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Softball takes three wins but pulls off no upsets in weekend tournament

Sophomore first baseman Brianna Tautalafua went 4-of-13 in the five-game weekend set, scoring 3 runs. UCLA went 3-2 on the weekend, falling to teams which were ranked more highly than the Bruins. (Ken Shin/Daily Bruin)

By Katie Sered

Feb. 27, 2017 4:44 a.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly spelled Madeline Jelenicki's name.

No surprises here.

UCLA softball took home victories against teams that ranked below the Bruins, but took losses against teams that were ranked above them at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic II.

No. 6 UCLA (13-3) beat No. 11 Georgia (14-3), North Carolina State (3-11) and No. 7 LSU (12-3), but the Bruins couldn’t pull off upsets in games against the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (9-4) and No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (13-1).

UCLA faced Georgia on Thursday. The turning point for the Bruins was at the bottom of the sixth. Trailing 5-4, sophomore first baseman Brianna Tautalafua reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning.

Senior center fielder Gabrielle Maurice’s sacrifice and sophomore left fielder Zoe Shaw’s groundout made the six runs UCLA would score in the frame unearned.

UCLA tied the game on a single by senior shortstop Delaney Spaulding, and sophomore right fielder Paige Halstead followed up with a homer to right center, earning three RBI, rounding out the bottom of the sixth and pushing UCLA to a 10-5 victory.

Game two on Thursday also led to a Bruin victory. In the bottom of the second, a three-run homer by Tautalafua gave UCLA a lead it would not lose en route to an 8-3 victory over North Carolina State.

UCLA faced the nation’s fourth-ranked team in Oklahoma on Friday. The Bruins were trailing 1-0 until the bottom of the third, when redshirt freshman pitcher Rachel Garcia gave up a grand slam to Sooner infielder Shay Knighten.

The Sooners added to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings, ultimately winning 10-1 in five innings.

The Bruins faced the LSU Tigers on Saturday. UCLA was able to take the lead because of a fielding error in the bottom of the first. This error allowed the Bruins to score four unearned runs on a grand slam from junior catcher Madeline Jelenicki.

The Bruins were unable to close out the game to defeat LSU in the bottom of the seventh, when junior pitcher Johanna Grauer gave up three runs to tie the score at 5-5.

In the bottom of the eighth the Bruins were able to manufacture a run and take home a walk-off 6-5 victory.

The inning began with a runner on second. Maurice executed a sacrifice bunt which allowed Tautalafua to advance to third. She scored on Shaw’s single to shortstop.

In the last game of the series UCLA competed with the nation’s top team, Florida State. The Seminoles ultimately took home a 2-1 victory. The Bruins’ only run came in the bottom of the fifth, when Tautalafua scored thanks to a single up the middle by Shaw.

FSU scored early in the second inning thanks to a single made by utility Dani Morgan taking first baseman Alex Powers home. FSU secured its lead with a score at the top of the fifth from a double by Powers, which allowed infielder Ellie Cooper to score.

The Bruins will face even more ranked teams later this week, headlined by No. 14 Michigan on Thursday and No. 3 Florida on Friday.

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Katie Sered | Alumna
Sered joined the Bruin as a junior in 2017 and contributed until she graduated in 2018. She spent time on the softball, men's volleyball and men's soccer beats
Sered joined the Bruin as a junior in 2017 and contributed until she graduated in 2018. She spent time on the softball, men's volleyball and men's soccer beats
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