By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
The UCLA softball season didn’t end like the team wanted but they showed perseverance in the way they played at this year’s Women’s College World Series.
The teams’ dreams ended with a 15-0 loss to number one ranked Oklahoma. It was a tough task holding down Jocelyn Alo the NCAA career home-run leader who had two homers while driving in seven in the decisive game two.
The Bruins (51-10) forced a second game by defeating the Sooners 7-3.
They got things going early as, Kinsley Washington led off the first frame with a walk. One batter later, Delanie Wisz went to “Rip City” unloading on a 1-2 pitch from starter Nicole May (15-1) to left-center field giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Megan Faraimo started and Holly Azevedo pitched three scoreless innings holding the OU offense that averaged over nine runs a game to just three.
“It just shows were a force to be reconned with the whole time,” said Maya Brady, who went “Uptown” with two homers the first game. “That maybe we didn’t get the respect that we deserved and I think that for us to come out to throw a pinch against a team like that just shows that UCLA softball is still in the running and deserves to be talked about.”
The Sooners (57-3) to the Championship Series and will take on Texas. The Longhorns (47-20) are the first unseeded team to play for the National Title.
After losing to Texas the tourney opener 7-2 the Bruins came firing back staving off elimination three straight games. They started by beating No 9 seed Northwestern 6-1.
Faraimo went the distance scattering 5 hits while striking out 10 including BIG 10 homerun king Rachael Lewis with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
The Pac12 Pitcher of The Year then led off the next inning with a homer halfway up the left field bleachers.
Continuing to fight its way out of the losers bracket the Bruins then took on No.14 seed Florida. Azevedo got her first WCWS start. Shen went six strong innings struck out two in helping to an 8-0 run rule win.
“Its moments like this we have been waiting for,” said coach Kelley Inouye-Perez after the win. “She [Azevedo] hasn’t had the opportunity to be on this stage. So I couldn’t be more happy and proud and happy for her and us that she’s pitched her game today.”
The win makes it the first time UCLA has had different pitchers win games in the same world series since Megan Langenfeld and Aleah Macon in 2010.
Faraimo (24-6) and Azevedo (21-3) are a pair of 20 game winners that were steady all year. There is more to go next season from the most storied program in women’s college sports.