UCLA softball faces Georgia in the Super Regionals

The No. 6 UCLA Bruins will host the No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs in a best of a three-game series at UCLA beginning Thursday, Friday and Saturday if necessary. The Thursday game will start at 6: 30 p.m. and the first pitch for the Friday game is at 7 p.m. A time has not been determined if there is a game on Saturday. The games will be played at Easton Stadium on the UCLA campus.

The Bruins come into the game winners of 11 straight games and 23 out of their last 25 games. The Lady Bruins are led by the hitting of Maya Brady (.418), Sharlize Palacios (.379) and Megan Grant (.349). Their top pitchers are Kaitlyn Terry (18-1) and Taylor Tinsley (16-8). Georgia's best pitchers are Madison Kerpics (13-3) and Lilli Backes (18-6). The Bruins are 40-10 and Georgia is 43-17. Both teams have seven players that are currently batting over .300.

UCLA opened last weekend's regionals at UCLA against a Grand Canyon team that had won 48 games in the regular season. The Bruins freshman pitcher Terry came out throwing strikes the whole game and their offense jumped on Grand Canyon early scoring one run in the first inning and five runs in the second and they never looked back. Fifth year senior Brady got the bats going and finished the game going 3 for 4. Palacios had two home runs in the 9-0 victory.

In the second game on Saturday UCLA faced a Virginia Tech team that came into the regional ranked 17th in the nation, and they jumped on the Bruins early when Cori McMillan blasted a three-run homer to give Tech an early 3-0 lead. UCLA took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning and the seesaw battle continued into the bottom of the seventh inning where the Bruins found themselves down 6-5 with three outs left in the game. The comeback Bruins put together three straights hits to secure a 7-6 walk off win.

In the final game for the Bruins on Sunday they faced Grand Canyon again hoping to beat them for a second time and move on to the Super Regionals this week. Similar to the first game against Grand Canyon the Bruins started fast when Palacios hit a three-run home run. When asked after the game what the mindset was coming into the game was Palacios stated, "We were just focusing on coming out there with kind of a killer mentality." Once again, the pitching was excellent against Grand Canyon and the Bruins won the game 9-1.

The Bruins head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez summed it up best when she talked about the team's mindset and focus during the post-game interview. "I am repeating myself, but our goal is to be the best at the end. We made big plays this weekend on both sides of the ball. Right now, we are really enjoying playing softball."

 

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