The score of Wednesday’s rubber match between UCLA and Stanford made the game look a lot closer than it actually was.
From the first inning, it was not evident at all that the Bruins had played more than four hours of softball the night before. Freshman pitcher Ally Carda came out strong for her second game in two days, and the offense was blasting the ball past the infielders.
In the end, UCLA came away with a 5-2 win.
After two heavily offensive games on Tuesday night, Wednesday’s game looked to follow suit. However, Carda managed to limit the Cardinal to two runs, enabling the Bruins to take the series win.
Carda was dominant, allowing only six hits in 5.1 innings pitched, three of which came in the only inning in which the Cardinal managed to put numbers on the scoreboard.
Not only was Carda strong on the mound, but she also led the Bruins with three hits of her own. She stayed in at first base when sophomore pitcher Jessica Hall took over on the mound in the sixth.
“Hitting keeps me mentally in the game, I just wanted to go into the box and I’ve been working on my hitting. I wanted to take that into the game today,” Carda said.
Carda had an issue throughout the series with illegal pitches ““ her right foot kept lifting off the dirt as she went through her pitching motion. This granted the hitter a ball and allowed any base runners to advance.
Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said she was not worried about this, but it’s something she wants Carda to be conscious of, accountable for and working on.
The Bruins face a quick turnaround, with a day off today and then a match against the No. 7 Washington Huskies in Seattle on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Carda said what she has seen from her team as of late has been strong offensive and defensive performances, and that defense is what they are hoping to take with them as they travel north.
Although the schedule for this week is packed, the Bruins are not worried about the effect it will have on them. In fact, according to freshman infielder Stephany LaRosa, once they’re in their zone, they can go as long as they want.
“This is what you prepare for, to play games back to back to back. It’s just about getting into the swing of things. … We could go another game right now,” LaRosa said.
Overall, Inouye-Perez was pleased with the effort of her Bruins.
“It takes awareness and guts to come out and compete, and that’s what’s going to happen this weekend as well,” Inouye-Perez said. “Your body won’t be where it normally is, so it will take a mental approach to be tougher.”