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UCLA Advances to WCWS Semifinals Behind Azevedo Shutout

Jun 5, 2022
Holly Azevedo (Photo: NCAA)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The fifth-seeded UCLA softball team advanced to the semifinal round of the Women's College World Series Sunday, earning an 8-0 mercy-rule win against No. 14 Florida at Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Bruins (50-9) scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to complete their victory in walk-off fashion. They next face top-seeded Oklahoma Monday at 9 a.m. PT on ESPN. If the Sooners are handed their first loss of the tournament in that contest, the teams meet again at 11:30 a.m. PT.

Holly Azevedo (21-2) tossed a complete-game shutout in her first-career WCWS start, surrendering just two hits and a walk while striking out a couple. Offensively, Maya Brady, Kelli Godin and Briana Perez logged two hits apiece. Brady and Perez drove in two runs each. Savannah Pola also plated a pair for the game's final runs.

Elizabeth Hightower (17-9) gave up two runs – one earned – and three hits in 3.1 innings for the Gators (49-19). She struck out one and walked four. UCLA drew seven walks in all and put its leadoff runner on base in each of the final four innings.

A one-out walk to Pola started a rally in the bottom of the second inning for the Bruins, with a follow-up Anna Vines single moving her into scoring position. Godin then capitalized on the opportunity, sending a line drive into right-center field to bring the game's first run home.

A walk to Pola jumpstarted UCLA's offensive efforts once more in the bottom of the fourth. Following a sacrifice bunt by Megan Faraimo, the Bruins put runners on the corners thanks to a passed-ball strikeout by reliever Rylee Trlicek of Vines. Pinch-hitter Seneca Curo got on board by way of a Skylar Wallace error at shortstop, which also allowed Pola to score. UCLA then took advantage of the extra out, extending their lead to 4-0 with a two-out infield single by Perez that scored two.

The Bruins broke it open against Natalie Lugo in the sixth inning, as walks to Perez and Wisz followed a leadoff single by Godin. Brady singled through the right side, scoring Godin and Perez. Garcia was hit by the next pitch, loading the bases again. Pola drove one to the wall in center, bringing Wisz and Brady to the plate and enacting the mercy rule.