UCLA comes back against Arizona to claim 12th consecutive win
LOS ANGELES -- The seventh-ranked Bruins recorded their second consecutive comeback victory against No. 16 Arizona on Saturday, spotting the Wildcats three runs before scoring six in a row to post their 12th consecutive win in a 6-3 triumph at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins improve to 43-8 overall and 17-3 in Pac-12 play, while the Wildcats fall to 37-14 and 12-8 in league action.
Senior Ally Carda moved to 24-4 on the season with five innings of outstanding relief, striking out seven and giving up just one hit. The only baserunners allowed by Carda were a two-out single in the fifth and a lead-off error in the seventh. She struck out one in every inning, fanning two each in the third and fifth. Freshman Johanna Grauer started and struck out one in one-plus frame, allowing three runs, three hits and two walks. Freshman Selina Ta'amilo also tossed one-plus inning of relief, striking out one and giving up two walks.
At the plate, five different Bruins tallied their seven hits, as seniors Gracie Goulder and Stephany LaRosa were each 2-for-2, with LaRosa and sophomores Gabrielle Maurice and Delaney Spaulding all driving in a pair.
Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first when Chelsea Goodacre hit a three-run homer to center.
UCLA got on the board in its first plate appearance when Spaulding opened up the frame with her own bomb to center, her team-leading 14th of the season, to make it 3-1.
The Wildcats had chances to increase their lead in the second and third, but were unable to capitalize. A lead-off walk and single in the second brought in Ta’amilo from the bullpen, as the freshman retired the next three to end the threat. In the third, Arizona drew a pair of walks to start the inning, but Carda came in to set down the next three to keep it a two-run game.
The Bruins evened things up in their half of the third. Carda led off with a walk and came home on LaRosa’s two-run homer off the scoreboard in left, her 13th of the season.
The fourth inning featured the defensive play of the game for the Bruins, as junior Mysha Sataraka went up against the UCLA third-base dugout and came up with a great catch for the second out of the inning.
In the fifth, the Bruins batted around and cashed in three runs. Walks to Carda and LaRosa opened the inning and a sacrifice by freshman Maddy Jelenicki moved both runners into scoring position. Maurice followed with a single up the middle to plate Carda and LaRosa and give the Bruins a 5-3 advantage. Hit by pitches of Sataraka and Goulder loaded the bases, and one out later, a free pass to Spaulding forced home senior Sam Duran, who was running for Sataraka to make it 6-3.