UCLA Falls to Arizona State, 6-3, in Series Finale
TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 4 UCLA softball team surrendered three runs in each of the final two innings as No. 12 Arizona State walked it off on the Bruins, 6-3, in the series finale at Alberta B. Farrington Stadium on Sunday.
The Bruins (40-9, 16-5 Pac-12) held a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth inning before the Sun Devils loaded the bases on a leadoff double, single and eight-pitch walk. Megan Faraimo, who entered in relief one out into the first inning, dug deep for two big strikeouts, the last of which came in a 10-pitch at-bat to pinch hitter Mailey McLemore. Needing one more out to get out of the bases loaded jam, Arizona State's Bella Loomis cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to tie the game, 3-3.
After UCLA was retired in order in the top half of the seventh, the Sun Devils opened the bottom half with another leadoff double, this time by Yannira Acuna, off a high infield fly that second baseman Anna Vines lost in the sunlight. Arizona State's Cydney Sanders walked in the next at-bat, and an infield groundout by Jazmine Hill moved both Acuna and Sanders into scoring position with the winning run just 90 feet away. Emily Cazares hit a three-run homer to right field on the second pitch of her at-bat to walk it off on the Bruins.
UCLA scored the game's first runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seneca Curo drove in two runs with a single up the middle after Maya Brady and Alyssa Garcia recorded back-to-back base hits. Garcia went 5-for-9 in the series with two RBI.
Delanie Wisz tacked on another run in the fifth with a solo homer to go deep in back-to-back games for the first time this season and the fourth time in her UCLA career. Wisz is up to a team-best 12 home runs this season.
Briana Perez recorded two hits in the game, finishing the series 6-for-11 with three RBI and three runs. Perez now leads the team with a .400 batting average.
Pac-12 Championship Scenario
UCLA's path to a Pac-12 title remains open with only one scenario. In addition to UCLA winning all three games versus California at home next week, Arizona State must lose all three in its road trip to Washington, who is third in the conference standings. That would bring the Bruins' Pac-12 record to 19-5 and drop the Sun Devils to 18-6, which would remove any tiebreaker scenario.
UCLA closes its regular season at Easton Stadium next week in a three-game series versus California beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. PT. The contest can be viewed on the Pac-12 Networks.