Note From The Editor: Although this post provides coverage of the Bruins’ first week of the season, followers can take away that this team has only continued to improve with each succeeding game. In addition to the overall Bruin team coverage, we always remain focused on the contributions and the play of #42, Jelly Felix, the last Bruin athlete to officially wear Jackie Robinson’s legendary #42.
Current Team Update:At this halfway point in the season, the Bruins (31-2) overall, have retained moved up a notch to #3 national ranking and are currently tied for 2nd in the Pac-12 Conference with the Washington Huskies. Both teams have (7-2) records and trail the Arizona St. Sun Devils (5-1) for the Conference lead.
Recap of Final Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament Game:At the time of this writing, 2/11/18, the #4 nationally ranked, UCLA Bruin Softball team immediately turned on their offensive power surge as supplied by #33 Brianna Tautalafua, 3rd Base/JR/Carson, CA/Carson HS, #3 Briana Perez, SS/FR/Martinez, CA/Alhambra HS, and #8 Kylee Perez, 2B/SR/Martinez, CA/Alhambra HS (older sister of Briana). This awesome show of force led to a sweep of their opponents in winning five straight games during their season-opening 2018 Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.
Add-in the outstanding pitching efforts of #00 Rachel Garcia/P/R-SO, #15 Johanna Grauer/P/SR/Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS and #4 Holly Acevedo/P/FR/San José, CA/Pioneer HS and it’s easy to understand how the 2018 poll-makers have ranked the Bruins at such a high national spot to start the new season. We invite you to read our story, view our large photo gallery, and watch our post-game interviews with Briana Perez, Rachel Garcia, and Head Coach, Kelly Inouye-Perez.
Brief Tournament Summary: The Bruins racked up double-header wins over Maryland (Big 10 Conference) and Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA) on Friday, then a single game win over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Big West Conference) on Saturday, and then double-header victories over Cal Poly SLO and then UC Riverside on Sunday, 2/11/18.
Fans in attendance were witnesses to a more powerful offense and a deeper pitching staff that should propel the Bruins to the PAC-12 Championship and then into the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) once again.
Head Coach, Kelly Inouye-Perez used the opening weekend tournament to showcase many of her newest additions to the team, while at the same time allowing her veteran players to begin sharpening up their soon to be needed offensive and defensive skills in PAC 12 Conference play.
In this young group of experienced veterans, #42 Jelly Felix, the pride of L.A./Lincoln HS, appeared in the night cap game and was warmly welcomed by the many fans in attendance. Felix will be the last UCLA Bruin Athlete to wear the fabled, and respected #42 of former Bruin All-American, the legendary sports and social awareness pioneer of his time, Jackie Robinson. To learn more of the significance of this unique sports story, we kindly encourage you to read the ESPN article that was recently written to accentuate the importance of this historic UCLA jersey retirement and acknowledgement of #42. It gives the reader a deep emotional insight as seen through the eyes of Jelly Felix. Please click here.
Next Game: (Non-conference) Tues., 4/3 vs. Cal St. Northridge, 6 pm. Next PAC-12 Games, Fri. 4/6, 7 pm; Sat. 4/7, 6 pm; & Sun. 4/8, 12 pm vs. Utah @ UCLA’s Easton Stadium.
Photo Gallery Credits: Erik Sarni, EastLASportsScene.Com The first nine photos are credited to the UCLA Softball Media Department and Bruin Online Services.