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Defending Champion UCLA Downs Liberty 9-1

February 15, 2020  Clearwater, Fla.  RSS
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Savannah Channell went 1-for-2 against UCLA on Saturday.

Savannah Channell went 1-for-2 against UCLA on Saturday.

Defending national champion UCLA kept its unbeaten streak alive, downing Liberty 9-1 in five innings on Saturday at Eddie C. Moore Complex.

UCLA, ranked first in the most recent national poll, improves to 8-0 on the season. The Lady Flames fall to 1-8, including 0-4 at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational.

Liberty is now 0-6 all-time against the No. 1 team in the nation after falling to Washington (No. 1 in NFCA, and Softball America polls) last night and UCLA today.

Scoring Summary
UCLA – 1st INNING – Washington homers, 1-0

UCLA – 2nd INNING – Washington singles, Godin advances, Curo scores, 2-0

UCLA – 2nd INNING – Perez grounds out to short, Washington advances, Godin scores, 3-0

UCLA – 2nd INNING – Jordan singles, Washington scores, 4-0

UCLA – 2nd INNING – Brady doubles, Jordan scores, 5-0

UCLA – 3rd INNING – Washington singles, Godin and Rodriguez advance, Snow scores, 6-0

Liberty – 4th INNING – Hudson singles, Sweat advances, McMullen scores, 6-1

UCLA – 5th INNING – Rodriguez homers, Rusconi Vicianza scores, 8-1

UCLA – 5th INNING – Perez singles, Washington advances, Prober scores, 9-1

Notable Numbers
- UCLA held a 15-2 advantage in hits, while Liberty committed the game's lone two errors. The Bruins left seven runners on base, while Liberty stranded three runners.

- Holly Azevedo (3-0) earned the win, allowing one run on two hits, striking out six and walking one. 

- Kastin Belogorska (0-2) drew the loss, allowing one run on two hits, walking one in 1/3 of an inning pitched. Emily Kirby yielded five runs on nine hits in two innings of work, while Karlie Keeney allowing three runs on four hits in two innings.

- UCLA's Kinsley Washington went 3-for-3 with a homer, three RBU and two runs scored. Julie Rodriguez batted 2-for-2 with a homer, two RBI and one run scored.

- Caroline Hudson went 1-for-2 with one RBI, while Savannah Channell batted 1-for-2.

Turning Point
- UCLA hit early and often in the game, scoring in each inning except for the fourth, when Keeney tossed a 1-2-3 frame. A three-run fifth brought the game to an end.

- Hudson gave Liberty its lone run in the game with an RBI single in the top of the fourth that narrowed the deficit to 6-1.

Beyond the Box Score
- Liberty Head Coach Dot Richardson coached at against her alma mater for the fourth year in a row. Richardson was named the NCAA Softball Player of the 1980's for her stellar career as the Bruins' shortstop. Richardson's No. 1 jersey was retired by UCLA softball in 1999.

- UCLA now leads the all-time series against Liberty 5-0, downing the Lady Flames for the fourth year in a row. In both 2018 and 2019, the Bruins needed a late rally to win 4-3 against Liberty.

- Amber Bishop saw her hitting streak end at 10 games, but she reached base for the 11th straight game, dating back to last season, as she was hit by a pitch.

- The Lady Flames are now 1-6 against nationally-ranked teams this season, as they have only faced two unranked opponents (at time of meeting) in 2020.

- Liberty takes on the last two national champions in back-to-back games, facing UCLA today before meeting Florida State tomorrow. This is the first time since 2017 (Arkansas vs. Florida, Oklahoma) that a team has faced the last two national champions in back-to-back games.

- Prior to today, Liberty had not lost in five innings since March 2, 2017, when the Lady Flames fell 15-0 to No. 2 Auburn in five innings.

Up Next
Liberty closes out its time at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational tomorrow at noon, facing No. 3 Florida State on Field 9 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.