The #2 UCLA softball team continues their impressive start to the season as they are now 15-0 after beating #3 Florida on Wednesday.
Here is the thing about the UCLA softball team… they are not just running through lower-tiered opponents, they are running through elite teams. Last night, the Bruins did it again as they downed the #3 Florida Gators in Game 1 of the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, CA by the score of 7-1.
The Gators are the third team the Bruins have defeated that are currently ranked in the NCAA D1 Softball Top 25. Last week, UCLA took down #4 Oklahoma and #17 Kentucky by a combined 19-5 runs (the Bruins forced the mercy rule after six innings against UK).
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Everything about this win was impressive. UCLA dominated at the plate and the mound as they suffocated Florida in every facet of the game.
The Gators sent their ace Kelly Barnhill (9-1) to start the contest against UCLA, but she would soon find out that her 0.59 ERA would not matter against the Bruins’ muscle as UCLA ripped off four runs on six hits in two innings of play to give Barnhill her first loss of the season
The Bruins, on the other hand, sent Holly Azevedo to start the game. Though she may be regarded as the third-best pitcher on the team, she played like the first as she improved her season record to 5-0 and only allowed five hits and one run through five innings.
Now to look at the batters. The Bruins started things off with a run in the first when Aaliyah Jordan doubled to bring in Brianna Perez, but things really started to get out of control in the second and fourth.
In the second inning, Kinsley Washington extended the lead after being brought in by Perez, giving UCLA the 2-0 lead. A few at-bats later, pitching and batting superstar Rachel Garcia got a 2 RBI single as she brought in Perez and Kelli Godin.
Garcia had four hits in the game and none was more exciting than her fourth inning three-run homer which essentially sealed the 7-1 win.
Now for the interesting part… UCLA faces Florida for a second time as they meet Friday in Fullerton. Though the Gators might choose to start Barnhill again, the Florida batters are going to have a tough time as UCLA’s #1 pitcher Garcia should take the mound.