Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Reporter 

UCLA Softball Continues to Stay on Top


March 29, 2018

George Laase

The UCLA softball team is once again one of the top teams in the nation. They are off to a 25-2 start. Part of their success is due to the pitcher, catcher combination of pitcher Rachel Garcia, right, and catcher Paige Halstead. The No. 4 ranked Bruins will play Oregon State at home on Saturday at 6 p.m.,, Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 1 p.m.

What is one of the best kept sports secrets in Los Angeles? It's the UCLA Bruins softball team. They are currently 28-2 and ranked No. 4 in the nation. They are one of the best hitting teams in the nation and they have one of the best pitchers in the nation in Rachel Garcia.

Last weekend they swept Oregon State in a three game series. In the last game of the series on Monday Selina Ta'amilo pitched a complete game and their offence was led by the hitting of Aaliyah Jordan, Garcia and Kinsley Washington. Jordan had two hits and four RBI's, Garcia had two hits and two RBI's and Washington had two hits and scored a run in their 7-5 win over the Beavers.

UCLA softball has played at a high level for the past 40 years. Great players and outstanding coaches have kept the Bruins on top of college softball world for a long time and this year is no different. Their only problem is the Pac-12 also maybe the best league in the country. Washington is ranked No. 1 with a record of 29-1 and Oregon, which is ranked No. 5 handed UCLA their only two losses a week ago.

All nine of the Pac-12 schools that have softball teams have winning records and seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally. But the 2018 Bruins are deep and they are having fun.

"It's great that everybody on the team works really well together," said senior pitcher Ta'amilo after her win over the Beavers last Monday. "We all have a really good positive attitude. It feels good that we have great personalities on this team. We are so focused. Even if you are not playing every single person on this team plays a role. I think we all know that when our name is called we have to step up and get the job done. Our goal is to win a national championship."

The Bruins have always hit the ball well and this year is no exception. To start for this years' team you have to hit. UCLA has a lot of good hitters and one of them is freshman Washington who is the daughter of former UCLA football star James Washington. "I knew if I hit the ball I would have an opportunity to be in the starting lineup," said Washington last Monday.

Washington continued to say, "It feels really good to be 28-2. The chemistry on this team is incredible. We just go out there and we have fun and that's great. I chose UCLA not only because my parents went here but because of the balance between academics and athletics."

Asked if there is a lot of pressure on her because of her famous father who played in two Super bowls with the Dallas Cowboys Washington said, "There is pressure to live up to the hype but I know my father is going to love me no matter what the outcome is."


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