LOS ANGELES — UCLA earned a spot in the NCAA Women’s College World Series, beating Duke, 8-2, at Easton Stadium on Saturday night.
Delanie Wisz had the go-ahead hit, scoring Kelli Godin in the fifth inning. Megan Faraimo pitched three innings in relief, yielding no runs, three hits and logging seven strikeouts.
Maya Brady finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs, a home run and two stolen bases. Wisz went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles.
Freshman Savannah Pola hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Brady. Brady singled to get on base, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch to put herself in scoring position.
The No. 5-seeded Bruins ended the bottom of the inning quickly, with Godin swiping two fly outs in left field and Kinsley Washington scooping up a ground out.
Wisz grounded out to start the fourth inning, then Brady sent a solo home run flying to the left center field wall for her 13th home run of the season.
No. 12 seed Duke answered with a home run of its own in the bottom of the frame as Caroline Jacobson tied the game with a two-run homer over the right center wall. Holly Azevedo got UCLA out of the inning by striking out Gisele Tapia on the next at-bat.
Wisz’s RBI double in the fifth inning pulled the Bruins ahead by one run. Brady followed up with a double that nearly scored Wisz, but she was called out at home plate after review of the play.
Faraimo relieved Azevedo in the circle to start the bottom of the fifth inning. In four innings, Azevedo gave up two hits and two runs while recording four strikeouts and walking two.
The Bruins defense held the Blue Devils scoreless in the remaining three innings. Anna Vines caught Rachel Crabtree stealing in the sixth inning, preserving the Bruins’ lead as the final inning loomed.
UCLA put up five runs in that seventh stanza. Kelli Godin and Kinsley Washington both singled to start it off, then Delanie Wisz doubled to drive them both in. Maya Brady came immediately after for an RBI single that put the Bruins up 6-2.
Faraimo was walked with bases loaded and Brady scored on a passed ball for two more insurance runs for UCLA.
The NCAA Women’s College World Series begins on June 2.