Injuries, injuries and then some ““Â but no matter.
By the conclusion of competition Saturday in Gainesville, Fla., the UCLA softball team finds itself still very much alive after downing Jacksonville 12-4 in what proved to be a nightcap contest.
The Bruins (35-18) defeated the Dolphins (44-16) 2-0 in Friday’s opening game of the double elimination-format NCAA Gainesville Regional, only to lose to the No. 4 seed Florida Gators (49-9) 4-2 in their first game today.
That loss forced the rematch against Jacksonville, which had eliminated Bethune-Cookman (33-26) earlier today to earn a chance to face UCLA again.
While redshirt junior outfielder Samantha Camuso returned from a lower body injury on Friday and junior pitcher Aleah Macon made her long-awaited return against the Gators, freshman catcher Alyssa Tiumalu suffered a right leg injury in the second inning in the Florida game, and sophomore center fielder Devon Lindvall also went down after colliding with sophomore outfielder B.B. Bates in left-center in the bottom of the fifth. Neither Tiumalu or Lindvall played in the second game of the day.
Senior Grace Murray, usually a pinch-running specialist for the Bruins, filled in for Tiumalu behind the plate and had her first two career at-bats against Florida.
It then became a weekend of firsts for Murray, who had her first-ever pair of hits and drove in the first pair of runs of her career in UCLA’s offensive outburst against Jacksonville today.
Junior left fielder and first baseman Andrea Harrison starred with the bat, thwarting the Dolphins by going 5-for-5 at the plate with four runs batted in, including two home runs.
With Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville now eliminated, UCLA faces Florida once again on Sunday at 10 a.m. If UCLA were to lose, it would mark the end of its season. In the case of a win, the Bruins would have to face and beat the Gators once more in a second game on Sunday in order to advance to the Super Regionals.