Huskies fall to No. 2 UCLA in softball, 4-0
Coach Heather Tarr not concerned by UW’s 2-3 Pac-12 record.
Special to The Seattle Times
Heather Tarr, in her 10th season as softball coach at Washington, has come to view early season setbacks as footnotes within the broader storyline of a 60-game season.
So, what was her message to her players after a 4-0 loss to second-ranked UCLA on Monday in front of 553 at Husky Softball Stadium, giving Washington a 2-3 record after two weekends of Pac-12 play?
“It’s a long season,” Tarr said. “When one thing doesn’t go our way, we’ve just got to keep together and not get too crazy and try to do too much.”
The fifth-ranked Huskies (21-7) couldn’t do much against UCLA ace Ally Carda, who began the day with the Pac-12’s best earned-run average (0.88). The junior right-hander limited Washington to four hits and handed UW just its second shutout loss this season. Carda (17-1) struck out five and walked none.
“You win some innings, you lose some innings,” Tarr said, “and unfortunately we didn’t win any innings today.”
UCLA (28-2), which on Sunday gave up nine runs in the first inning of a 10-2 loss to the Huskies, scored a third-inning run off UW starter Bryana Walker (13-4) then added three more in the fifth and seventh against reliever Kaitlin Inglesby.
Each UW pitcher walked three. Walker, who won Sunday’s game, struck out three, Inglesby one.
“Bryana didn’t have her best stuff, and Kaitlin didn’t come in and do what we expected her to do,” Tarr said. “She’s better than that.”
In the third, UCLA’s Stephany LaRosa doubled home Delaney Spaulding with a one-bouncer to the gap in right-center. In the fifth, Spaulding singled, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. Mysha Sataraka hit a two-run home run off the top of the wall in left-center in the seventh.
Washington managed only a bloop single by Jennie McNeill through four innings. In the fifth, pinch-hitter Dani Braun doubled to left, but was thrown out trying to score on a single to right by Kelli Suguro. “I think she ran through a stop sign, trying to be aggressive,” said Tarr, who had assistant J.T. D’Amico in the third-base box that inning.
The Huskies have no home games until mid-April. Is Tarr concerned about her team’s 2-3 conference start?
“We’ve never been concerned about our Pac-12 record, to be honest with you,” she said. “We’ve had losing Pac-12 records and gone to the (NCAA) tournament. It doesn’t signify anything.
“The conference is better than it’s been in probably eight, nine years.”