Softball Falls to Washington, 9-6
March 30, 2002
SEATTLE - The Bruins and Huskies engaged in a Pac-10 slugfest at Husky Softball Stadium on Saturday in a game that featured three home runs, 18 combined hits and 15 combined runs scored. Washington scored seven unanswered runs to earn the upset 9-6 victory. UCLA falls to 33-4 with the loss (1-1 Pac-10), while Washington improves to 30-9 (1-1) with the win.
For the second straight day, the Bruins scored first, putting up two runs in the top of the first inning. Natasha Watley led off with a single, but was thrown out at second base on a fielders choice by Amanda Freed. After a fly-out by Cliare Sua, Stacey Nuveman walked and Tairia Mims reached on an error to load the bases and bring up centerfielder Stephanie Ramos. Ramos dropped a fly ball in fair territory for a two-run double before Crissy Buck grounded out to end the frame.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Huskies tied the game at 2-2 on a two-run home run by shortstop Jaime Clark. UCLA threatened again in the top of the second inning when a lead-off single by third baseman Toria Auelua and a walk to Watley gave the Bruins two baserunners. The pair advanced to second and third on a passed ball during Claire Sua's at-bat, but UCLA was unable to capitalize.
UCLA re-took the lead in the third inning, as Crissy Buck notched an RBI double to left field, scoring Mims and chasing starting UW pitcher Ashley Boek from the ball game. For the second straight game, Leslie Poole came in for the Huskies to record the final two outs of the inning, but the Bruins took a 3-2 lead to the bottom of the third inning.
Stacey Nuveman increased UCLA's lead to 6-2 in the fourth inning, with a towering shot well over the left field fence that scored three runs. It was the ninth home run of the season for Nuveman, giving her 79 for her career, and leaving her six home runs shy of tying the NCAA record for career home runs.
Washington posted another home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Kathy Fiske homered to left field, bringing UW to within three runs at 6-3. Jaime Clark continued her perfect day at the plate with an RBI double to bring home Becky Simpson before a blooper off the glove of Monique Mejia scored Rita Roach to bring the Huskies within a run at 6-3.
Keira Goerl came in to pitch in relief for the Bruins in the bottom of the sixth inning for what would be a disastrous defensive frame for UCLA. A leadoff walk to Becky Simpson started the inning, and a bunt attempt by Rita Roach was thrown into the outfield by Auelua, giving the Huskies runners on first and second with nobody out. Jaime Clark grounded out to advance the pair to second and third, leading to an intentional walk issued to Kristen Rivera.
Amanda Oleson then singled to left field, but the ball was mis-handled by Ramos in left field, and her throw went out of play, scoring three runs on the play. A fourth run would score on the third Bruin error of the inning, giving the Huskies a 9-6 lead as the Bruins went to their final at-bat, but could not connect, giving UW the 9-6 win.
UCLA returns to action on Friday night, April 5, with a 6 pm Mountain Time game at Arizona State.