March 8, 2013
LAKEWOOD, Calif. - The ninth-ranked Bruins dropped a 2-1 decision to #23 Virginia Tech in Friday's first game, but rebounded with a 6-3 victory in the nightcap against Long Beach State at the LBSU Invitational at Mayfair Park. Sophomore Ally Carda homered twice and drove in five at the plate, also earning a win and fanning nine in 6 2/3 innings of work.
In game one, the Bruins had the tying run 60 feet away with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but were unable to tie things up in a 2-1 loss. Junior Jessica Hall (2-2) allowed just one run and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, posting 1-2-3 innings in the first and third, while Carda tossed 2 1/3 frames of relief, striking out two and giving up a run, five hits and one walk. At the plate, the Bruins had three hits.
After four scoreless innings in which the Hokies (15-1) had just three hits and the Bruins (18-4) were held hitless, Virginia Tech got on the board in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Bkaye Smith tripled to left and came home on a Lauren Gaskill homer to center to make it 2-0.
UCLA got its first hit of the game in the bottom of the sixth on a leadoff double by sophomore Gracie Goulder, but she would be stranded there. In the seventh, the Bruins finally got on the scoreboard, as Carda led off the frame with her seventh homer of the season to left-center to cut the deficit to 2-1. One out later, junior Alyssa Tiumalu hit a ball in front of Virginia Tech right fielder Kat Banks, who dove and missed it, allowing Tiumalu to record her first-career triple. Sophomore Sam Duran then laid a bunt down the first-base side, but Tiumalu was unable to come home on it, as Duran was thrown out at first for the second out. Freshman Allexis Bennett followed with a sharp line drive to the left side, but Smith dove and snared it to keep the Bruins from tying things up and ending the game.
Carda (12-2) also picked up the win in the circle, striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings and giving up one earned run (three total), six hits and two walks. The sophomore struck out three in the fifth and also got some help on defense, as Moeai in the first inning and Goulder in the fourth each caught line drives and turned them into double plays. Hall earned the save, striking out three (two in the sixth) in 1 2/3 frames of shutout relief, giving up only one hit.
The Bruins (19-4) netted a pair in the top of the first. UCLA loaded the bases on singles by Goulder and Bates and a walk to sophomore Stephany LaRosa. One out later, Carda singled up the middle to plate Goulder and Bates to put UCLA up 2-0.
UCLA added another in the third. With one out, the Bruins loaded the bases on a walk to Tiumalu, a single by Moeai and freshman Britney Rodriguez reaching on an error. Bennett then tapped a grounder to short for the second out, but Tiumalu came home with the Bruins' third run.
The 49ers (12-8) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Nalani St. Germain led off with a double to left and scored on a single up the middle by Darian Tautalafua to make it 3-1.
UCLA got the run back in the top of the fifth. Moeai led off with a single to right-center and moved to second on a Rodriguez sacrifice. Bennett then laid down a perfect drag bunt in front of the plate for an infield single, and when Long Beach catcher Dana Garcia's throw to first went down the right-field line, Moeai scored to make it 4-1.
The 49ers added two in their half of the fifth. With one out, Garcia struck out, but reached first on a passed ball. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Garcia scored one out later on a double to right-center by Bree Stephan to make it 4-2. Hannah De Gaetano followed with a single up the middle to plate Stephan to cut the deficit to 4-3.
UCLA answered again, scoring two in the top of the sixth. LaRosa started things off with a ground-rule double to left-center and moved to third on a sacrifice by Hall. Carda then crushed her eighth homer of the season and second of the evening over the Green Monster-style fence in left field to put the Bruins on top 6-3.
The Bruins are back in action on Saturday against South Alabama at 2 p.m. Gametracker will be available at UCLABruins.com, in addition to live updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.