Azevedo Fans 10, Offense Explodes in Bruins' 9-0 Win Over No. 25 Auburn
CLEARWATER, Fla. – It was a dominant effort for the No. 3 UCLA softball team, which earned a 9-0 victory in six innings behind a career outing for Holly Azevedo and an explosion from the Bruin offense at the Eddie C. Moore Complex on day two of the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational.
Azevedo earned the win with 5.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball, notching a career-high 10 strikeouts in the performance. She improved to 2-0 on the year and lowered her ERA to a mere 0.60.
UCLA (5-2) recorded 12 hits and did all the necessary damage in the fourth and sixth innings, putting up three and six runs in the frames, respectively. Kinsley Washington continued her stellar start to the year with two more hits, including a three-run blast in the sixth. In total, five Bruins recorded multiple hits and six recorded an RBI.
Azevedo recorded a pair of strikeouts in each of the first three innings to hold Auburn (8-1) scoreless. The UCLA offense broke through in the bottom of the fourth, as consecutive RBI knocks from Delanie Wisz, Briana Perez and Maya Brady made it 3-0.
Azevedo went back to work in the bottom of the fourth, leaving a Tiger stranded at third to record the shutdown inning and maintain UCLA's three-run lead. After the teams exchanged scoreless halves in the fifth, Azevedo continued to deal, striking out two more Tigers to reach 10 K's for the first time in her collegiate career.
The Bruins broke the game open in the top of the sixth. After Brady singled and stole second, she managed to score with some nifty baserunning on a flyout to right from Anna Vines and a deke by Taylor Stephens at first base. Kelli Godin followed with a single before Washington (three-run), Savannah Pola (solo) and Aaliyah Jordan hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to make it 9-0.
Notably, Washington has now homered in consecutive games at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational and has already set a new career high for home runs in a season with four. It was also UCLA's first game with back-to-back-to-back homers since Rachel Garcia, Wisz, and Brady accomplished the feat at Arizona on May 13, 2021.
Lauren Shaw entered in relief of Azevedo in the sixth and closed things out with a scoreless half to secure the shutout win for the pitching staff.
UCLA is set to complete its Saturday double-header with a matchup against No. 11 Texas at 1 p.m. PT. Beth Mowins and Michele Smith are on the broadcast call for ESPNU.