UCLA softball falls to Oklahoma in Women’s College World Series run-rule defeat
Redshirt sophomore catcher Alyssa Garcia walks back to behind home plate against No. 1 seed Oklahoma on Monday. No. 5 seed UCLA softball’s season came to a close in the Women’s College World Series semifinals. (Marc-Anthony Rosas/Daily Bruin)
|No. 1 seed Oklahoma||15|
|No. 5 seed UCLA||0|
By Jordan Coyle
June 6, 2022 2:52 p.m.
This post was updated June 6 at 3:54 p.m.
OKLAHOMA CITY — “No team beats us twice,” said Oklahoma second baseman Tiare Jennings on Saturday.
The statement proved true for the Bruins, as they failed to overcome the Sooners in their second matchup of the day.
No. 5 seed UCLA softball (51-10, 19-5 Pac-12) sustained a season-ending defeat at the hands of No. 1 seed Oklahoma (57-3, 17-1 Big 12) in game two of the Women’s College World Series semifinals. The 15-0 run-rule loss came after the Bruins took the first game of the doubleheader by a score of 7-3.
Redshirt sophomore center fielder Maya Brady said her team’s game one victory over the Sooners shows that UCLA deserves recognition on the national stage.
“We were a force to be reckoned with the whole time, and maybe we didn’t get the respect that we deserved,” Brady said. “For us to come out and throw a punch against a team like that just shows that UCLA softball is still in the running and still deserves to be talked about.”
While redshirt senior pitcher Holly Azevedo held Oklahoma scoreless in game one, the Sooner offense rallied for a string of hits against the right-handed pitcher to start the second contest.
A leadoff walk and double placed runners on second and third for Jennings when she stepped up to the plate. Jennings connected with a fastball down the middle, launching it over the outfield wall to give Oklahoma an early 3-0 advantage.
The second inning looked much like the first, with another three-run blast from the Sooners creating an even larger deficit for the Bruins to overcome.
Back-to-back singles from first baseman Taylon Snow and right fielder Rylie Boone prompted UCLA to make a pitching substitution, bringing in redshirt junior pitcher Megan Faraimo in relief. After retiring the first two Sooners she faced, Faraimo gave up the three-run home run to designated player Jocelyn Alo.
Despite its failings in game two, redshirt senior third baseman Delanie Wisz said UCLA’s pitching staff is responsible for getting her team to this stage.
“They are one of, if not the sole reason of why we’re back in OKC,” Wisz said. “They have kept us in a lot of close games when the offense wasn’t producing. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our pitching staff.”
Oklahoma added to its lead in the fourth frame when Alo laced a two-out single to left center to score center fielder Jayda Coleman, bringing the score to 7-0.
An eight-run fifth inning was enough for the Sooners to comfortably clinch the mercy-rule victory.
Before UCLA was able to record a single out, Oklahoma scored five runs on four singles and a walk. During the following at-bat, with the bases loaded and no-outs, Alo – the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year – hit a grand slam to left center to record her seventh RBI of the contest.
Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said the Bruins, even when down 15 runs, never lost hope that they could come back to defeat the Sooners.
“I think the score was 15 and somebody said, ‘We can score 16 – we scored 16 off of them before,’” Inouye-Perez said. “That’s the DNA of UCLA softball – no matter how far you’re down, you always have an opportunity.”
The Bruins, who would have needed to score eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to avoid run-rule defeat, combined for one hit in their last inning. The hit was UCLA’s second of the contest, a season-low.