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UCLA softball sweeps Saturday doubleheader against Stanford

In her 12th game appearance of the season, redshirt freshman utility Taylor Edwards reached safely in both of her plate appearances as No. 2 UCLA softball took the first leg of the Saturday doubleheader against Stanford. (Ashley Kenney/Assistant Photo editor)

softball


Stanford0
No. 2 UCLA9
Stanford1
No. 2 UCLA3

By Cassidy Hunt

May 9, 2021 12:41 p.m.

Timely hits secured the weekend series for the Bruins.

No. 2 UCLA softball (36-3, 15-2 Pac-12) swept its doubleheader against Stanford (29-17, 8-9) on Saturday, winning 9-0 and 3-1 in games one and two, respectively. The nightcap victory expanded the Bruins’ winning streak to 11 and increased redshirt senior pitcher/first baseman Rachel Garcia’s record to 11-0.

“I really liked how we were moving today,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “We were able to find a way to make adjustments late in the games and I love how we are doing some of the little things. We’re always looking for ways to get better, and we did that in both games.”

UCLA scored in all but the fourth inning of its game one mercy-rule victory, with four of its insurance runs coming in the final inning courtesy of two-run jacks from redshirt junior infielder Briana Perez and redshirt junior infielder Delanie Wisz, both of whom scored runners who were walked by Stanford.

The Bruins forced 140 throws from four Cardinal pitchers in the five-frame match while holding UCLA redshirt sophomore pitcher/first baseman Megan Faraimo to 66 pitches in the same number of mound appearances.

Redshirt freshman utility Taylor Edwards – who made her 12th game appearance of the season – hit doubles in both of her recorded at-bats in the early game, one of which scored the Bruins’ third and fourth runs.

“It felt so good,” Edwards said. “I wanted to use the opportunity to my advantage, to do anything I could to help my team win. We all did very well today.”

UCLA trailed briefly in the nightcap after a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in the second inning scored Stanford’s only run of the series so far – but Garcia singled in the third frame to tie the match before also hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning to pull the Bruins ahead.

Inouye-Perez said Garcia’s abilities as a pitcher and as a batter continue to amaze her.

“I don’t think there has ever been a player in this program who has impacted the game both offensively and defensively more than Garcia,” Inouye-Perez said. “She is the epitome of a two-way player, and after she gave them a run, she was sure to get three back.”

The Bruin defense recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage across both games on Saturday, en route to 36 straight putouts in 12 total innings.

Garcia said she was comforted by the strength of her team while she was on the mound.

“The entire defense today was so on top of it,” Garcia said. “They had my back. When that happens, I always feel a lot more confident in my pitches.”

UCLA’s 9-0 victory in game one was its most decisive victory since March 21, while game two represented the Bruins’ most narrow margin of victory in the last six games.

After defeating Stanford in the first three meetings of the home series, UCLA will have the chance to complete the sweep at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

“I feel confident,” Edwards said. “We are very capable of a sweep and I feel like we will win the game tomorrow, too.”

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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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