Friday, April 12, 2024

NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

UCLA softball holds Michigan scoreless, falls to Florida at Judi Garman Classic

UCLA softball freshman Kaitlyn Terry sends in a pitch to the batter. (Aidan Sun/Daily Bruin)


No. 19 UCLA10
No. 19 UCLA0
No. 15 Florida1

By Nicole Augusta

March 2, 2024 10:42 a.m.

The Bruins recorded 10 runs in the first game of the day but failed to score in the second.

In its final regular-season tournament of the year, No. 19 UCLA softball (8-6) began play in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, defeating Michigan (10-9) in a 10-0 run rule victory and falling to No. 15 Florida (19-2), by a score of 1-0.

Sophomore utility Megan Grant opened the tournament going yard for the first time in 2024. The long ball brought home sophomore infielder Jordan Woolery, who would go on to touch the plate again in the sixth.

“Seeing Megs get that home run – we were all super happy for her, and we all realized, ‘Oh, that’s her first one,’” said redshirt senior catcher Sharlize Palacios. “Having Meg get us on the board in the first inning got the momentum going for us, and we knew that she was seeing the ball really well.”

After a slower start across the first two weekends, Grant has picked up the pace, and now, her batting average of .375 is the team’s starters’ second-best mark – the first being held by redshirt senior Maya Brady.

The shortstop, who recently collected her fifth career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor, leads all Bruins in almost every offensive statistic and earned her 15th RBI against the Wolverines.

Palacios also recorded a homer, bringing in two teammates to close the game. Last year, she ranked tied for third teamwide in home runs, while so far this year, she ranks second and completes the podium of Brady and Grant for third-highest batting average.

But not all of UCLA’s initial 10 runs left the batter’s box off big swings – half of the Bruins who would eventually score reached base on a walk.

“We had a lot of quality at-bats, and walks is one of them,” said coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “There were a lot of great things that happened that don’t show once you get in the box score, so I was really proud of that, too.”

In the second game of the day, Florida went ahead early after a solo home run from shortstop Skylar Wallace, the only run in the game. The Gators recorded six hits compared to the Bruins’ two.

The most significant consistency Friday was exhibited in the circle, as the Bruin bullpen tossed three more strikeouts and 30 fewer balls than their opponents.

Inouye-Perez said Kaitlyn Terry, who made the start against Michigan, continues to impress – despite still operating at a limited level.

The freshman earned six strikeouts to offset one walk against the Wolverines.

“We’re seeing her being able to throw the ball harder, she’s getting more movement on the ball, she’s doing all the things that she needs to do,” Inouye-Perez said. “She’s just a freshman, but she’s fearless, so we’re really excited about where she will be when she gets back to full 100%.”

Taylor Tinsley may have been credited with a loss in the evening, but she continued her tournament prowess with 64 strikes against Florida.

Last weekend, the sophomore pitcher was tied for most strikeouts of any Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic pitcher and was awarded Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 24 for her efforts.

Terry said the team is ready to charge into the season’s battle as strong as ever as they head into Pac-12 play in the week ahead.

“All of our energies are still high. I think this loss, this last game, doesn’t really affect us,” Terry said. “I think this team fight – it’s so hard.”

UCLA will square up against Weber State and DePaul on Saturday – to each of whom the Bruins have only lost one competition in the programs’ histories – before concluding the tournament Sunday against San Jose State.

Inouye-Perez said this game is only lesson one in the Bruins’ Pac-12 capstone curriculum.

“Shoulders back, chin up. You’re Bruins, you’re learning – that was history, learn from it, and get ready to get out there and throw punches tomorrow,” Inouye-Perez said.

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
Roommates-Private Room

WESTWOOD, Campus 5-minute walk. Own room in large quiet furnished two-bedroom. Only occupant travels. Fireplace, cat, access terrific book/movie/video collections, suit arts/sciences aficionado. $1,295 w/utilities. [email protected]

More classifieds »
Related Posts