Nebraska softball held to three hits in loss to UCLA

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. — Rachel Garcia hit a two-run home run Saturday to carry No. 2 UCLA to a 9-1, six-inning win over Nebraska at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

Garcia, the 2018 national player of the year, put the Bruins (12-0) ahead 2-0 with her blast in the bottom of the first inning, and UCLA added four runs in the second to chase Nebraska starter Regan Mergele (1-2).

The 6-0 lead was more than enough for UCLA’s Holly Azevedo, who limited the Huskers (8-5) to a season-low three hits and struck out five in six innings.

Nebraska’s Courtney Wallace hit a solo home run in the third, and Rylie Unzicker and Samantha Owen each had a double.

The Huskers stranded runners at second and third in the fourth and fifth innings.

After cutting the lead to 6-1 on Wallace’s first home run of her Husker career, Nebraska gave up two more runs in the bottom of the third on Briana Perez’s double.

UCLA tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game.

The Huskers will travel to Fort Collins, Colorado, on Thursday to begin the Colorado State Classic against Idaho State.

Nebraska (8-5)………001 000—1                  3 4

UCLA (12-0)…………..242 001—9 13 2

W: Azevedo, 4-0. L: Mergele 1-2. 2B: NU, Unzicker, Owen; UCLA, Perez, Nickles, Pack, Washington, Rodriguez. HR: NU, Wallace; UCLA, Garcia.