Seventh-Inning Rally Falls Short for Second-Ranked Bruins
LOS ANGELES - Down to their last out, the second-ranked Bruins scored five times in the seventh and had the winning run at the plate, but Stanford held on for a 12-9 victory on Friday at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins fall to 44-5 overall and 15-4 in Pac-12 play, while the Cardinal improve to 29-21 and 4-15 in league action.
UCLA had 11 hits as a team and added 13 more base runners on nine walks and four hit by pitches, but the Bruins stranded 14 on base. Sophomore Allexis Bennett tied a career high with three hits, while senior Jessica Hall and junior Ally Carda each posted two hits.
In the circle, Carda (25-3) started and allowed eight runs (seven earned), seven hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout. Hall tossed 5 2/3 frames of relief and fanned five, giving up four runs, five hits and four walks.
The Cardinal scored three times in the top of the first. Leah White led off with a double to center and came home on a Kayla Bonstrom single. Two outs later, Stanford would load the bases, as Kylie Sorenson was at third after walking, Cassandra Roulund at second after reaching on a fielder’s choice and Bessie Noll at first following a free pass. Hanna Winter was hit by a pitch to force home Sorenson with the Cardinal’s second run. A passed ball then plated Roulund to make it 3-0.
UCLA got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first. Carda, freshman Delaney Spaulding and junior Stephany LaRosa all walked, but sophomore Mysha Sataraka flew into a double play to center, as Carda was retired at the plate. Freshman Gabrielle Maurice followed with a single to left to plate Spaulding to make it 3-1.
Stanford answered back with five in the second. Bonstrom had another RBI single to score Tylyn Wells to make it 4-1, and would come home two batters later, as Roulund singled to center to also score Leah White, who singled before Bonstrom to put the lead at 6-1. After Stanford loaded the bases when Noll reached on a fielder’s choice, Winter walked to force home Erin Ashby with the Cardinal’s seventh run. One out later, Roulund came home on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
UCLA scored twice in the bottom of the second. With one out, Hall and Bennett had back-to-back singles and Carda singled to right to score Hall to make it 8-2. After a walk to Spaulding, LaRosa tapped into a fielder’s choice to second, as Bennett netted the Bruins’ third run.
The Cardinal added another in the third when Sorenson walked, Ashby doubled and Roulund had a sacrifice fly to score Sorenson to make it 9-3.
In the fourth, LaRosa launched her 13th home run of the season to center to cut the deficit to 9-4.
Stanford got what proved to be some important insurance in the final two innings, scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh. A Winter infield single scored Ashby, who led off the inning with a walk, to make it 10-4. In the seventh, Bonstrom tripled home White and then scored on a Sorenson single to extend the advantage to 12-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bennett reached on a fielder’s choice, as junior Tara Mueller, who was running for Hall following a one-out single, was retired at second for the second out of the inning. Carda was hit by a pitch and pinch-run for by junior Sam Duran, who moved to third when Spaulding plated Bennett with a single to right to make it 12-5. After a walk to LaRosa loaded the bases, Sataraka singled to right-center to bring home Duran and Spaulding to cut the deficit to 12-7.
Maurice was hit by a pitch to again load the bases and sophomore Brittany Moeai was plunked in the helmet to force home LaRosa with the Bruins’ eighth run. A walk to Felix brought in freshman Robyn Corruth, who was running for Sataraka, to make it 12-9 and bring Hall up as the winning run. But the senior was retired on a comebacker to the circle to end the game.
The Bruins and the Cardinal continue their three-game series on Saturday at 3 p.m. The contest will be televised on ESPNU. Around 100 tickets remain for Saturday’s contest and can be purchased at the Easton Stadium ticket office starting at 1:30 p.m. All seats are general admission, first-come first-served. In the event seats become available during the course of the game, every effort will be made for fans to purchase tickets, however nothing is guaranteed.