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UCLA softball triumphs in first contest against Oklahoma in world series semifinal

Members of No. 5 seed UCLA softball celebrate following a home run by redshirt sophomore center fielder Maya Brady against No. 1 seed Oklahoma on Monday. Brady knocked a pair of home runs for the first time this season to keep the Bruins’ season alive. (Marc-Anthony Rosas/Daily Bruin)

softball


No. 5 seed UCLA7
No. 1 seed Oklahoma3

By Jordan Coyle

June 6, 2022 12:45 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Facing a pitching staff that has allowed its opponents to go yard 11 times prior to Monday, home runs were easy to come by for the Bruins.

Redshirt sophomore center fielder Maya Brady’s first multi-home run game of the season propelled No. 5 seed UCLA softball (51-9, 19-5 Pac-12) to a 7-3 victory over No. 1 seed Oklahoma (56-3, 17-1 Big 12) in game one of the Women’s College World Series semifinals. The last time the blue and gold hit multiple home runs in the WCWS was in both wins of its 2019 championship series, also against the Sooners. 

The start of the contest saw Oklahoma give up its most first-inning runs of the year.

Shortly after redshirt senior infielder Kinsley Washington opened the game with a leadoff walk, redshirt senior third baseman Delanie Wisz crushed her team-best 16th home run of the season over the left field fences. With the two-run blast, Wisz passed former Bruin Rachel Garcia for the second-most RBIs in a single postseason by a UCLA player with 17. 

Redshirt senior infielder Delanie Wisz hits the ball. Wisz swung for a two-RBI home run in the first inning – the first of three UCLA homers in the contest.
Redshirt senior infielder Delanie Wisz hits the ball. Wisz swung for a two-RBI home run in the first inning – the first of three UCLA homers in the contest. (Marc-Anthony Rosas/Daily Bruin)

Oklahoma responded to the first-inning home run with one of its own.

Sooner center fielder Jayda Coleman converted the fourth pitch tossed by redshirt junior pitcher Megan Faraimo into a solo shot to right center. After relinquishing the home run, Faraimo retired the next nine batters she faced over the first three innings.

In the third, Brady started her day offensively. 

With the Bruins kicking off the inning with a single from redshirt senior infielder Briana Perez and a walk from Wisz, Brady took the plate with two baserunners and no outs. The center fielder hammered a pitch over the center field wall for a 220-foot home run to give her team a 5-1 lead. 

The Sooners started chipping away at the four-run deficit in the fourth frame, though, courtesy of a two-run home run from Oklahoma shortstop Grace Lyons. 

The second home runs by each team led both Oklahoma and UCLA to make substitutions in the circle. 

Entering in relief for Faraimo, redshirt senior pitcher Holly Azevedo gave up no hits and struck out three batters in the final three frames. The outing was highlighted by her inning-ending strikeout of Oklahoma designated player Jocelyn Alo – the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. 

The Bruins encountered offensive woes of their own against Sooner reliever Jordy Bahl, who limited them to one hit in the 4.2 innings after Brady’s first home run.

However, Bahl could not stop Brady from hitting her second homer of the contest.

After Wisz walked for the second time, Brady delivered a two-run blast to left field to give UCLA a four-run advantage. 

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Jordan Coyle | Sports contributor
Coyle is currently a Sports contributor on the softball beat.
Coyle is currently a Sports contributor on the softball beat.
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