LOS ANGELES – After taking Game 1 7-2 Thursday night, the Virginia Tech softball team fell to No. 2 UCLA 2-0 Friday night to even the NCAA Super Regional series at 1-1.
The Hokies (37-14) could not get their offense going in the close contest despite pitcher Keely Rochard (29-9) holding the Bruins (45-5) to just two runs for the second straight game. The right-hander kept Tech in it the whole night, including retiring the final 13 UCLA batters, but the Hokies managed just one hit in the game.
Friday’s loss sets up a win-or-go-home Game 3 Saturday night in Los Angeles with a trip to the Women’s College World Series on the line. The Hokies’ previous NCAA Super Regional in 2008 also went to Game 3, with Tech winning the decider 6-1 over No. 4 Michigan.
The teams would play a scoreless first inning before UCLA got on the board in the top of the second inning via a solo homer. The Bruins struck with another long ball in the top of the third to extend their lead to two.
Following the second UCLA home run, Rochard was nearly unhittable, allowing just one more hit in the ballgame and retiring the final 13 Bruin batters. The Williamsburg, Virginia native finished the game with eight strikeouts and gave up just four hits.
- Rochard has given up just four runs and seven hits combined in the two games in Los Angeles. The junior has struck out 20 batters and surrendered one walk.
- Freshman Cameron Fagan had the Hokies lone hit Friday night and is leading the team with a .667 batting average at Super Regionals.
The Hokies and Bruins meet in the rubber match Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.