May 5, 2012
LOS ANGELES -
No. 15 Arizona Softball (32-16, 9-11 Pac-12) put runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings, four times with less than two out, but managed to score only two runs and UCLA (35-15, 11-9 Pac-12) won game two 7-2.
The victory secured the series for UCLA and handed Arizona its third straight conference loss and fourth overall. Its 11 conference losses are the most since dropping 12 Western Collegiate Athletic Association games in 1983, the second year of Division I softball.
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before yielding seven unanswered Bruin runs, including a four-run sixth. In the two games this series, through the first five and a half innings, UCLA is outscoring Arizona by just three total runs, but holds a 9-1 advantage from that point forward.
Two Arizona errors in combination with nine Shelby Babcock walks gave UCLA an excess of unearned bases.
Babcock (16-9) allowed seven runs on eight hits while walking nine and striking out five. Even with its seven runs scored, UCLA still stranded 10 runners on base.
The Cats knocked starter Ally Carda out of the game after just two innings. Carda gave up one run on two hits while facing nine batters. Jessica Hall (18-10) shut the Cats down in relief. Hall, UCLA's game one starter, allowed one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four in five innings.
Game one featured four home runs from two of the top four home-run hitting teams in the conference, but neither team stroked a long ball in game two.
The Cats took the lead in the second inning. Shelby Pendley singled to begin the frame and got to second on Lini Koria's sac-bunt. Jessica Spigner was hit by a pitch and Arriola knocked a grounder of Carda's glove to bring Pendley home.
The lead would stand until the bottom of the third when Babcock walked four Bruins, the final two of which brought home runs to give UCLA a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins added to their lead in the fifth. Andrea Harrison led the inning off with a double to left and Babcock walked B.B. Bates to put the first two Bruins on. Two consecutive sacrifice hits, a bunt followed by a fly, gave UCLA a 3-1 lead.
UCLA brought 10 to the plate in its four-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach. The frame, which included two Wildcat errors and four walks, produced four runs for UCLA.
The Cats scored their final run of the game on a Del Ponte single to right field to cut the lead to 7-2. The game ended with two runners on for UA.
Arizona will hope to salvage a game in the series when the Cats and Bruins meet Sunday at noon PDT.