SEATTLE – The No. 5 Huskies sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning, and nine of them eventually crossed the plate, propelling the Huskies to a 10-2 win in five innings over the No. 2 UCLA Bruins on Sunday at Husky Softball Stadium.
In handing the second-ranked Bruins (27-2) their second loss of the season, the Huskies (21-6) picked up their fifth win over a ranked opponent this season. The Huskies have also defeated Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, and Michigan while those respective teams were ranked in the top 25 nationally.
Bryana Walker allowed two runs on just two hits while striking out seven UCLA batters in earning the 5.0 inning complete-game and moving to 13-3 on the season. It was the 10th complete game of the season for Walker.
After the Bruins took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning, the Huskies led off the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles from Victoria Hayward and Jennie McNeill. Hayward and McNeill, as well as the next five batters, all came around to score. Whitney Jones, Kaitlin Inglesby, and McNeill each had run-scoring singles in the inning, while Hooch Fagaly drove in two runners with a single of her own.
“It was really good to see our team come together and just play our game – get on base, get the runners over, get them in somehow and continue to score that inning,” head coach Heather Tarr said.
When the 1st inning was complete, the Huskies and Bruins had combined for 11 runs on eight hits and sent 19 batters to the plate in the 46-minute frame.
After allowing two runs to UCLA on two hits and a walk in the top of the 1st, Walker struck out the side in the top of the 2nd and sent the first batter of the 3rd inning down on strikes. Walker did not allow a hit over the final four innings of the game and allowed just two base runners after the 1st inning.
“Bryana did a good job bouncing back and figuring out how to get in a groove and stay in a groove,” Tarr said.
Fagaly led off the bottom of the 4th with a hard-hit single, and pinch-runner Rylleigh Zbaraschuk scored on an RBI-single from Ali Aguilar to give the Huskies a 10-2 advantage. Fagaly finished 2-for-2, with one run scored, and two RBI. Aguilar also had two RBI to go along with a 1-for-2 day at the plate and one run scored.
With an eight-run lead, Walker put the game away by striking out the final UCLA batter in the top of the 5th and giving the Bruins their first run-rule defeat of the season.
With her single in the bottom of the 1st inning, Hayward extended her hitting streak to a season-best 10 games. During the streak, Hayward is batting .393 (11x28), with nine runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI.
The Huskies are back to take on the Bruins tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. in the rubber game of the three-game series. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.