No. 5 UCLA Falls to Texas in WCWS Opener
OKLAHOMA CITY – The fifth-seeded UCLA softball team dropped its first game of the NCAA Championships in Women's College World series action Thursday, suffering a 7-2 loss to Texas at Hall of Fame Stadium.
With the loss, the Bruins (48-9) next face the loser of Thursday's second game between No. 1-seed Oklahoma and No. 9 Northwestern. First pitch in the matchup of non-advancing teams is set for 4 p.m. PT Friday, with ESPN2 providing television coverage.
Delanie Wisz accounted for UCLA's scoring in its opener with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Wisz and Kinsley Washington tallied two hits apiece. Megan Faraimo (22-5) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits over 2.1 innings. The Bruins entered the contest riding an eight-game winning streak.
Mia Scott led the way for the Longhorns (44-19-1), going 4-for-4. Bella Dayton and Mary Iakopo each homered. Hailey Dolcini (23-10) picked up the win, allowing two runs on six hits in a complete-game effort.
The Longhorns put a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs in the first inning, but Faraimo got out of the jam via a strikeout of Katie Cimusz. A one-out single by Wisz in the bottom of the frame brought Briana Perez to home plate, but she was thrown out there by centerfielder Bella Dayton to put a stop to the Bruins' scoring hopes.
Faraimo retired the Longhorns in order to start the second, quickly bringing UCLA back to the plate. All the Bruins were able to manage, though, was a two-out walk by Anna Vines.
Texas got scoring started in the third inning, as Dayton led off with a single, stole second and came home on a one-out triple by Scott. An Alyssa Washington single followed for the second run. Mary Iakopo then homered to left field, increasing the Longhorns' lead to 4-0 and driving Faraimo from the game. Kinsley Washington reached on a one-out single in the Bruins' at bats, but she was cut down as part of an inning-ending double play.
Texas struck again in the top of the fourth with a two-out rally against Holly Azevedo. It was extra bases again for Scott, who doubled in Jefferson to make it 5-0. Maya Brady walked on four pitches with one out in the bottom of the inning, but that was all UCLA could muster.
Iakopo drew a walk to begin the fifth, but the next three batters were sent back to the dugout with no further damage done. Dolcini retired the side in the bottom half.
JJ Smith registered a leadoff single to get the sixth inning underway. With pinch runner Alyssa Popelka on second base after a stolen base, Dayton sent Azevedo's final pitch over the right-field wall to make it 7-0. Lauren Shaw got each of the three outs in relief. The Bruins got on the board their next time up, as Kinsley Washington hit a leadoff single and Wisz homered to left field, cutting their deficit to 7-2.
Cimusz worked a walk to start the seventh for the Longhorns, who put runners on first and second before getting set down. A 1-2-3 bottom half put an end to UCLA's thoughts of a late-inning rally.