UCLA Softball Earns No. 1 Ranking, Jumps Oklahoma Ahead of Showdown

For the first time in two years, the Bruins have been named the nation’s top team thanks to their 12-0 start to the season.

The Bruins have reached the top of the rankings after extending their undefeated start to the season.

UCLA softball (12-0) was pegged as the No. 1 team in the nation by the ESPN and USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll for the first team in two years on Monday, jumping Oklahoma after the Sooners lost to Baylor on Sunday. The Bruins swept the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational out in Clearwater, Florida, where they defeated Nebraska, Alabama, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Louisiana.

D1Softball’s Top 25 Poll also has the Bruins as the new leader at the top.

UCLA began the week with a Tuesday contest against Liberty – its final home contest before two weeks on the road. The Bruins defeated the Flames 3-2 after freshman utility Kennedy Powell hit a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.

Following their seventh-straight home victory, the blue and gold traveled to Florida for their second tournament of the young campaign. UCLA’s first game ended in a mercy rule 8-0 win over Nebraska.

Freshman infielder Jordan Woolery hit a first-inning grand slam on Friday against Alabama. Combined with redshirt senior pitcher Megan Faraimo’s 13-strikeout complete game, the Bruins defeated the Crimson Tide 5-3.

On Saturday, UCLA played two games and won both. Redshirt junior utility Seneca Curo’s three-RBI double gave the blue and gold a 4-2 lead over Florida State, which would eventually help UCLA to a 6-4 triumph over the Seminoles.

Later in the night, the Bruins’ six-run first inning against Virginia Tech was the deciding factor in their victory over the Hokies. UCLA added two more runs and won 8-4.

Louisiana was the final program the Bruins faced at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational, giving UCLA its closest battle yet.

Down 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh, sophomore utility Savannah Pola tied the contest with a run-scoring double. Still down to their final out, the Bruins rallied to win the contest with redshirt junior utility Maya Brady hitting a single.

The Ragin’ Caguns’ right fielder errantly threw the ball, allowing Pola to score and for UCLA to hold on and win 4-3.

Up next, the Bruins will travel to Cathedral City, Calif for the annual Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic from Feb. 23-26, ending with UCLA taking on Oklahoma in a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m..

The Sooners had been the nation’s No. 1 team for the past two years before the Bruins unseated them on Tuesday. Oklahoma knocked UCLA out of each of the last two Women’s College World Series, but the Bruins beat the Sooners in the 2019 finals to take home their record 12th national championship.

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