Sunday Night Softball preview: No. 13 UCLA at No. 8 Washington
Who: No. 13 UCLA at No. 8 Washington
When: Sunday, April 2 at 5pm PT/6 MT on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Washington
On the call: Ann Schatz and Amanda Freed
UCLA leads series 2-0
On the home side: Washington (26-8, 3-5 in Pac-12)
Huskies to watch:
Ali Aguilar, INF, Senior:
This Husky is a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree, a Top 25 Finalist for the 2016 Softball Player of the Year, and a 2016 NFCA All-American Second Team member. Last season, she led the Huskies with 20 multi-hit games and 18 multi-RBI games. To match with her work at the plate, the senior has eight fielding double-plays on the season. So far this series, Aguilar is 2-for-7 with one RBI, with a solo-home run in the first-game of the series.
Morganne Flores, C, Sophomore:
Although only a sophomore, Flores has found a way to make an immediate impact for the Huskies. Flores may be well known for the work she does behind the plate, but at bat, Morganne is second in the conference in RBIs (37), and has eight home runs this season. So far this series, Flores is 1-for-7 at the bat with two RBIs.
On the away side: UCLA (26-8, 2-3 in Pac-12)
Bruins to watch:
Delaney Spaulding, INF, Junior:
The returning junior is vital to the Bruins’ success. With 99 at bats so far, Spaulding is tied for third in the conference with 10 doubles. So far in conference play, Spaulding has 39 hits and is eighth in the conference in slugging percentage (.724). So far this series, Spaulding is 2-6 at the plate with one RBI.
Brianna Tautalafua, INF, Sophomore
There is no sophomore slump for this Bruin. Brianna is consistenly doing what she can to help the Bruins win. During conference play Tautalafua has five sacrifice bunts and is tied for first in fielding double plays with 12. So far this series, Brianna is 2-for-8 at the plate with three RBIs, including a solo-home run in game two of this series.
The Huskies are down two games to the Bruins in this series. If they fall Sunday, it will be their sixth-straight loss and the second time they’ll have been swept this season. As a team, Washington holds a .340 batting average, which puts them at third in the conference and just two above UCLA, who sits at fifth. On the other end, the Bruins are second in the conference with 37 home runs, and tally three this series.
After game two’s thrilling finish, Sunday’s game is a must-see. While UCLA lead the whole game, Washington made noise when junior Taylor Van Zee tallied a three-run-home-run to center field in the top of the fifth inning to give the Huskies some fire. However, the Bruins found way to push right back in the bottom of the fifth when Brianna Tautalafua and Rachel Garcia each tallied solo home runs.
Sunday’s matchup proves a must-see as Washington fears their second-straight sweep on the season while UCLA will push to stay ahead in the Pac-12 Conference.