Consider this halftime.
UCLA hit No. 1 Oklahoma with a haymaker in the opening game of Monday’s Women’s College World Series semifinal, notching a 7-3 win at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. The Bruins (51-9) must beat Oklahoma again to advance to Wednesday’s championship series. The two teams play again today at 12:19 p.m. PT.
The defending champion Sooners (56-3) have not dropped two games in a row since 2020 and haven’t lost back-to-back games to the same team since 2019. That came against the Bruins, who did it when they swept Oklahoma in national finals to win the NCAA championships.
Centerfielder Maya Brady led UCLA with two home runs, driving in a career-high five RBIs.
All of the game’s runs came via the long ball, including a two-run homer from Delanie Wisz in the first inning. Wisz and Brady’s blasts were more than enough support for UCLA’s tag-team pitching staff.
Redshirt junior Megan Faraimo started, going four innings while allowing four hits and three runs. Fresh off a complete-game shutout on Sunday, Azevedo entered in relief and pitched three hitless innings, walking two and striking out three.
The fifth-year senior’s biggest out came in the fifth after Oklahoma’s Grace Lyons had cut into UCLA’s four-run advantage with a two-run homer in the fourth. Jocelyn Alo brought the tying run to the plate with two outs and one on. With a 2-2 count, Azevedo shook off two pitch calls from coach Lisa Fernandez and threw an off-speed pitch to get the NCAA’s all-time home run leader out swinging.
The pitcher simply walked to the dug out with a casual head nod and a smirk on her face.
Oklahoma used pitchers Nicole May and Jordy Bahl in the circle, saving ace Hope Trautwein for the must-win Game 2. Trautwein leads the Sooners with a 0.60 ERA.
The Bruins chased the starter May with five runs in two innings, scoring on two- and three-run homers from Wisz and Brady, respectively. It was the first time UCLA had multiple home runs in a World Series game since the championship-series sweep of Oklahoma in 2019.
Bahl entered for her first significant playing time in a month. The star freshman injured her right, throwing forearm in OU’s final regular season series against Oklahoma State and did not pitch again until a brief cameo in the World Series rout over Northwestern. She went 1/3 scoreless innings and gave up two hits.
Bahl, who allowed four hits and one run while striking out 16 UCLA batters in a 4-1 regular-season win over the Bruins in February, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, two runs and two walks with four strikeouts.