May 8, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The 12th-ranked Bruins honored their five seniors prior to Sunday's game against #11 Arizona, but it was an outstanding effort from the underclassmen that boosted UCLA to a victory, as sophomore Destiny Rodino and freshman Jessica Hall combined on a six-hitter in the circle and sophomore Devon Lindvall and freshman Alyssa Tiumalu each homered in a 5-1 win at Easton Stadium.
The Bruins improve to 32-15 overall and 8-10 in Pac-10 play, while the Wildcats fall to 39-14 and 10-8 in league action.
Rodino (2-0) was superb in just her second start and third appearance of the season, striking out one and giving up a run, six hits and one walk. She retired the side in order twice in the second and fourth innings. Hall tossed two hitless innings of relief to earn her second save of the year, striking out three and retiring six of the seven batters she faced, allowing only a two-out walk in the seventh.
Arizona scored in its opening at-bat. With one out, Lauren Schutzler singled up the middle and moved to second on a single by Brigette Del Ponte when freshman Kellie Fox lost sight of a pop up in shallow left field. One out later, Kristen Arriola doubled to the left-field wall to bring home Schutzler, but a great relay from Harrison to Fox to Tiumalu gunned down Del Ponte at the plate.
The Bruins tied the score in the bottom of the first. With two down, Fox doubled to right-center and came home on a single to right by Harrison to make it 1-1.
UCLA took the lead in the fourth. Harrison led off with a single up the middle and came home one out later when Tiumalu smashed her ninth homer of the season to left on a 2-1 pitch to put the Bruins on top 3-1.
In the fifth, Arizona nearly tied the game, but Lindvall made a dazzling play in center worthy of a highlight on SportsCenter. With Ashlee Brawley on first and two outs, Brittany Lastrapes launched a deep shot to center, but Lindvall jumped and made the catch while crashing into the wall to keep the Bruins in the lead.
The very next pitch in the bottom of the fifth would be another shining moment for Lindvall, as she crushed a leadoff offering over the wall in right for her second homer of the season to make it 4-1.
Arizona had another chance in the sixth after getting a leadoff walk to Schutzler and a single to left by Del Ponte. But Hall came in and struck out Stacie Chambers, induced Arriola into a pop up to short and fanned Karissa Buchanan looking to get the Bruins out of it.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Bruins added an insurance run, again thanks to Lindvall. With one out, Tiumalu walked and was pinch-run for by senior Grace Murray, who moved to second on a single to right by Camuso. One out later, Lindvall singled to left to plate Murray with UCLA's fifth run.
The Bruins close out the regular season next weekend at Oregon with a three-game series starting on Thursday at 6 p.m. Gametracker and free live audio will be available at UCLABruins.com.