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No. 3 UCLA Falls to No. 23 Northwestern, 6-4, in Extras

Feb 18, 2022
Kinsley Washington went 3-for-4 with a home run, triple and double (photo by Vinny Lavalsiti).

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 3 UCLA softball team suffered a heartbreaking, 6-4 loss to No. 23 Northwestern, falling on a three-run walk-off home run by Maeve Nelson in the bottom of the eighth inning.
 
Megan Faraimo went 7.2 innings and registered a season-high 14 strikeouts across her outing in the Bruins' first game of the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational.
 
Kinsley Washington continued her hot start to the season, going 3-for-4 and just a single shy of the cycle. Washington raised her batting average to .556 has already tied her previous season-best of three home runs for an entire season.
 
UCLA (4-2) compiled six hits and received RBIs from Washington, Aaliyah Jordan, Delanie Wisz and Maya Brady, but the team left seven runners on base.
 
The Bruins got on the board with a run in the top of the first, as Kelli Godin scored on a sacrifice fly to right field from Wisz. Faraimo then struck out the side in the bottom half to secure the 1-0 advantage headed into the second.
 
Northwestern starter Danielle Williams and Faraimo went on to exchange scoreless second, third and fourth innings.
 
Thessa Malau'ulu singled in the top half of the fifth inning to lead off the frame. She advanced to third on productive outs from Godin and Briana Perez, with Aaliyah Jordan knocking her in with an RBI double to right field.
 
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but surrendered their first run on an RBI single from Nikki Cuchran. Faraimo induced a pop-up to first base to get out of the inning and limit the damage.
 
UCLA threatened in the top of the sixth after a triple from Washington and a walk from Lauren Hatch, but couldn't push either runner across. Faraimo struck out the first two Wildcats in the bottom half to reach 10 strikeouts on the day, but Rachel Lewis followed with a solo shot to make it 2-2. Faraimo then slammed the door for her 11th K, sending the game into the seventh.
 
The teams exchanged scoreless halves of the seventh, sending the ballgame into extras. After Jordan was placed on second to start the top of the eighth, she advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice fly from Brady, putting the Bruins up a run. Washington then stepped up and slammed a home run to right, making it 4-2 headed into the bottom of the eighth.
 
Northwestern stormed back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four runs, including a three-run walk-off homer to end the game by a final score of 6-4.
 
UCLA is back in action for a pair of games at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 19. The Bruins take on Auburn at 7 a.m. PT and Texas at 1 p.m. PT. Both games are available to watch on ESPNU.