(East Los Angeles, CA) May 29, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: It was the proverbial “Do or Die” game and moment for the #2 nationally ranked Bruins, and no one needed to remind them of that. Head Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez came back in this match-up with her #2 Ace, Megan Faraimo and that seemed to be all the difference in the world to the team, as they secured a (2-0) victory to even the series. Now, the final game showdown will be played for the right to move on to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) next week in Oklahoma City. Now, let’s quickly get to our recap of this exciting Game 2.
Virginia Tech’s Head Coach, Pete D’Amour was determined to go “back-to-back” games with his ace, Keely Rochard, who showed her excellence in winning Game 1. His strategy looked promising until the Bruin big hitters became used to her style of pitching. Things went well until she faced the left-handed batting, #7/Maya Brady in the 2nd inning. Rochard’s big mistake was to offer a fat pitch just over the plate and Brady, clobbered it deep into the right-center field trees for a monster 12th home run, Bruins up (1-0). In the meantime on defense, the Bruins were playing very solid and errorless behind their Senior right-hand pitcher, Faraimo. She was definitely into her game and showed her appreciation for the mass of Bruin family members and alumni, who made it feel like they were there to help make a difference, and so they did, by clapping, stomping, and cheering in unison to the variety of traditional school cheers, obviously including the “8-Clap.” And, by the way, what a difference a day makes, as there was only a sparse Bruin cheering section in Thursday’s Game 1 loss.
Now, as we moved to the 3rd inning, it was lead-off hitter, JR/#23/Aaliyah Jordan’s 2nd turn to square off against Rochard. And, in a repeat-type of Maya Brady’s earlier blast, Jordan jumped on a fast ball she liked and clubbed it nearly into the same location that her teammate did for her much-appreciated insurance grabbing 8th home run—Bruins, now up (2-0). And with the way Faraimo was handling her “spirited and fired-up” business on the mound, the Hokies were not getting the pitches they wanted as she mixed her selection in a flowing rhythm with her catcher, #19/FR/Alyssa Garcia.
Faraimo, now with a great (19-3) season record closed the game with the following eye-catching stat-line: 7 innings pitched/1 hit allowed/11 strike-outs (Ks)/0 runs/2 walks/0 ERA/86 pitches thrown/61 strikes thrown. While Rochard, now with a (29-9) record, drew the loss although she pitched another very good game. The only Hokie to earn a hit was 3B/Cameron Fagan, who beat out an infield hit on a high bouncer to 3rd in the 4th inning .
In the end, we can use a number of adjectives to describe Faraimo’s performance–superlative, masterful, brilliant, dominant, timely, etc. but it certainly rose to the occasion of keeping the Bruins in the fight for the right to represent themselves, their university, their fans, supporters, and many others who appreciate what’s happening in Westwood in both the women’s and men’s sports programs.
(Of Significance): A big and solid boost to the Coaches and team members is the continuous support of UCLA’s new Director of Athletics, Martin Jarmond. At 40, he is one of the youngest Directors leading a Power Five school in the country. He has been displaying and showing his fatherly traits, as he’s been accompanied to Easton Stadium for PAC-12 Conference games and many of these current tournament games, with his wife, Jessica and their three lovely daughters.
(Next Up): The stage is now set for the “tie-breaker” game and it will begin today, (Saturday, 5/29), at 6:30 pm (PT) on ESPN2. If you can, be sure to tune in and give the Bruins your total support.