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No. 2 softball to play makeup doubleheader against Long Beach State

Redshirt sophomore pitcher/first baseman Megan Faraimo is one of three UCLA softball pitchers with a sub-two ERA, as she has posted a 1.16 ERA so far this campaign. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)

Softball


Long Beach State
Wednesday, 1 p.m.

LBSU Softball Complex
LBSU Live Stream
Long Beach State
Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

LBSU Softball Complex
LBSU Live Stream

By Cassidy Hunt

May 5, 2021 12:11 p.m.

The Bruins are taking a short break from conference play with a trip to Long Beach.

No. 2 UCLA softball (32-3, 13-2 Pac-12) will face Long Beach State (26-6, 19-2 Big West) in a makeup doubleheader Wednesday. The Beach will be the Bruins’ last scheduled nonconference opponent before the postseason begins in less than three weeks.

“I’m really excited for this,” said redshirt sophomore pitcher/first baseman Megan Faraimo. “We haven’t had an opportunity to make up some of the conference games we’ve had to drop, so I think it’s going to be so fun to get this midweek doubleheader in.”

The Bruins were originally scheduled to face the Beach in a single game March 6, but COVID-19 protocols within the Long Beach State program forced postponement of the competition.

Since the originally scheduled date of the meeting, UCLA has played 25 total games, tallying two losses against conference opponents – No. 5 Washington and No. 8 Oregon – in the last month.

The Beach have played 30 games in the same time period, while recording four losses of their own – none of which were against currently ranked opponents. Long Beach State’s most recent loss was against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on April 24, when the Beach scored once in the first frame before allowing five unanswered runs across the next three innings.

Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said the Bruins will focus on a strong offense in the premiere frames of the upcoming match.

“We like to be aggressive early,” Inouye-Perez said. “As long as we work to get runners on base (and) have quality at-bats, we find a way to make adjustments and be successful.”

UCLA has claimed its last four competitions against Long Beach State and owns an 11-1 record against the team since 2008. The Beach’s only victory over the Bruins in the time span was a 5-4 win in 2015.

Inouye-Perez said the Bruins try not to pay attention to their opponent’s statistics.

“We’re here to play ball,” Inouye-Perez said. “(Other teams) can be distracting, but we remind ourselves to play the game that we are always capable of playing.”

Pitcher Kellie White – who has started 17 games for the Beach – owns a team-low 1.66 ERA. The Bruins have two pitchers with lower ERAs, with Faraimo and redshirt senior pitcher/first baseman Rachel Garcia owning 1.16 and 0.60 ERAs, respectively, while the Bruins’ highest ERA belongs to redshirt junior pitcher Holly Azevedo, at 1.67.

“(The UCLA pitching staff) pitch as a unit,” Inouye-Perez said. “That’s a big part of what’s going to allow us to be successful as we move forward to the end of this season.”

Long Beach State currently boasts three regular players with batting averages that exceed .400 and has outhit its opponents 298-182 so far this season. It also boasts a team fielding percentage of .956, while the UCLA defense has posted a .976 in the same category.

“We just want to play our game, regardless of who we are playing,” said redshirt junior infielder Briana Perez. “We have to stay true to ourselves, stay on offensively and just go for it.”

Game one of the doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday before the nightcap at 3:30 p.m.

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Cassidy Hunt | Sports staff
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
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