UCLA softball falls to No. 3 Texas, ends 15-game winning streak
Junior outfielder Aaliyah Jordan tied Thursday’s game up with a two-run home run in the fifth inning of No. 1 UCLA softball’s game versus No. 3 Texas. Nevertheless, the Bruisn eventually fell in extra innings to the Longhorns 6-4. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin)
|No. 3 Texas||6|
|No. 1 UCLA||4|
By Jon Christon
Feb. 28, 2020 1:23 a.m.
It took an extra inning, but the Bruins’ season-opening winning streak has ended.
After winning its first 15 games of the season, No. 1 UCLA (15-1) softball was defeated by No. 3 Texas (17-2) by a final margin of 6-4, with back-to-back extra-inning home runs by the Longhorns proving to be the difference. The game marked the first loss for the Bruins since May 19.
“The game ended and we ran out of chances to be able to score,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “They threw punches, we threw punches – at the end of the day, it was a good, hard-fought battle.”
After a scoreless top half of the first inning, UCLA jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman outfielder Maya Brady, who ranks second on the team in RBIs.
This lead would be the only one the Bruins would sport all game, as the Longhorns answered back with a rally that loaded the bases with only one out in the second. UCLA got out of the jam thanks to an outfield assist from sophomore outfielder Kelli Godin, but not before two Texas runners crossed home plate to give the Longhorns a 2-1 lead.
Coming into the bottom of the fifth down 4-2, the Bruins found themselves in unfamiliar territory as it was the first time all season they had trailed by multiple runs beyond the fifth inning.
Junior outfielder Aaliyah Jordan changed that, tying the game at 4-4 with a two-run home run to left field. Jordan’s 23 RBIs on the season – including her team-high two RBIs that night – led the team.
As she stepped up to the plate, Jordan said all she wanted was a hit.
“In my head, I was just telling myself, ‘Just get a hit, just get a hit,’” Jordan said. “Then I saw the pitch right there, so it kind of made it easy.”
The game remained tied for the next two innings until two Texas home runs off the bats of third baseman Mary Iakopo and outfielder Lauren Burke catapulted the Longhorns in front of the Bruins in the eighth inning.
UCLA was able to put two runners on base in the bottom half of the eighth but failed to bring either home. The Bruins left eight runners on base the entire game.
Inouye-Perez said the left-on-base total is misleading.
“We had some hard shots that the scorebook doesn’t show,” Inouye-Perez said. “There were balls that were hit hard, and that’s just part of our game. We had a lot of quality at bats, and we also had some at bats that we needed to improve on.”
Texas’ six runs were the most that UCLA has given up on the season. Coming into the game, The Bruins’ 1.19 ERA ranked fourth in the nation.
Sophomore pitcher Megan Faraimo pitched another complete game, as she has done in every one of her starts, but this marked her first loss.
She gave up five earned runs, the most she has given up in a game in her career.
“I didn’t do my best,” Faraimo said. “I wasn’t hitting my spots and obviously that shows against a high-quality team like this. I just need to do better for my team.”
The Bruins will have the opportunity to bounce back when they compete in the San Diego Classic this weekend.