of UCLA’s third pitcher of the day, sophomore Aleah Macon. Macon soon settled down, going on to pick up her first win as a Bruin giving up one run, two hits and fanning nine in six innings.

“My adrenaline was pumping,” Macon said. “It was the first game that I started, and my teammates were telling me after (Santa Barbara) scored the first run “˜don’t worry, we’ve got your back.’”

And the Bruins did just that. DiSalvatore drove in the tying run on a double in the fourth, broke the game open with another double in the fifth to plate two more runs and capped things off with a three-run bomb in the sixth.

“I noticed that with the batters before me, the pitcher was throwing a lot of balls,” DiSalvatore said. “My goal was to be patient and wait for a strike, and that’s what I did every at-bat.”

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