Thursday, April 18, 2024

NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

With big shutout, UCLA softball takes home series over Oregon State

Savannah Pola of UCLA softball squares in for an at-bat. The sophomore utility added two hits on Friday night to reach five total in the Bruins’ series against the Beavers. (Myka Fromm/Daily Bruin)


Oregon State0
No. 3 UCLA11

By Nicole Augusta

April 8, 2023 12:10 p.m.

Hitting was the name of the game for the Bruins to bring their winning streak to eight Friday night.

No. 3 UCLA softball (35-4, 11-3 Pac-12) scored double-digit runs in five innings for an 11-0 victory against Oregon State (11-22-1, 2-11-1) thanks to small adjustments and big swings in game two of the home series.

While game one of the series saw only one hit from utility Megan Grant, Friday night saw a different performance from the freshman. Grant embodied her leadoff position in the lineup for the blue and gold, recording five RBIs across her two trips to the plate.

Although Grant’s game started with reaching base on a wild pitch, an out-in-front connection in the second inning sent a dinger over the right field wall, running two fellow Bruins home in the process.

The freshman didn’t attach complexity to the feat and instead said momentum from the Bruins on the field was the key.

“With the runners in scoring position, I was looking for something to drive,” Grant said.

High pitches from the circle forced an adjustment from Bruin batters, and although coach Kelly Inouye-Perez recognizes the strength of Oregon State’s program, she gave a nod to the blue and gold’s flexibility in securing the win.

“I credit more of our ability to make adjustments and get after that high pitch today, so more so than anything about the opponent,” Inouye-Perez said. “Their ability to make adjustments throughout a game, to get stronger through a game – those are things we’re working on as a program and I’m proud of their execution tonight.”

Sophomore utility Savannah Pola recorded two hits, extending her total of multi-hit games to 16 for the season. She sits second among all eligible Bruins in batting average, number of runs scored and total hits this season behind redshirt junior utility Maya Brady.

With 122 trips to the plate on the season, Pola said an at-bat is not always about the long ball, but more so about having an offensive strategy coming in.

“Just finding ways to get on – and for me, I think my singles have been helping me,” Pola said. “It’s not like I’m hitting home runs, but just hitting it hard has been helping my confidence as well.”

Bruin hits started to pile up after redshirt junior catcher Sharlize Palacios – taking a break from behind the plate by playing in right field – knocked a solo home run out of the park in the second inning, bringing home freshman infielder Jordan Woolery as well. And true to Pola’s philosophy, singles from multiple Bruins in the third inning were key in getting runners across the plate. UCLA put 13 hits on the board compared to Oregon State notching only one.

The Beavers were held scoreless and made few trips to base thanks to a steady performance from sixth-year Bruin pitcher Brooke Yanez, who recorded two walks and four strikeouts during her outing.

Inouye-Perez praised her starter’s consistency through all five innings.

“She threw with a lot of conviction as Brooke Yanez, and (I) definitely wanted her to finish it out,” Inouye-Perez said.

Six UCLA freshmen made appearances in Friday’s game, with freshman catcher/infielder Alexis Ramirez getting the start at catcher. Freshman infielder Ramsey Suarez gained an RBI through a sacrifice fly ball in the fifth inning after Grant’s second-inning home run brought in fellow freshmen infielder Rylee Pinedo and utility Kennedy Powell.

Remarking on her admiration for a hot freshman campaign, Pola credited Grant for her composure at the plate.

“It’s awesome because I just remember being a freshman last year and I know how hard it was, but she makes it look easy,” Pola said.

A Bruin victory on Saturday would create the second home sweep of UCLA’s Pac-12 run, but Grant said she does not let the pressure of statistics overshadow a winning attitude.

“I think we’re just ready to go out and just leave it all out there and give it our all,” Grant said.

First pitch for the series finale at Easton Stadium will be thrown at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Nicole Augusta
Augusta is a 2023-2024 Slot editor and Sports senior staff member on the softball beat. She was previously a Copy and Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student.
Augusta is a 2023-2024 Slot editor and Sports senior staff member on the softball beat. She was previously a Copy and Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student.
Featured Classifieds
Apartments for Rent

APARTMENTS AVAILABLE: Studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms available on Midvale, Roebling, Kelton and Glenrock. Please call or text 310-892-9690.

More classifieds »
Related Posts