Fresh off impressive series victories against No. 12 Washington (31-10, 8-7 Pac-12) and No. 4 Oregon (37-4, 10-4), No. 8 UCLA softball was unable to get past unranked Oregon State (21-18, 4-8), splitting the final two games of its three-game set to lose the weekend’s series.
The Beavers blitzed the Bruins in game one – activating the mercy rule en route to a 8-0 victory.
In Game 2, UCLA stormed out to an early lead. Junior first baseman Madeline Jelenicki started the scoring with a double, bringing in junior second baseman Kylee Perez. Later, Jelenicki reached home plate with help from freshman center fielder Bubba Nickles’ single.
The Bruins extended the lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning. Senior shortstop Delaney Spaulding initiated the offense with a RBI single up the middle. Jelenicki continued her impactful day with a three-run home run to left center.
The first baseman’s deep shot marked her 10th home run, tied for the team lead. Shortly after, redshirt freshman pitcher Rachel Garcia crushed one to deep left field, concluding the five-run inning.
Through three innings, the Bruins shut out the Beavers on the defensive end, but Oregon State started rallying in the bottom of the fourth. Alysha Everett homered down the right-field line. In the fifth, Everett’s RBI single narrowed the deficit to 7-2.
The Beavers’ rally reached its climax in the sixth inning. Oregon State brought in three runs off four singles, and the inning was still not over. With two outs, the Beavers had the bases loaded. Garcia struck out Natalie Hampton and concluded the inning.
After the Bruins’ scoreless seventh inning, Oregon State remained in striking position. The Beavers managed to load the bases once again – this time with no outs. Garcia foiled the Beavers’ final rally, leading the Bruins out of the jam and evening up the series.
Game 3, usually on Sunday, took place Saturday afternoon because of Easter.
Again, the Bruins got the ball rolling. Leadoff batter Spaulding fired a deep shot to right field, gaining her season’s eighth home run. The score remained quiet until the fourth inning. The Beavers’ Lovie Lopez hit a three-run home run to give her team the lead.
UCLA responded in the sixth inning with its own three-RBI home run by Nickles. Spaulding extended the lead to 5-3 with a double to right field.
The seesaw-like game continued with a sixth-inning RBI single from the Beavers’ Katy McJunkin. In the final inning, Hampton hit a walk-off three-RBI home run and clinched the series for Oregon State.
Up next, the Bruins will return to Easton Stadium for a Tuesday matchup against Cal State Fullerton.