LAKEWOOD, Calif. - Down to their last strike in Monday’s doubleheader opener, the second-ranked Bruins scored five times in the top of the seventh to rally for a 10-6 victory over Long Beach State and swept the twinbill with an 8-1 win in the nightcap at Mayfair Park.
The Bruins move to 41-4 overall with the sweep, while the 49ers fall to 33-13.
In game one, junior Ally Carda tied a career high with five runs batted in, driving in the go-ahead tallies in the seventh. She had two hits, as did freshman Delaney Spaulding, with the Bruins recording seven hits.
Senior Jessica Hall moved to 15-2 in the circle with five innings of stellar relief, striking out four and giving up a run, three hits and no walks. She retired the first nine batters she faced, striking out a pair in the fifth. Sophomore Paige McDuffee started the game and struck out one in two innings, allowing five runs (three earned), three hits and one walk.
Long Beach State got on the board on one swing of the bat in the first. Shayna Kimbrough led off with a bunt single and moved up two bases following two ground outs. After a walk to Karli Sandoval, Ashlynn Booker hit a three-run homer to right-center to make it 3-0.
Carda matched Booker’s homer with one in the second to even the score. Sophomore Brittany Moeai led off with a walk, and two outs later, sophomore Allexis Bennett reached on an infield single in front of the circle. Carda followed with a mammoth home run to left, her eighth of the season, to tie things up at three.
Two UCLA errors led to a pair of unearned runs in Long Beach’s half of the second. Darian Tautalafua and Hannah De Gaetano were on third and second, respectively, after two errors at short by Spaulding. One out later, Kimbrough doubled to left-center to bring in both runners and put the 49ers up by two.
The Bruins tied things up in the fifth. Spaulding led off with a double to right and junior Stephany LaRosa was hit by a pitch, with junior Gracie Goulder running for LaRosa. One out later, freshman Gabrielle Maurice smacked a ground-rule double to left-center to score Spaulding to make it 5-4. After a walk to Moeai, Hall lifted a deep fly ball to right, which allowed Goulder to score from third to tie the game up.
The 49ers re-took the lead in the sixth, as Sandoval homered to left to put the home team up 6-5.
In the seventh, Maurice led off with a walk, and one out later, Hall was hit by a pitch. Another out later, Bennett drew a walk to load the bases for Carda. Down in the count 1-2, the junior laced a single up the middle to score Maurice and Hall to give the visitors a 7-6 lead. Spaulding followed with a single to left to plate Bennett to make it 8-6, as Carda moved to third and Spaulding to second on the throw home. With junior Jessica Amaral running for Carda, LaRosa drew a walk to load the bases for sophomore Mysha Sataraka, who doubled down the left-field line to bring home Amaral and Spaulding with runs nine and 10.
In the nightcap, the Bruins scored eight unanswered runs to finish the sweep. LaRosa was 4-for-4, her sixth-career, four-hit game, while Maurice had three hits and three RBI, as the Bruins had a dozen hits.
Hall and Carda teamed up for a three-hitter in the circle. Carda got the win in relief to improve to 23-2. The junior tossed four innings of hitless ball, striking out seven and allowing only one batter to reach on a leadoff walk in the seventh. She fanned a pair in the fourth, fifth and seventh. Coming off her five-inning performance in game one, Hall struck out three in three frames, giving up a run, three hits and no walks, fanning a pair in the second.
The Bruins spotted the 49ers the first run on a Tautalafua homer to left with two outs in the third.
It was all UCLA after that. LaRosa hit the first pitch of the fourth inning out to left for her 12th of the season to even the score. One out later, Maurice reached on an infield single to short and Moeai walked. Hall followed with a single up the middle to bring in Maurice to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
In the fifth, the Bruins added four more. With one out, Spaulding singled to left and LaRosa singled to right, with junior Sam Duran coming in to run for LaRosa. Sataraka then singled to left to bring in Spaulding with the Bruins’ third run. Maurice followed with a homer to right, her fourth of the year, to extend the lead to 6-1.
UCLA added single runs in the sixth and seventh. With one out in the sixth, Bennett tripled to right and came home on a ground out to second by Carda to make it 7-1. In the seventh, LaRosa led off with a single to left, her fourth hit of the game, and was pinch-run for by Amaral, who moved to second one out later on a bunt single by Maurice. Moeai followed with a single to right to plate Amaral to make it 8-1.
The Bruins travel to Berkeley this weekend for a three-game set at California, Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m. Free audio will be available for the first two games at UCLABruins.com, while the third contest will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.