By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was a solid weekend for Maya Brady as she knocked in a career high six runs in the series finale helping UCLA sweep a
four game set from 11th ranked Arizona State at Easton Stadium. The redshirt freshman from Thousand Oaks went to ‘Rip City’ in the first inning of the game giving the host a 4-0 lead on the way to a 9-0 run rule (5 inning) victory. It was the ninth run-rule win of the season for the Bruins (19-1, 3-0 PAC-12).
Brady the Softball America Freshman of the Year in 2020 had a dominant series with 3-homers, 6 hits and 8 RBI’s over the weekend.
Defensively she showed her athleticism game two of the series. While playing centerfield he Oaks Christian graduate came running in full speed to make a diving one-handed grab for the out.
Freshman infielder Thessa Malau’ulu (St. Anthony’s-Long Beach) scored two runs while playing solid defense at third base.
“This year we have speed, depth and power,” said Junior Aaliah Jordan. “Like three-prez (Brianna Perez) she can put down a bunt and the next at-bat she can go long.”
Super sophomore Megan Faraimo (Cathedral Catholic high) ran her record to 10-1 with two wins and 18 strikeouts including 10 in one game giving up just five hits in her 15 innings of work.
Rachael Garcia (Highland high, Palmdale )had 16 K’s in 13 innings of work allowing just seven hits.
In the series opener it was scoreless until Garcia helped her cause by leading off the bottom of the 4th with a solo blast over the left field wall giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
That stood until the Sun Devils McKenna Harper homered in the top of the seventh helping send the game into extra innings.
Brianna Perez led off the bottom of the eight with a bunt. She was then scored when Aailah Jordan ripped double to right center giving UCLA a walk off 2-1 win. Jordan finished the weekend with six hits including a career high 4 hits in game two.
Before the game both teams took a knee to recognize social injustice. Jordan is a leader for the cause she states: “Athletes have a platform we can use against social injustices. Luckily, we have a coaching staff that allows us to recognize them. I just want to be a role model for other little girls around the world so they can use their voices.”