April 18, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. - Sophomore Ally Carda established a new career high with 11 strikeouts in a personal-best eight innings of relief, and also hit the go-ahead homer in the 10th to reach base for her school-record, 33rd-straight game, but the 18th-ranked Bruins lost to #22 Arizona 8-6 in 10 innings on Thursday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The Bruins, who played in their fourth-straight, extra-inning contest to set a school record, fall to 28-15 and 5-11 in league play, while the Wildcats improve to 28-17 and 5-8 in Pac-12 action.
Carda (19-8) was outstanding in the circle, posting 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and seventh and a pair of strikeouts in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth frames. She allowed three unearned runs, seven hits and two walks. Freshman Paige McDuffee started and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and four hits.
Along with her new career bests in the circle, Carda also set a UCLA record for consecutive games reaching base. After getting on via a hit, walk or hit by pitch in 32 in a row, tying the marks set by Stacey Nuveman (1999) and Natasha Watley (2001), Carda made it 33 straight with her 10th-inning home run.
The Wildcats batted around and scored five times in the second. Chelsea Goodacre singled to start the inning and Brigette Del Ponte was hit by a pitch. Lauren Young followed with a single to right-center to plate Goodacre to make it 1-0, as Del Ponte moved to third. Mandie Perez had a sacrifice fly to center to score Del Ponte for the Wildcats' second run, and one out later, Alex Lavine singled to center to put a pair on for Hallie Wilson, who doubled to left-center to plate Young to make it 3-0. Chelsea Suitos then singled to left to drive home Lavine and Wilson to make it 5-0.
The Bruins got all five runs back in the fourth, rallying with two outs after an Arizona error which would have ended the inning. Sophomore Gracie Goulder started the two-out rally with a bunt single on top of the plate. Freshman Brittany Moeai then tapped a ball to second, but it was bobbled by Suitos and went into shallow right-center, as Goulder alertly moved to third. Senior Devon Lindvall followed with a single to left-center to bring home Goulder to make it 5-1, and after another bunt single allowed freshman Allexis Bennett to reach and load the bases, Bates hit her third grand slam of the year and 16th home run to left-center to tie the score at five.
For the fourth straight game, the Bruins would play some bonus softball. UCLA had a great chance in the ninth when Moeai led off the inning with a double to center, and was pinch-run for by sophomore Tara Mueller, who moved to third on a sacrifice by Lindvall. Bennett followed by grounding out to third, and after Arizona walked Bates intentionally, the Wildcats' Shelby Babcock induced LaRosa into a pop up to second to end the inning.
In the 10th, Carda continued her on base streak, leading off the inning with her 12th homer of the season to center to put the Bruins up 6-5.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Bruins gave the Wildcats an extra chance and they capitalized to win the game. With one out, Perez singled to left-center and Courtney Rodriguez bunted a ball to third, but the throw to second was high by freshman Mysha Sataraka, putting a pair on base for Arizona. Carda fanned Lavine for the second out of the inning, but Wilson hit the first pitch she saw over the right-field fence to give the home team an 8-6 victory.
The Bruins and the Wildcats continue their three-game series on Friday at 5 p.m. The contest will be televised live on ESPNU. Gametracker will also be available at UCLABruins.com, along with live updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.