Last weekend, the Bruins pulled off an upset against the Oregon Ducks. This weekend, they head north to play the other Oregon school.
No. 8 UCLA softball (28-10, 4-5 Pac-12) will take on Oregon State (19-17, 2-7) in a three-game series starting Thursday.
Last weekend, the Bruins faced the then-No. 2 Ducks and put an end to Oregon’s 35-game winning streak, taking two out of three games from the Ducks.
“We had two great games and solid defense, and on Sunday we fell short,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “We gave Oregon too many extras, so our goal is to be able to play consistent – offense, defense and have the pitchers pound the zone.”
When the UCLA played Oregon last weekend, it was facing a team that sat atop the Pac-12 standings. Unranked Oregon State, on the other hand, sits second to last in the conference.
“Our confidence level is heightened,” said sophomore infielder Brianna Tautalafua. “Oregon is a really great team, so going into that game we were really excited, and we are going to use that in going into playing Oregon State.”
Senior outfielder Gabrielle Maurice said that to prepare for the Oregon State series, the Bruins will watch tapes both of the Beavers’ pitchers and of their own pitchers. She said that by watching these tapes, her team will be able to come up with a game plan for both the offense and the defense.
“We need to play a completely disciplinary game,” Inouye-Perez said. “Pitching is focusing on looking ahead in the count and being able to locate pitches. Offensively, we are looking to get out there and be aggressive and string together hits.”
Oregon State may pose a threat in its defense. Last weekend, Beaver pitcher Taylor Cotton pitched nine innings and only gave up one run against Washington, who took one game out of three against UCLA. Cotton earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors March 6.
Earlier this week, redshirt freshman pitcher Rachel Garcia picked up both the Pac-12 Pitcher and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards, as well as USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week.
“If we face every opponent like we did last weekend, we will have a good season” Maurice said.
The Bruins will round out the series Saturday. UCLA softball will take a break Easter Sunday before preparing to play Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday.
Inouye-Perez said that UCLA’s goal for this weekend is to come out of the gate strong and defeat Oregon State in Game 1.
“We would like to sweep but it’s more about every game,” Inouye-Perez said. “Game 1 is the big one.”