The Bruins have made it through regionals.
No. 5-seeded UCLA softball took down San Jose State 10-2 in six innings Saturday and proceeded to take down unseeded Cal State Fullerton 9-1 on Sunday. UCLA now advances to the NCAA Super Regionals next weekend, where it will host the No. 12 seed, Mississippi.
UCLA took an early 1-0 lead over San Jose State when senior shortstop Delaney Spaulding scored on an errant throw from center field. Spaulding stretched the Bruin lead to 3-0 with a two-run blast in the top of the second.
In the fifth, the Bruins added back-to-back home runs from junior first baseman Madeline Jelenicki and redshirt freshman pitcher Rachel Garcia. UCLA put the game out of reach in the sixth, scoring three more.
San Jose State responded with one run in the bottom of the sixth, but could not score the requisite second run to keep the game alive.
Against Fullerton, UCLA jumped out to any early 2-0 lead on a first-inning Jelenicki home run. The Bruins added on with five in the fifth on a solo home run from sophomore catcher Paige Halstead and a grand slam from sophomore third baseman Brianna Tautalafua, and two in the seventh on a two-run double by freshman center fielder Bubba Nickles.
After conceding one run in the first, Garcia held the Titans scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“Everybody that has been on our team is just giving everybody confidence to go out there and go for it,” Jelenicki said.
All told, the Bruins scored 27 runs in this weekend’s games while only conceding three. They bashed 10 home runs as well, with Jelenicki and Tautalafua each contributing three.
“We swung our sticks big,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “We made some great defensive plays. All pitchers were able to contribute to get the (wins)”
Spaulding offered her own explanation for the Bruins’ prolific weekend at the plate.
“Right now, we’re all just seeing it well and excited to be in postseason, so I think that’s something helping us as well,” Spaulding said.
Garcia started every game for the Bruins in the circle, totaling just one earned run in 13 combined innings of work.
The Bruins’ series with the Rebels will be a best-of-three, with the winner advancing to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.