Tuesday, February 18

5 former and current UCLA softball players to compete in 2020 US Olympic trials

UCLA softball redshirt senior pitcher/first baseman Rachel Garcia will participate in the 2020 USA Softball Women’s National Team Olympic Selection Trials from Tuesday to Sunday. Four other current and former Bruins will also have a shot at making the roster for Tokyo. (Daily Bruin file photo)

A group of Bruins have the chance to trade the blue and gold for stars and stripes.

Five current and former members of UCLA softball will be competing in the 2020 USA Softball Women’s National Team Olympic Selection Trials from Tuesday through Sunday in Oklahoma City.

Thirty players from around the country will be vying for one of the 15 coveted roster spots on the 2020 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team. The squad will embark on a nationwide tour leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July.

Redshirt senior pitcher/first baseman Rachel Garcia led the 2019 UCLA team to the program’s 12th NCAA title in June, contributing both offensively and defensively. Garcia had a 1.14 ERA in the 2019 season to go with a .343 batting average, and she pitched every inning the Bruins played in the Women’s College World Series.

For her performance last season, Garcia was awarded the prestigious Honda Cup as the best female collegiate athlete in 2019 and was also named the USA Softball National Player of the Year.

Garcia has competed with the U.S. women’s national softball team the last two years, competing this summer at both the USA Softball International Cup and the Pan American Games.

Rounding out the group are current Bruins sophomore pitcher Megan Faraimo and senior utility Bubba Nickles, the former of which played with the U-19 Women’s National Team this summer.

Faraimo had a 1.44 ERA for UCLA in 2019 with two no-hitters and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Nickles was second on the Bruins in batting average last season at .390 and led the team in both hits and home runs.

Former Bruin Ally Carda graduated from UCLA in 2015 and has been a member of the U.S. national team since. As a Bruin, Carda dominated on both sides of the ball, holding a career 100-28 record in the circle while hitting .349 with a 1.097 OPS.

Delaney Spaulding, the other former Bruin at the trials, graduated in 2017 and has been on the USA National Team since the summer of 2016. Spaulding was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team in her sophomore and junior years at UCLA after hitting .369 over her four years as a starting shortstop.

Carda and Spaulding also competed with Garcia on Team USA this summer. The trio won gold together at the USA Softball International Cup in July, and Garcia and Spaulding also won gold at the Pan American Games in Peru later in the summer.

Spaulding hit .364 with three home runs this summer at the Pan American Games, and Carda recorded a 0.99 ERA at the USA Softball International Cup.

The Selection Trials will include position drills as well as simulated games, with the roster announcement coming at the conclusion of the trials.

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Assistant Sports editor

Smith is currently an assistant Sports editor on the softball, gymnastics, women's volleyball, swim & dive and rowing beats. She was previously a reporter on the softball, women's volleyball, rowing and swim & dive beats.

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