UCLA Blanks Utah Again, 2-0
LOS ANGELES – Holly Azevedo turned in 6.1 innings of one-hit ball to help the No. 3 UCLA softball team to a 2-0 win over Utah for its second shutout of the series.
The Bruins (39-5, 15-2 Pac-12) have allowed a combined three hits in their two games against the Utes this weekend.
Azevedo racked up four strikeouts on 72 pitches and never allowed a Utah runner to reach past first base. Utah (22-23, 5-12 Pac-12) has had only one runner in scoring position all series (second inning of game one).
Azevedo started the game by retiring the first 13 Utes she faced before allowing Utah's first and only hit of the night: an infield single to Azevedo.
With two outs in the first inning, Savannah Pola beat out an infield single to Utah shortstop Haley Denning to score Delanie Wisz from third base for the game's first run. UCLA tacked on its second run of the game in electric fashion two innings later in the third when Briana Perez stepped to the plate.
Perez hit a deep fly ball that ricocheted off the top of the center field wall out of the reach of a leaping Jordyn Gasper. As the ball rolled back into the middle of the field, Perez was sprinting around the bases and dove head first into home plate ahead of the throw for the first inside-the-park home run of her career and her ninth home run of the season.
𝐏𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐒𝐏𝐄𝐄𝐃 💪🔥
— UCLA Softball (@UCLASoftball) May 1, 2022
Perez is now one run shy of tying Natasha Watley's program career record of 252 runs scored. After tonight's 2-for-3 performance, Perez leads the Bruins with 14 multi-hit games this season.
Azevedo cruised in the circle until the top of the seventh when a fielding error by Perez put Utah's tying run at the plate. Faraimo entered in relief for Azevedo and needed only six pitches to shut down any comeback attempt by inducing a ground ball 4-6-3 double play to end it.
Faraimo established a new UCLA single-season record for saves with her sixth of the year tonight, passing Megan Langenfeld's mark of five set in 2008. Faraimo leads the Pac-12 and ranks tied for second in the nation in the statistical category.
Azevedo surpassed her former season high of wins set her freshman year in 2018 with her 16th victory of the year tonight. She moves to 16-2 on the season and drops her earned run average to 1.21.
UCLA goes for its fifth series sweep of a Pac-12 opponent this year when they square off with Utah tomorrow at 12 p.m. PT at Easton Stadium. The contest will be available for viewing on the UCLA Live Stream.