(East Los Angeles, CA) April 28, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The UCLA Bruins, ranked #2 in the NCAA Women’s Division 1 poll, at this point in the season, won the close-out game of a four game weekend series. They won three of four, key PAC-12 Conference games this past weekend at Easton Stadium. After winning on Friday night, they split a doubleheader on Saturday, winning the 2nd, after dropping the first. They then closed out the series, on Sunday, 4/25 winning their 1:00 pm matinee game. With the win, the Bruins upped their overall season record to (28-3) and their PAC-12 record to (10-2). As an FYI…due to COVID-19 issues this season, the Bruins were involved in (12) games that were canceled.
(Brief Game Summary): Head Coach, Kelly Inouye-Perez, gave her #2 in rotation, #8/RH/P-1B/Redshirt Soph./Megan Faraimo, the starting pitcher’s assignment for this game. She threw a complete game for the 4th time this season and worked five of the seven innings with masterful control and steady defense that aided her cause. Offensively, she was supported by the big booming bats of #00/P-1B/Redshirt SR/Rachel Garcia who hit a 2-run homer in her first at-bat. That was immediately followed by a #97/1B/Redshirt JR/Delanie Wisz solo shot, giving the Bruins “back-to-back” homers. The fourth & final run came in the 3rd when #3/SS/Redshirt JR/Briana Perez blasted a solo “round-tripper” deep over the centerfield wall. Recall that Faraimo pitched 5 very good innings. However, she ran into just a bit of trouble in the 3rd & 7th, allowing only 1 run in each inning. But her seasoned experience, great command of her variety of pitches, plus her excellent timing with her catcher, #19/C-1B/Redshirt Freshman/Alyssa Garcia, calmed the waters and held back any hopeful “come-from-behind” winning UW rallies.
Not to be outdone by the intensity of the game and the Bruins power-surge, the Huskies managed to stay in the game by showing why they were ranked at #3 in the national polls. In the top of the 3rd inning, local product, #66/RH/OF-P/FR/Sarah Willis, from Norco HS in Ontario, CA hammered her own solo “four-bagger” that easily cleared the left-field fence, high and hard, just next to the gigantic Easton Stadium scoreboard. That made the score (3-1) Bruins.
In the top of the 7th, and their final at-bats, the Huskies were once again in rally mode when Willis delivered her second extra-base hit of the game. She took a Faraimo fast ball deep into right-center for a run scoring double. But to Faraimo’s credit, she bore down and did not allow the Huskies any other threats, striking out two batters and then getting the last hitter to line-out to Briana Perez. Faraimo posted her 12th win against just 3 losses.
(FINAL SCORE): UCLA 4 Univ. of Washington 2
In my closing comment, I wanted to acknowledge Sarah Willis, her outstanding teammate, Catcher, Morganne Flores, a Cypress CA native, and a Mater Dei grad, plus three more of their UW teammates as great representatives, and direct proof of why the PAC-12 Conference views our Los Angeles and Southern California area high schools as an unending gold vein of talent. We wish all of our student-athletes from So Cal, well in their careers as NCAA Division-1 players at whatever PAC-12 University they choose to attend.
(Of Significance): Due to the current COVID-19, L.A. County Public Health & Safety regulations, a limited number of fans and media outlets were in attendance.
(Next Up): PAC-12 Conference, Four Game Series against the Utah Utes starting Friday, April 30th at 4 pm (PT). They will then play a double-header on Saturday, followed by a closing game on Sunday. A “Live Stream” will be available at UCLABruins.com.