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Megan Faraimo does it all as No. 5 UCLA rallies to beat No. 12 Duke in Game 1 of Super Regionals

May 27, 2022
Megan Faraimo (Photo: Ross Turteltaub)

LOS ANGELES – Megan Faraimo tossed a complete game and picked up the game-winning base hit in the sixth inning of the No. 5-seed UCLA softball team's 3-2 win against No. 12 Duke Friday evening at Easton Stadium.

Faraimo, who improved to 22-4 on the season, retired the final 14 Blue Devils. She surrendered four hits and struck out 10 – her 10th double-digit strikeout performance of the campaign. Duke's leadoff hitter scored the game's first run and the Blue Devils led until Faraimo picked up the two-run single as a pinch hitter in the game's penultimate inning. Kinsley Washington went 4-for-4 for the Bruins (47-8).

Rachel Crabtree and Ana Gold drove in runs for Duke (44-10), which will try to extend the three-game series Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 is set to televise the second game. Jala Wright (13-5) took the loss for Duke.

Duke wasted no time getting on the board, as Crabtree doubled in Jameson Kavel -- who drew a leadoff walk – to make it 1-0 with one out in the top of the first inning. No further damage was done, though, as Faraimo struck out the final two batters. In the bottom half, Washington and Briana Perez led off with back-to-back singles and both reached scoring position, but the threat was stopped there.

Gold hit a one-out home run in the top of the second to increase the Blue Devils' lead to 2-0. A two-out walk to Thessa Malau'ulu was all the Bruins could muster in their at bats.

The top of Duke's order started the third with a pair of singles. One out later, Faraimo induced a ground-ball double play to bring UCLA back to the plate. Washington led off the Bruins' half of the inning with a single, but was thrown out trying to score on a Perez double with no one out. Perez reached third base, but that proved all.

Faraimo recorded her first 1-2-3 inning of the night in the fourth, striking out a pair. The Bruins' leadoff hitter reached base for the third time in four opportunities, this time Alyssa Garcia by fielding error, but Wright again nixed their hopes of scoring.

Faraimo continued to settle in, retiring the Blue Devils again in order to start the fifth inning. Washington logged her third hit of the night and reached second on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom half. Wisz capitalized on the runner in scoring position, driving the ball to the right-centerfield gap to bring Washington home and cut UCLA's deficit in half.

Duke was kept off the basepaths by Faraimo again in the top of the sixth. The Bruins then maneuvered two baserunners into scoring position with two outs and brought Faraimo to the plate as a pinch hitter. She made the most of her opportunity, singling to right for UCLA's first lead of the night.

Lead in hand, Faraimo shut the door on the Blue Devils. She struck out the first two batters of the seventh inning and forced Gold to foul out to Godin in left field.