#3 UCLA Softball 2018 Preview

UCLA Bruins
Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
In three games in the Los Angeles Regional last year, UCLA outscored their opponents 27-3. They followed it up with a couple wins over Ole Miss in the Super Regionals to earn a trip to Oklahoma City for the WCWS. The Bruins had more trouble in OKC though, going 1-2 and being eliminated by conference foe Washington. In 2018 the Bruins hope to get the best of the Huskies and the rest of the Pac-12.
2017: 48-15, 16-8
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez
Key Departed Players:
Delaney Spaulding, IF, .380 BA, 16 HR, 46 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kylee Perez, IF, .408 BA, 3 HR, 31 RBI
Brianna Tautalafua, IF, .335 BA, 16 HR, 52 RBI
Madeline Jelenicki, 1B/C, .323 BA, 15 HR, 69 RBI
Bubba Nickles, UTL, .282 BA, 10 HR, 35 RBI
Rachel Garcia, P, 1.87 ERA, 23-9 W-L, 202.2 IP, 212 SO, .325 BA, 8 HR, 29 RBI
Selina Ta’amilo, P, 2.83 ERA, 14-0 W-L, 104.0 IP, 75 SO
Johanna Grauer, P, 2.88 ERA, 11-4 W-L, 99.2 IP, 81 SO
Rachel Garcia was the team’s top pitcher last year and will be again this year. She was 23-9 with a 1.87 ERA in 202.2 innings of work. Garcia is just a sophomore and will only get better with experience and could have an All-American type of season. And Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez has experienced seniors in Johanna Grauer and Selina Ta'amilo who are more than capable of being the ace of the staff in their own right. At the plate, the Bruins will certainly miss Delaney Spaulding and her .380 batting average, 16 homeruns and 46 RBIs. But the rest of the impact hitters are back. Brianna Tautalafua and Madeline Jelenicki bring plenty of power to the lineup. Tautalfua hit .335 with 16 homeruns and 52 RBIs, while Jelenicki hit .323 with 15 homeruns and 69 RBIs. Kylee Perez is one of the better contact hitters in the country, batting .408 during her junior campaign. This is a UCLA lineup that is extremely dangerous and with a couple talented pitchers on the roster as well, the Bruins will be aiming for a Pac-12 title and another trip to the WCWS.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#17 Kylee Perez