LOS ANGELES - Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Bruins scored five times, starting with a game-tying home run by sophomore Mysha Sataraka and culminating with a walk-off, grand slam by junior Gracie Goulder, as third-ranked UCLA defeated #6 Arizona 8-4 on Sunday at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins improve to 25-1 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play, while the Wildcats fall to 23-5 and 0-2 in league action.
UCLA had eight hits at the plate and also drew 10 walks, as each player in the starting nine reached base, with eight recording one hit.
In the circle, senior Jessica Hall got the start and struck out nine in six-plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned), three walks and five hits. Hall had a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth and struck out a pair in the first, second, fourth and fifth frames. Junior Ally Carda (15-1) picked up the win in relief, giving up a run and two hits in one inning.
The Bruins jumped all over the Wildcats with three runs in the first. Junior Stephany LaRosa led things off with an opposite field homer to right, her fourth of the season, to make it 1-0. Carda followed with a single through the 5-6 hole, freshman Delaney Spaulding reached on a bunt single and Sataraka sacrificed both runners over. A sacrifice fly to left by sophomore Brittany Moeai brought home Carda to make it 2-0, with Spaulding alertly taking third. Hall then singled up the middle to plate Spaulding with the Bruins’ third run.
Arizona got one back in the second when Lauren Young homered to left-center with two outs to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The score remained 3-1 until the seventh, but not without some rallies by both teams falling by the wayside. The Bruins left a pair on base in the third and sixth and the bases loaded in the fourth. Arizona stranded two in the fourth and sixth innings.
In the seventh, the first two base runners for the Wildcats got on when Courtney Rodriguez walked and Hallie Wilson reached when a comebacker to Hall was thrown low to second by the Bruin pitcher. With Carda into the circle and a Chelsea Suitos sacrifice moving both runners up, Kellie Fox hit a homer to left to put the visitors up 4-3.
It wouldn’t be a Bruin deficit for long, as Sataraka led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer to left-center, her team-high eighth of the season, to even the score at four. One out later, Hall walked and was pinch-run for by junior Jessica Amaral. Freshman Gabrielle Maurice was hit by a pitch and freshman Jelly Felix walked to load the bases for Goulder, who slammed her first home run of the season out to center for the Bruins’ fifth walk-off victory of the year.
The Bruins and the Wildcats wrap up their three-game set on Monday at 5 p.m. at Easton Stadium. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free UCLA softball koozie. The contest will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.