UCLA softball defeats Oregon State in 3rd straight shutout victory
Redshirt freshman catcher/first baseman Alyssa Garcia picked up a pair of hits in No. 2 UCLA softball’s win, going 2-for-3 while also scoring a run Sunday. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 2 UCLA||6|
By Coral Smith
April 18, 2021 4:54 p.m.
The Bruins closed out the weekend with their third straight shutout with the help of aggressive base running and timely hitting.
No. 2 UCLA softball (25-2, 8-1 Pac-12) completed the series sweep over Oregon State (15-20, 3-12) on Sunday afternoon with a 6-0 victory. It was the Bruins’ ninth straight win over the Beavers, as UCLA has not dropped a game to Oregon State since 2017.
The bats were silent on both sides until the bottom of the third, when redshirt freshman catcher/first baseman Alyssa Garcia hit a single through the right side of the infield for the first hit of the game.
“I just tried to stay inside with the ball, go with the pitch, and just do what I could for the team,” Garcia said. “As (coach Kelly Inouye-Perez) says, ‘Get your own pitch,’ just stay calm, do your own routine, and just be you.”
Redshirt junior infielder Kinsley Washington reached base the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice and then advanced to third on a throwing error on redshirt sophomore outfielder Kelli Godin’s bunt single. Washington then took advantage of the Beaver defense not paying attention at the end of the play, scoring when home plate was left unattended to break the stalemate.
“(Base running) is definitely a really important part of the game, because a lot of the time when teams aren’t able to produce with our bats, that’s when base running is the most efficient way to score a run,” Washington said.
UCLA tacked on another run later in the inning when Godin scored on a fielding error by Oregon State’s shortstop, pushing the lead to 2-0.
Garcia kicked off another Bruin scoring rally in the fifth inning when she collected her second single to right field to open the inning, moving over to third on a passed ball and groundout. The redshirt freshman was the only UCLA player with multiple hits in the victory.
“(Garcia) had two two-strike tough-pitch successes today, and that builds confidence,” Inouye-Perez said. “She’s putting a lot of work in, and I like to say that the game pays you back.”
After redshirt junior outfielder Aaliyah Jordan walked to put runners on first and third, both players were brought in on an RBI triple from redshirt junior infielder Briana Perez.
Perez went on to score on another single, and the next inning redshirt freshman utility Maya Brady put an exclamation point on the win with a solo home run to stretch the lead to six runs.
Redshirt junior pitcher Holly Azevedo pitched six innings of scoreless softball to preserve her perfect 5-0 record on the season, giving up just two hits and striking out five before redshirt freshman Lexi Sosa came in to close out the game.
The Beavers did not get a hit off Azevedo until the top of the fifth inning on a leadoff single, but Azevedo neutralized the threat by striking out the next batter and inducing two flyouts to end the inning.
“(Azevedo) is at her best when she’s pounding the strike zone, when she’s working ahead and her changeup is a strike,” Inouye-Perez said. “We have a little saying, ‘It’s not what happens, but it’s what you do next that’s your defining moment.’ So even if someone got on, she was able to get herself out of situations and get outs right afterwards, and that’s a sign of great pitching.”
UCLA will stay at Easton Stadium for its next series against No. 6 Washington next weekend, starting Friday evening.