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UCLA softball sweeps series against Oregon State off trio of 1-run victories

Redshirt senior infielder Delanie Wisz awaits a pitch in the batter’s box in a game. Wisz hit the game-tying two-RBI double in No. 4 UCLA softball’s series opener against Oregon State in Corvallis. (Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso/Daily Bruin senior staff)

softball


No. 4 UCLA6
Oregon State5
No. 4 UCLA3
Oregon State2
No. 4 UCLA4
Oregon State3

By Gavin Carlson

April 24, 2022 11:26 p.m.

With two runners on, two outs and trailing by two runs, Delanie Wisz and the Bruins were on their final strike four times in the series opener Friday night.

Then the redshirt senior infielder ripped a line drive down the left field line on the eighth pitch of the at-bat for a game-tying two-RBI double.

Wisz’s heroics extended an eventual five-run top of the seventh that erased a 4-1 deficit and allowed No. 4 UCLA softball (36-5, 13-2 Pac-12) to earn the first of its three one-run victories against Oregon State (31-15, 7-11) in Corvallis over the weekend. Without the comeback and 6-5 win on Friday, the Bruins would’ve lost three straight conference games for the first time since 2017.

Wisz said her clutch hit was another chapter in her childhood dream of helping UCLA win.

“I started my career at a different school, and to just be able to put the Bruin jersey on is a lifelong goal of mine,” Wisz said. “Just to be able to help my team in any way I can is huge.”

Prior to the team’s seventh-frame comeback, Wisz’s solo home run in the top of the sixth was the blue and gold’s only score Friday.

After both teams were held scoreless through the first four innings, the Beavers hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth and followed Wisz’s solo blast with a pair of runs in the sixth to take a three-run lead into the final frame.

But after the bottom of UCLA’s order began the seventh with three straight hits, redshirt sophomore utility Maya Brady followed Wisz’s game-tying double with a two-run bomb to left to take the lead.

With the tying run on first for Oregon State with one out in the bottom of the frame, redshirt junior pitcher/first baseman Megan Faraimo forced a swinging strikeout before Wisz jumped to her feet and fired a laser to second, completing the ‘strike-em-out, throw-em-out’ to clinch the 6-5 victory.

Assistant coach Kirk Walker praised Wisz’s defensive versatility and said her game-sealing throw was as impressive as her offensive performance.

“To be in a position and move into the catching role when it’s not your normal position or your longtime position is another area where she’s really stepped up,” Walker said. “The big double – but then also in the bottom half of the inning to make the final play, … it was pretty amazing.”

Following Friday night’s comeback win, Wisz extended her on-base streak to 31 games with a first-inning single and third-inning walk as the Bruins earned another come-from-behind one-run victory by a score of 3-2 on Saturday.

In the series clincher, redshirt senior pitcher Holly Azevedo responded with 3.1 scoreless innings after surrendering a run in the first frame. UCLA’s offense started slow once again, but used a three-run fourth inning – headlined by a two-RBI single from redshirt senior infielder Briana Perez – to take a 3-1 lead. Faraimo gave up one run on one hit in the remaining 2.2 innings to earn her fifth save of the season.

While Wisz wasn’t able to extend her on-base streak Sunday, the Bruins continued their streak of one-run victories to earn the series sweep against the Beavers.

Perez drilled a lead-off home run to start a two-run first before Wisz hit a high fly ball that was dropped by the center fielder to score Perez again in the third inning. The Bruins added an insurance run in the sixth that proved to be the difference.

Despite surrendering two runs in the bottom of the seventh, Faraimo held on for the 4-3 win and her 16th victory of the season.

Perez – who passed her older sister and former infielder Kylee Perez for third on UCLA’s all-time hits list Sunday – said she has been encouraged by her family’s success but wants to keep her focus on the team’s overall goal of winning a championship.

“It’s pretty cool to see just both of us be able to make that record” Briana Perez said. “We’re just trying to win a natty honestly. The personal goals are cool, but they don’t really mean anything compared to the team goals.”

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Gavin Carlson | Sports staff
Carlson is currently a staffer on the women's basketball and softball beats. He was previously a reporter on the men's golf beat.
Carlson is currently a staffer on the women's basketball and softball beats. He was previously a reporter on the men's golf beat.
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