UCLA softball loses to Alabama in 2nd day of Women’s College World Series
Redshirt senior pitcher Rachel Garcia gave up five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings against No. 3 seed Alabama. Her opponent in the circle, Crimson Tide pitcher Montana Fouts, got the better of her, throwing a perfect game and picking up the win. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 3 seed Alabama||6|
|No. 2 seed UCLA||0|
By Coral Smith
June 4, 2021 10:20 p.m.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The difference in the game was the offenses, and on Friday night, the Bruins’ did not show up.
No. 2 seed UCLA softball (47-6, 19-2 Pac-12) found itself on the wrong end of a perfect game from No. 3 seed Alabama (52-7, 18-6 SEC) on Friday night, losing 6-0. Crimson Tide pitcher Montana Fouts celebrated her birthday by recording the first perfect game in the Women’s College World Series since 2000.
“Alabama executed on offense and executed on defense, so I don’t think there’s anything more to say except for we didn’t play our game,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “We did not execute tonight, and you can’t win ball games at this point in the season against a quality team like Alabama without being able to execute.”
While the Crimson Tide were able to strike early and often had traffic on the bases, the Bruins’ offense was nonexistent against Fouts. Fouts had struck out 16 the previous day versus Arizona, and was in similar form in Friday’s contest against UCLA, retiring all 21 batters she faced, 14 of which were on strikeouts.
“I think we just took a lot of strikes and swung at a lot of balls, so we got ourselves out most of the time,” said redshirt junior outfielder Aaliyah Jordan.
The Bruins had not surrendered a run in their last three games, but gave up two to the Crimson Tide just four batters into the game. The leadoff batter singled, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Bailey Hemphill. Hemphill moved to third on a groundout and scored on a pop-up that dropped into shallow center field.
Redshirt senior pitcher Rachel Garcia did not get through a single inning without giving up a baserunner, but was able to escape with only the two runs allowed until the fifth inning.
In the fifth, the Crimson Tide put two runners on with a single and a walk, after which first baseman Kaylee Tow cleared the bases with a three-run home run that made it 5-0.
The last time Garcia gave up that many runs was against Virginia Tech in game one of the Super Regionals, and that day she was taken out in favor of redshirt sophomore pitcher Megan Faraimo. But with Faraimo’s status for the WCWS still unknown as she battles a hand injury, Garcia did not have that option Friday night.
Garcia gave up an additional unearned run in the sixth before redshirt junior pitcher Holly Azevedo was brought in for relief, but with the offense unable to make anything happen, it was too late.
“We did put a lot of pressure on (Garcia), and we owned that as well, and I simply said that (Garcia) can’t do this on her own,” Inouye-Perez said. “We didn’t lose tonight because Rachel Garcia was not on her A-game, we lost because we didn’t play great defense and we didn’t make adjustments at the plate. … We’re going to wipe the slate clean and I say bring it on. I’m going to give Rachel the ball and see just what this team is made of.”
With the loss, UCLA falls into the losers’ bracket and will face the winner of the elimination game between No. 1 seed Oklahoma and Georgia on Saturday night.
“I mean that’s our sport – you go to sleep and you have to wake up the next day and do it all again, so I think we’ll be alright,” said redshirt junior infielder Briana Perez.