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No. 6 UCLA Closes Regular Season Versus California

May 11, 2022
Megan Faraimo

LOS ANGELES – The No. 6 UCLA softball team plays its final regular-season series when it welcomes California to Easton Stadium for three games. Games one and two between the Bruins (40-8, 16-5 Pac-12) and Golden Bears (28-24-1, 8-13 Pac-12) on Thursday and Friday are both scheduled for 7 p.m. PT. UCLA will honor its 2022 senior class on Saturday prior to first pitch at 2 p.m. PT.

GAME 1: Thursday, May 12
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 7 p.m. PT
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson
Live Stats
GAME 2: Friday, May 13
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 7 p.m. PT
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson
Live Stats
GAME 3: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Easton Stadium
First Pitch: 2 p.m. PT
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson
Live Stats

• UCLA is 40-8 on the year with a 1-3 mark to begin the month of May 
• Megan Faraimo was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year for the first time in her career on Wednesday
• Briana Perez was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her career
    • Perez is the first Bruin in program history to be named to four consecutive All-Pac-12 Defensive Teams
• UCLA has shutout its opponents 18 times this season 
• The Bruins' pitching staff ranks second nationally with a 1.47 earned run average, trailing only No. 1 Oklahoma (0.75)
• UCLA ranks first in the conference in ERA (1.47), strikeouts (407), K/7 (9.23) and WHIP (0.82)
• The Bruins have won five of their seven Pac-12 weekend series this year, including four sweeps
• The Shelly Carlin UCLA Head Softball Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez recorded the 700th win of her career at Washington on March 27
• The Bruins opened their conference schedule with a program record 10-0 start
• Megan Faraimo set a new UCLA single-season record for saves with her sixth of the year in game two against Utah (4/30)
• Faraimo, Lauren Shaw and Holly Azevedo have combined to throw five no-hitters, including three perfect games this year
    • UCLA has thrown 5+ no-hitters in a single season five times, last accomplished in 2002
• Shortstop Briana Perez became the fourth member of UCLA's 300 hits club at Oregon State on April 23 (now at 313)
    • She joins her sister Kylee Perez (301), Stacey Nuveman (322) and Natasha Watley (395)

UCLA went 1-2 in its series at Arizona State last week.
    • Game 1: The Sun Devils 1-4 hitters went a combined 9-for-14, including three homers, for five RBI in their 6-1 victory over the Bruins in game one. 
    • Game 2: UCLA bounced back in game two to beat Arizona State 9-3. The Bruins compiled 16 hits for their most in a Pac-12 contest this season (second most total). UCLA's 1-5 hitters went a combined 13-for-20 with seven RBI, including two home runs. Kinsley Washington, Briana Perez, Delanie Wisz and Alyssa Garcia all recorded three hits in the game. The Bruins' offensive attack was highlighted by back-to-back jacks in the fourth inning, the first being a three-run bomb by Perez and the second a solo shot by Wisz to left field. 
    • Game 3: The Bruins took a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning thanks to a two-RBI be Seneca Curo and solo shot by Wisz earlier in the game. After Faraimo loaded the bases with no outs, she dug deep for two big strikeouts, the latter punching out Mailey McLemore in a 10-pitch bout. However, Arizona State's Bella Loomis, on her Senior Day, hit a game-tying double to right center field to clear the bases. The Sun Devils walked it off with a three-run homer the next bottom half. 

Briana Perez surpassed Natasha Watley for UCLA's career runs scored record when she crossed home plate in game two of the Arizona State series last Saturday for the 253rd run of her career. Perez achieved the record in the 250th game of her career. Watley scored her 252 runs in 251 career games. Now up to 254 runs, Perez has averaged 1.01 runs scored a game in her 251-game career. 

Briana Perez was honored as 2022 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Bruin to ever win the award in its 17-year history. Perez, who is the only player in UCLA history to be awarded to four All-Pac-12 Defensive Teams, is the first player other than Washington's Sis Bates to take home the award since 2017. This season, Perez sports a .938 fielding percentage with 56 putouts and 64 assists. Perez has a lifetime .933 fielding percentage as the Bruins' everyday shortstop.

Briana and Kylee Perez (2015-18) are just the second NCAA DI sister duo to each record 300 career hits, joining Sydney Romero (Oklahoma) and Sierra Romero (Michigan). They are the only sister duo to each record 300 career hits for the same program. Briana homered on the ninth pitch of her at-bat to leadoff game three against Oregon State to surpass her sister's career 301 hits mark. 

• Briana Perez, who is back up to a .400 batting average on the year for her highest mark since the 2020 season, led the Bruins with six hits and 11 total bases at Arizona State last weekend. Three of those hits were for extra bases, including a monstrous three-run homer in the fourth inning to break game two wide open, 7-3.
• In UCLA's last 10 games, Perez leads the Bruins with a .429 batting average (15-for-35), nine RBI, six extra-base hits and is tied with Wisz for three home runs.
• In game two at Utah, Perez showcased three of her five tools – hitting, power and speed – with an inside-the-park home run off the top of the Easton Stadium center field wall to help UCLA to the 2-0 victory.

• Alyssa Garcia was moved up to the fifth spot in the lineup for all three games at Arizona State and did not disappoint, leading the Bruins with a .556 batting average (5-for-9) on the weekend and knocking in two runs.
• It was Garcia's third, fourth and fifth time hitting in the five hole all season, and her first appearance in the No. 5 spot since game two versus No. 12 Oregon on April 2. 

Delanie Wisz leads the Pac-12 in conference play with a .429 batting average and .536 on-base percentage. Wisz, who is UCLA's No. 3 hitter, leads the Bruins in Pac-12 play with a .524 batting average with runners in scoring position. After being tied with the team-lead in home runs in 2021, Wisz is once again at the top of the home runs category for the Bruins with 12 homers in 2022.

Delanie Wisz has a knack for clutch hits. Seven of her nine 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:
    • Game 1 at Oregon State (4/22): Solo homer and a go-ahead 2-RBI double on a 3-2 count with two outs in top of seventh
    • Game 1 at Stanford (4/8): Go-ahead solo homer to dead center in eighth inning to help UCLA to 3-1 extra-innings W
    • Game 3 at Washington (3/27): Solo homer in the seventh proved to be the winning run in UCLA's 5-4 triumph
    • Game 2 vs. Oregon (4/2): UCLA rode her two-run homer in the first inning and RBI single to 5-2 victory

• Kinsley Washington went 3-for-5 with three infield singles and scored twice in game two at Arizona State last weekend. 
• The performance marked Washington's fourth game with three hits in 2022 which is tied with Briana Perez for most on the squad.
    • Before that game, Washington was 3-for-3 with two doubles versus Cal State Fullerton on April 27.
    • Washington was 3-for-4 and a single shy of the cycle versus Northwestern at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Feb. 18. Washington's double, triple and homer against the Wildcats is one of two games with three extra-base hits by a Bruin this season (Savannah Pola; 2 2B, HR vs. Texas A&M on March 5).
    • Washington went 3-for-3 with a homer in UCLA's season opener versus CSUN on Feb. 10.
• Washington opened 2022 on a tear, establishing a new season-high of five home runs just 10 games into the season.
• Washington led UCLA in its pre-conference schedule with a .432 batting average, .511 on-base percentage and 30 runs and was second with 15 extra-base hits.
• In her final year in Westwood, Washington ranks third on the team with a season-high .359 batting average and 11 doubles.

The Bruins boast the top two leaders in earned run average in the Pac-12 in Lauren Shaw (0.95) and Holly Azevedo (1.28) as well as the 2022 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Megan Faraimo, who leads the conference with 244 strikeouts.

Joining Faraimo and Perez on the Pac-12 First Team are seniors Delanie Wisz and Holly Azevedo, both for the first time of their careers. UCLA is tied with Arizona State for the most representatives on the first team. This marks the sixth time UCLA has featured a pitching duo on the Pac-12 First Team, and it is the first time one of those two Bruins hasn't been Rachel Garcia since Amanda Freed and Keira Goerl were both listed on the first team in 2002. Maya Brady, Kinsley Washington and Savannah Pola were named to the third team. 

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.

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 all Pac-12 freshmen and UCLA with 13 doubles as well as ranks fifth on the team with a .336 batting average and fourth with 36 RBI. 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. Pola has recorded 11 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI performances.

Kinsley Washington as named a top 20 candidate for the 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year award, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education . In addition to their athletic ability, the students named 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are students of color who have maintained a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 and have been active on their campuses or in their communities. Of the nearly 1,000 scholar-athletes nominated, one male and one female athlete will be selected as Sports Scholar of the Year. Washington has played a role in a bevy of community service activities during her five years in Westwood. She has volunteered with UCLA softball legend Natasha Watley and her nonprofit organization, the Natasha Watley Foundation, to help bring the sport of softball to historically marginalized communities. 

UCLA has made a tournament-record 36 appearances in the NCAA Softball Championship and holds a record of 225-62 (.784). During the Regional round, the Bruins are 103-16 (.866) and have gone undefeated 24 times. Since Regional play moved to a four-team format in 2005, the Bruins are 45-11 (.804), advancing to Super Regionals in '05-'06, '08-'10 and '14-'19 and '21 (11 out of 16 years).