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UCLA softball suffers historic loss during weekend Stacy Winsberg Tournament

No. 8 UCLA softball huddles up during a 16-0 loss, its worst in program history, to No. 5 Texas. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Softball


San Diego6
No. 8 UCLA7
No. 5 Texas16
No. 8 UCLA0
No. 11 Oklahoma State9
No. 8 UCLA1

By Nicole Augusta

Feb. 12, 2024 1:20 p.m.

This post was updated Feb. 13 at 9:06 p.m.

A final crack of the bat in the fifth inning cemented the Bruins’ fate.

With Texas’ 16th run of the game, the Longhorns dealt UCLA its worst loss in program history.

But with one game remaining in the tournament, the question of how to respond remained.

After yet another cut-short affair – with the game ending in the fifth – the Oklahoma State Cowgirls left the Bruins standing by to watch their opening weekend hopes fly over the walls of Easton Stadium.

No. 8 UCLA softball (2-3) faced multiple-run losses to No. 5 Texas (5-0) and No. 11 Oklahoma State (5-0) on the heels of a victory over San Diego (0-5) at Easton Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. The Bruins played all seven innings once, with both losses ending in run-ruled fifth-inning finishes.

UCLA athletics did not make players and coaches available for interviews after Saturday or Sunday’s games.

Grand slams composed half of Texas’ historic 16-run margin over UCLA in the battle of top-10 teams Saturday.

One in the second inning elevated the Longhorns’ score to five, and two more runs would be tacked on before the second grand slam introduced a double-digit margin in the fourth inning.

Junior pitcher Jada Cecil’s outing ended following a fourth-inning pitching slump, where the righty allowed three walks and one hit batter – three of which were brought home by Texas infielder Viviana Martinez in an echo of the grand slam that led her across the plate two innings earlier.

By the end of the game, UCLA’s pitching staff recorded 16 earned runs and 10 walks compared to zero in either category from Texas.

The pitching woes extended throughout the weekend, as the young pitching staff continued to struggle to find its rhythm despite a steady showing from sophomore Taylor Tinsley, who only walked one batter in four innings pitched.

UCLA’s offense also struggled Saturday and Sunday, only picking up one run against Texas and Oklahoma State combined. The Longhorns and Cowgirls notched a collective 19 more hits than the Bruins between the two games.

Sophomore utility Megan Grant, a 2023 All Pac-12 First Team honoree, didn’t record a single hit. Redshirt senior shortstop Maya Brady was similarly limited – the former USA Collegiate Softball Player of the Year finalist recorded just three across three games.

Despite the fresh season, the newly polished roster couldn’t evade falling victim to on-field injuries.

Across the tournament, redshirt senior outfielder Janelle Meoño left the opening day contest following a collision at the bag. Four games later, sophomore catcher/utility Alexis Ramirez exited the lineup against Oklahoma State following a dive in right field.

Looking ahead, the Bruins will leave home territory for their two highest-ranked matchups of the season thus far against No. 2 Tennessee and No. 4 Florida State during the upcoming Clearwater Invitational, with the first pitch against the Seminoles on Friday at 10 a.m.

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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.
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