The UCLA softball team appears to be ready to make its annual run deep into the NCAA Tournament.
They have won 10 of 11, and they beat the No. 5 team in the nation, Arizona, two out of three games last weekend at UCLA in the Pac-12, fifth place. They are playing solid offense and defense. Changes made a month ago on defense have paid. They moved catcher Madeline Jelenicki to first base and \ outfielder Paige Halstead to catcher.
Another Bruin who has made a big difference is all-purpose player Rachel Garcia.
Garcia, Kylee Perez, Brianna Tautalafua, Bubba Nichols and Delaney Spaulding have provided offensive firepower all season.
Although the offense has been solid, t Bruin pitchers have stepped up. Garcia and Selina Ta’amilo are keeping the Bruins in the title hunt. They shut out strong hitting Arizona in the first two games last weekend 8-0 and 6-0.
We are pulling together as a team,” said Garcia. “We are committing to what we want to go for.
“I know when I come into a game to pitch, the defense has my back. The NCAA tournament is our goal. We can do big things in the playoffs because we are aggressive at the plate and our defense is awesome.”
Halstead is having fun behind the plate. “I really love catching this pitching staff,” she said. “Everything is coming together. We put in a lot of hard work in practice. The pitchers know that I know what to do to make them successful. We work great as a team.”
The Bruin baseball team (24-21) is 13-8 in the Pac-12. They moved up to third place after they swept USC last weekend in a three-game series. They play three at Washington State this weekend. The Bruins’ last homestand of the regular season next weekend is against Utah.
The USC women’s volleyball team won the NCAA championship last week and they finished with a record of 38-1. The Trojan baseball team is 19-25, 6-15 in Pac-12 play. The Trojans travel to Utah this weekend. Their last four games start Wednesday against UC Santa Barbara. They play Oregon next weekend.
The UCLA and USC men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete in the Pac-12 championships on Saturday and Sunday in Eugene.
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