No.2 ranked UCLA secures 7-2 victory over CSUN Softball

UCLA took a trip up to Northridge for an out-of-conference matchup against the CSUN Matadors on Tuesday afternoon. The red-hot Bruins entered the match with a 16-game winning streak including sweeping Arizona State this past weekend to hold an impressive 43-4 record, and as of this week are currently ranked 2nd in NCAA Women’s Softball RPI. As for the Matadors, they entered the matchup at 19-21, two games below five hundred, but were coming off a series win against UC Riverside and looking to continue their winning streak with a midweek matchup against the Bruins.

Lauryn Carranco took the circle to start the game for the Matadors with a 4-6 season record and 3.41 season era. Taylor Tinsley got the nod to start the game for the Bruins, displaying an impressive 1.30 season era and a 6-1 season record. UCLA came out swinging in the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead thanks to infield errors committed by the Matadors. Kennedy Powell went on to score on a single and also drove in Carter, who scored on a throwing error committed by the shortstop Sydney Freijanes. Lauryn Carranco was taken out of the game for right-hander Alexis Martinez in the top of the 3rd inning, ending her night at 2 innings pitched, 1 hit allowed, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.

After the scoring in the top of the 2nd, it was a defensive and pitching battle for CSUN and UCLA as both teams prevented either team from scoring until the bottom of the 4th when we would see a response from CSUN. In an attempt to cut the 2-run deficit, Kaylee Escutia who led off with a lead off single would prove to be decisive when Alexa Landeros would single to center field and drive in Escutia for the Matadors first run. The Bruins would record an out on the play as pinch runner Bella Mejia, who entered for Kelli Godin after she walked, would be called out attempting to make her way to home. UCLA would replace Taylor Tinsley with Brooke Yanez, which would end Tinsley’s night at 3.2 innings pitched, with 1 run allowed, 6 hits allowed, and 1 strikeout. Yanez would go on to record a groundout for the third out of the inning to escape the bottom of the 4th.

With UCLA feeling the pressure from the Matadors, they added four runs to their lead with two outs in the top of the 5th. Jordan Woolery singled to right field to drive in Lauren Hatch to push the lead back to two runs at 3-1 and then Alyssa Garcia added another two runs, driving in Cid and Woolery off a single. Powell finished the scoring outburst when she singled through the right side to score Pinedo for a 6-1 lead going on to the bottom of the 5th. The Matadors weren’t going down without a fight when they loaded the bases and Mikayla Carman drove in Freijanes on a fielder’s choice for the second run of the game for CSUN. Escutia and Galindo were unable to capitalize, as they would strikeout swinging allowing the Bruins to escape that inning.

There was a lone shot to center field by Ramsey Suarez for the seventh run for UCLA that would extend the lead to five for the bruins going into the bottom of the seventh. Brooke Yanez would go the distance and finish the outing with 3.1 innings pitched with 5 strikeouts, while only allowing 1 run to collect the win. Lauren Carranco would get the loss for the Matadors, and Coach Morgan would speak about how UCLA capitalized on CSUN’s mistakes in the early part of the game, “I thought UCLA did a good job on capitalizing on our mistakes with two outs and gave them a handful of runs but that’s what good teams do, they’re gonna capitalize on the mistakes and play hard and our team knows that.” She went on to say that the midweek game against UCLA is just another chance to improve and get ready for the final stretch of the season, “Midweeks are an opportunity to get better and an opportunity to do some things we need to practice on so we were able to get everyone on our roster which we need since we have three weeks of conference and every win matters.”

The loss drops CSUN to 19-22 for the season, and the Matadors now look to bounce back when they host CSU Bakersfield this weekend. As for the Bruins, the win improves their record to 44-4 and keeps their win streak alive at 17 games. They now look to extend it when they face off against Utah in Salt Lake City for a Pac-12 showdown.

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