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No. 3 UCLA Hosts Utah

Apr 28, 2022
Maya Brady and Kirk Walker celebrate Brady's 2-RBI triple (photo by Ross Turteltaub).

LOS ANGELES – The No. 3 UCLA softball teams hosts Utah for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. PT. First pitch for games two and three between the Bruins (37-5, 13-2 Pac-12) and Utes (23-22, 5-10 Pac-12) are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. All games are available for live streaming on the UCLA live stream or Pac-12 Insider.
 
GAME 1: Friday, April 29
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 7 p.m. PT
Watch: UCLA Live Stream-2
Talent: Darren Preston
Live Stats
 
GAME 2: Saturday, April 30
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 6 p.m. PT
Watch: Pac-12 Insider
Talent: Darren Preston
Live Stats
 
GAME 3: Sunday, May 1
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 12 p.m. PT
Watch: UCLA Live Stream-2
Talent: Darren Preston
Live Stats
 
QUICK HITS
- UCLA is 37-5 so far on the year, including a 9-2 mark in April
- After Tuesday's 13-0 shutout over Cal State Fullerton, the Bruins have recorded at least 10 base hits in 12 games this season
- The Bruins rank second nationally in ERA (1.27), trailing only No. 1 Oklahoma
- UCLA's pitching staff ranks first in the Pac-12 in nearly every statistical category: ERA (1.27), K/7 rate (9.66), WHIP (0.80) and opponent batting average (1.66).
- Briana Perez is two runs shy of tying Natasha Watley for UCLA's career runs scored record of 252
- Perez became the fourth Bruin in program history to notch 300 hits in her career, joining sister Kylee Perez (301), Stacey Nuveman (322) and Watley (395). Perez leads the Bruins with 49 hits this season
- Delanie Wisz has reached base safely in 33 consecutive games which is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation
- Wisz leads the Pac-12 in conference play with a .487 batting average and .600 on-base percentage
- The Shelly Carlin UCLA Head Softball Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez recorded the 700th win of her career following UCLA's 5-4 win over Washington on March 27
- The Bruins opened their conference schedule with a program-record 10-0 start after sweeping No. 9 Arizona, No. 9 Washington and No. 12 Oregon
- UCLA has swept four season series against Pac-12 foes
- Megan Faraimo, Holly Azevedo and Lauren Shaw have combined to throw six no-hitters (three perfect games) this season. UCLA has thrown 6+ no-hitters in a single season on five other occasions, last accomplishing the feat in 2002
- Savannah Pola was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time this season on Monday
 
LAST TIME OUT
UCLA swept Oregon State with three one-run victories and, most recently, mercy-ruled Cal State Fullerton, 13-0, in five innings on Tuesday earlier in the week.

  • The Bruins rallied for five runs in the seventh inning to steal a 6-5 victory from the Beavers in game one. UCLA's 7-8-9 hitters all singled to load the bases for Kinsley Washington who, with a ground out to second, brought one UCLA runner home and moved two others into scoring position. Delanie Wisz, who had already homered in the game, stepped to the plate. After eight pitched and UCLA down to its final strike four times, Wisz delivered a game-tying 2-RBI double down the left field line to even the score, 4-4. Maya Brady dug into the batter's box after Wisz. On a 1-2 count, Brady golfed a drop ball for a go-ahead, two-run homer to opposite field.
  • Briana Perez shined in games two and three of the series with a pair of multi-hit performances and a collective three RBI. Perez knocked in the go-ahead runs in game two with a 2-RBI single in the fourth inning. The next day, Perez led off game three with a solo home run on the ninth pitch of her at-bat. Perez went on to score two of the Bruins' four runs in the series finale after putting herself into scoring position with a single and stole base in the third inning.
  • Four Bruins – Kinsley Washington, Maya Brady, Anna Vines and Briana Perez – recorded multi-RBI performances in UCLA's 13-0 shellacking of Cal State Fullerton. Washington was 3-for-3 on the night with a season-high two doubles for 3 RBI.

IN THE POLLS
UCLA is one of just four teams in the nation to be ranked in the top 5 of every National Fastpitch Coaches Association and USA Softball poll this season (others include Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida State). The Bruins are 11-2 against NFCA-ranked opponents this season.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST UTAH
UCLA leads the all-time series against Utah by a margin of 40-6, including a 24-5 record under head coach Inouye-Perez. The Bruins hold an 11-game winning streak over the Utes with their last losses coming a sweep at Easton Stadium in 2017. Last season's four-game sweep of Utah marked the ninth time in series history the Bruins have swept the Utes.
 
Faraimo owns a 0.31 earned average and 4-0 record in her four career appearances against Utah, allowing just one earned run in 22 innings pitched. Faraimo pitched at least four innings and allowed two hits or fewer in each of her three win against the Utes last season.
 
Briana Perez boasts UCLA's best career numbers in her 10 games against the Utes with a .486 batting average (17-for-35), .885 slugging percentage, 12 runs, 10 RBI and six extra-base hits, including three homers and two triples.
 
Perez's Year-by-Year Numbers Against Utah
2021: 6-for-14, four runs, three RBI, 1 2B, 1 HR
2019: 5-for-9, five runs, five RBI, 2 HR
2018: 6-for-12, three runs, two RBI, two 3B
 
LIGHTS OUT IN THE CIRCLE
UCLA's pitching staff boasts the conference leader in ERA (Lauren Shaw, 0.72) and strikeouts (Megan Faraimo (220). Faraimo and Azevedo lead all Pac-12 pitching duos with 31 combined victories this season.
 
During conference play, Faraimo leads the Pac-12 with a 1.39 ERA, 84 strikeouts, 9.75 K/7 and is tied for the lead with seven wins with Stanford's Alana Vawter.
 
FARAIMO, AZEVEDO NAMED FINALISTS FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Megan Faraimo and Holly Azevedo were named USA Softball 2022 College Player of the Year Top 25 Finalists on Wednesday. UCLA is the only team in the nation to boast two pitchers on the list. The Bruins are tied for second in representation amongst the top 25 finalists with fellow Pac-12 school Arizona State. Faraimo has now been named a USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist in back-to-back seasons. Stacey Nuveman (2002) and Rachel Garcia (2018, 2019) are the only two Bruins to have won the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award in its 19-year history.
 
POLA NAMED NFCA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR TOP 25 FINALIST
Freshman Savannah Pola was named as one of the 25 student-athletes in the running for 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, the Association revealed on Thursday afternoon.
 
Pola is UCLA's seventh honoree to make the top 25 list. The last Bruin to win the award was Rachel Garcia in 2017.
 
Previous Bruins to be selected to the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25 include Megan Faraimo (2019 – Top 10), Kelli Godin (2019 – Top 10), Aaliyah Jordan (2018 – Top 10), Briana Perez (2018), Rachel Garcia (2017 – Winner) and Delaney Spaulding (2014).
 
This season, Pola leads the conference with 13 doubles as well as ranks fourth on the team with a .341 batting average and third with 35 RBI. Pola has recorded 11 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI performances, good for fourth-best and second-best on the squad, respectively. Pola has also homered five times this season.
 
She owns the Bruins' best single-game RBI performance so far this year coming against Texas A&M on March 5 when she racked up six RBI in her 3-for-4 night featuring a solo homer and two doubles.
 
SISTER, SISTER
Perez surpassed her big sister Kylee Perez for career hits with her leadoff home run in the first inning of game three. The Perez sisters are just the second sister duo in collegiate softball to each record at least 300 hits in their careers, joining Sydney Romero (Oklahoma) and Sierra Romero (Michigan). They are the only sister duo to each reach 300 hits for the same program.
 
WISZARD OF WESTWOOD
Delanie Wisz continues to be the Bruins leader at the plate this season with a team-best .396 batting average, 10 homers, 37 runs batted in, 23 walks and .507 on-base percentage.
 
Wisz has reached base safely in 33 consecutive games which is the fourth longest active streak in the NCAA (Delanie Cumbie – UNC Greensboro, 41; Mac Barbara – San Diego State, 36; Kiki Milloy – Tennessee, 38).
 
JUST NO. 3 HITTER THINGS
Delanie Wisz leads the Bruins in conference play with a .600 batting average with runners in scoring position (also leads UCLA during the regular season with a .478 batting average with RISP).
 
Wisz's seven extra-base hits in the conference schedule have come at crucial times with each giving the Bruins' the go-ahead run or proving to be the difference in a W. Most recently, her solo homer and 2-RBI double in game one at Oregon State on April 22 rallied the Bruins to their come-from-behind 6-5 victory. UCLA and Wisz were down to their final strike four times before she clutched up and ripped that double to left field.
 
Other notable Wisz clutch hits this Pac-12 season include:

  • Wisz's solo homer to dead center versus Stanford on April 8 that propelled the Bruins to and extra-inning, 3-1 victory.
  • Wisz's first of two doubles in game one of the Arizona series that scored the first run in the Bruins' 5-0 shutout victory.
  • Wisz's double in game one of the Washington series put UCLA up 1-0 in the first inning. Her homer in the seventh inning of game three against the Huskies proved to be the winning run in UCLA's 5-4 triumph.
  • Lastly, in game two of the Oregon series, the Bruins rode Wisz's two-run blast in the first inning and RBI single in the third to victory.

BRIANA PEREZ IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Perez's run against San Diego on Wednesday puts her at 250 runs scored in her career. She needs two runs to tie and three to surpass Natasha Watley (252) for UCLA's runs scored crown. Perez leads the Bruins with 36 runs this season.
 
Perez's leadoff triple on an 0-0 count in the fifth inning of game one versus Oregon marked her sixth three-bagger of the year, surpassing her former season high of five in 2021 which led UCLA a year ago. The last time a Bruin had more than six triples in a season was Andrea Duran with seven in 2006. Duran holds the program single-season record for triples with eight set in 2005.
 
Perez is now in sole possession of third place on UCLA's career triples list with 18. She needs three more triples to tie Janice Parks and Natasha Watley for first place with 21.