April 6, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The 15th-ranked Bruins won the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against Utah 6-4, but dropped the nightcap 7-4 at Ute Softball Stadium. Freshman Brittany Moeai had three hits in the twinbill, while senior B.B. Bates and sophomore Stephany LaRosa hit home runs.
The Bruins move to 26-12 overall and 3-8 in Pac-12 play, while the Utes put their record to 15-20-1 and 2-9 in league action.
In game one, the Bruins scored all six of their runs with two outs, as each of the first six players in the lineup registered a hit. UCLA had eight as a team, as sophomores Ally Carda and Gracie Goulder each posted a pair.
In the circle, Carda earned the win to move to 17-6 on the year, striking out two in four innings and allowing four runs, six hits and three walks. Junior Jessica Hall relieved Carda in the fifth and tossed three innings of shutout relief to earn her second save of the year and eighth of her career, which moves her into second on UCLA's all-time list. The junior retired all three batters she faced in the fifth and seventh, giving up two hits and striking out one.
The Bruins rallied with two outs in their first at-bat. Goulder led off the game with a double down the left-field line, and one out later, moved to third on a ground out to the right side by LaRosa. Carda then singled to right to plate Goulder with the Bruins' first run.
In their first at-bat, the Utes scored three times. Chalese Fankhauser singled up the middle to open the frame, Jackie Sweet singled to left and Kate Dickman hit one deep into the right-field gap and came all the way around to score for an inside-the-park home run to make it 3-1.
UCLA came back with a four spot on one swing of the bat in the second. Moeai singled to center to start the inning, but was forced at second on a fielder's choice grounder to short off the bat of freshman Mysha Sataraka. Senior Devon Lindvall then tapped a ball to the same spot at short, but Kelsi Hoopiiaina bobbled it, allowing Sataraka to reach second. Freshman Allexis Bennett was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and one out later, Bates crushed her second grand slam of the season and 15th homer of the year to right-center to put the Bruins back up 5-3.
In the top of the fifth, the Bruins scored another run with two outs. LaRosa singled to right and Carda doubled to right-center to put the visitors up 6-3. Hall followed with a single to left, but Carda was thrown out at home to keep it a three-run difference.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sweet led off Utah's at-bat with a walk and scored on a triple down the right-field line by Dickman to bring it back to a two-run game at 6-4. Hall came in though and kept the damage to one run, retiring the next three batters on just five pitches to keep it a two-run score.
In the sixth, the Utes had a great chance with runners at third and second and two outs, but Sweet smashed a hard-hit line drive right into the glove of LaRosa at short to keep the Bruins up by two.
In the nightcap, Bates and Moeai each posted a pair of hits, as the Bruins again had eight as a team. All three UCLA pitchers saw time in the circle. Hall (4-5) started and struck out one in two innings, giving up four runs (two earned) and three hits. Carda also pitched two frames and fanned one, giving up a run, a hit and a walk. Freshman Paige McDuffee also threw two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and four hits.
The Utes scored a pair of runs in the first and three in the second. In the first, Fankhauser reached on an error by LaRosa at short, stole second and scored one out later on a triple to left-center from Dickman to make it 1-0. Dickman then scored on a squeeze bunt from Hoopiiaina to give the Utes their second run. In the second, back-to-back doubles to open the frame from Marissa Mendenhall and Mariah Ramirez made it 3-0. Two outs later, Fankhauser homered to left to bring Utah's advantage to 5-0.
UCLA got three runs in the third on one swing. Bennett led off the inning with a bunt single back to the pitcher, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice grounder to second by Goulder. Bates followed with a double down the left-field line to put a pair on for LaRosa, who hit her ninth homer of the season to right-center to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Utah added solo runs in the fourth and fifth. Ramirez led off the fourth with a single to right and was pinch-run for by Trina Gomez, who moved to second when Shelby Pacheco reached on an error by sophomore third baseman Sam Duran. A sacrifice by Katelyn Elliott moved both runners over, and one out later, Sweet singled to right to bring in Gomez to make it 6-3, as Pacheco was gunned down at home by Carda in right to keep another run from scoring. The Utes added another run in the fifth when Dickman hit her second homer of the day to right to make it 7-3.
In the sixth, the Bruins scored one, but wasted a golden opportunity to get back to even. To start the inning, Carda walked and Hall reached on a fielding error by Hoopiiaina at short. With sophomore Tara Mueller running for Hall, Moeai singled up the middle to bring in Carda to make it 7-4. After a wild pitch moved Mueller to third and Moeai to second, Sataraka smashed a ball off Utah third baseman Kristen Stewart, reaching safely for an infield single to load the bases with still nobody out. But freshman Britney Rodriguez lined into a double play to third, as Mueller was caught off the bag, and Bennett flied out to center to end the inning.
The Bruins and the Utes finish up their three-game series on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT. Gametracker and free audio will be available at UCLABruins.com, as well as live updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.