Faraimo helps UCLA top Northwestern in WCWS elimination game

Jun 3, 2022, 7:16 AM | Updated: Jun 4, 2022, 9:12 am
UCLA's Megan Faraimo pitches during the third inning of the team's NCAA softball Women's College Wo...

UCLA's Megan Faraimo pitches during the third inning of the team's NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Northwestern on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

(AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

              Northwestern's Skyler Shellmyer (8) celebrates following a base hit, next to UCLA's Kinsley Washington (37) during the first inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
            
              Northwestern's Hannah Cady (16) tries to make a catch during the second inning of the team's NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against UCLA on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
            
              Northwestern's Danielle Williams pitches in the first inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against UCLA on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
            
              UCLA's Megan Faraimo pitches in the first inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Northwestern on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
            
              UCLA's Megan Faraimo pitches during the third inning of the team's NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Northwestern on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — When things got tough for UCLA, Megan Faraimo took charge.

Faraimo pitched a complete game and hit a solo homer, helping the fifth-seeded Bruins beat No. 9 Northwestern 6-1 in a Women’s College World Series elimination game Friday night.

Faraimo loaded the bases for Northwestern’s Rachel Lewis in the fifth. Lewis entered the night with 23 home runs and had knocked one out on Thursday against Oklahoma. After Lewis got to a 3-0 count, Faraimo struck her out looking to escape.

“I just told myself to throw strikes because I felt like no matter what, whether she gets a hit, whether I get her, my team was going to have my back either way,” Faraimo said. “I just wanted to get us back in the dugout.”

Faraimo led off for UCLA (49-9) in the sixth. Her solo shot — just her second home run of the season — put the Bruins up 3-1.

“Hitting is hard,” she said. “But every time I go up to bat, I just try to have a quality at-bat. For me, that looks like I’m really going to see the ball in, do whatever I can to get on base. I don’t care what it looks like. I just want to be able to do that for my teammates.”

UCLA tacked on three runs in the seventh for insurance.

Faraimo (23-5) gave up five hits and struck out 10. Maya Brady had three hits for the Bruins, who will play in another elimination game Sunday against the loser of Saturday’s Florida-Oklahoma State matchup.

Danielle Williams (31-6) took the loss for Northwestern (45-13). The first-team NFCA All-American pitched a complete game and gave up 10 hits. She threw 136 pitches a day after throwing three innings in the loss to Oklahoma.

Northwestern coach Kate Drohan praised Williams’ mental approach during the rough two days.

“What she’s able to do on the field is so selfless, and that’s I think really interesting for a pitcher who has literally carried us, to be so humble about it and never get frustrated about if she doesn’t have run support or (has) an error behind her,”

It still was quite a journey for a Northwestern team that was making its first World Series appearance since 2007.

“It’s meant everything,” Lewis said. “I think we’ve tried to get better and better every year. I think we’ve been pretty successful at that, and hopefully they come back next year even stronger.”

UCLA’s Delanie Wisz singled to score Kinsley Washington in the top of the first inning for the game’s first run.

In the fourth, UCLA loaded the bases. Washington popped up and Northwestern’s Angela Zedak couldn’t quite get to it. Savannah Pola scored on the error to put the Bruins up 2-0.

Zedak made up for it in the fifth. She singled, then scored on a double by Grace Nieto to trim UCLA’s lead to 2-1 before Faraimo escaped.

Northwestern, which rallied from down 5-0 to win Game 3 of its super regional against Arizona State, couldn’t muster another comeback.

“Our team emptied the tank,” Drohan said. “I mean, they were gassed. And I think they were still ready to play tonight. They gave every ounce of themselves to the game, to each other, and they gave it their all.”

___

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

___

More AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Charleston forward Babacar Faye (35) is guarded by Hofstra forward Warren Williams (0) during the f...
Associated Press

Estrada, Hofstra end No. 18 Charleston’s 20-game win streak

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Aaron Estrada scored 25 points and Darlinstone Dubar added 18 as Hofstra ended No. 18 College of Charleston’s 20-game win streak with an 85-81 victory on Saturday. The Pride (15-8, 8-2 Colonial Athletic Association) were down 28-20 early before rallying past the Cougars (21-2, 9-1), who had not lost since falling […]
16 hours ago
Former Tennessee basketball players Alan Houston and Candace Parker walk to the court as they were ...
Associated Press

Candace Parker to sign with Las Vegas Aces

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former MVP Candace Parker announced on social media Saturday that she would sign with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces. Parker spent the past two seasons playing for her hometown Sky, leading Chicago to the WNBA championship in 2021. She posted on Instagram that Chicago would always be her home, but […]
16 hours ago
Colorado Avalanche center Alex Newhook, front, is hugged by center Andrew Cogliano after scoring a ...
Associated Press

Newhook scores on birthday, Avalanche beat Blues 4-2

DENVER (AP) — Alex Newhook scored on his birthday for the second straight season, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday for their seventh win in eight games. Evan Rodrigues, J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto also scored for Colorado, and Logan O’Connor had two assists. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 26 shots. […]
16 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, right, dribbles the ball as Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic defends d...
Associated Press

Embiid scores 47 as 76ers beat Jokic, Nuggets 126-119

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid won the battle of MVP candidates with 47 points and 18 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to seven games with a 126-119 win over Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Jokic and Embiid have finished first and second in voting for the NBA’s Most […]
16 hours ago
Evan Bates, left, and Madison Chock perform during the rhythm dance program at the U.S. figure skat...
Associated Press

Chock and Bates defend title, win 4th U.S. ice dance gold

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Madison Chock and Evan Bates successfully defended their ice dancing title Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, scoring 137.85 in the free dance for a top-place total score of 229.75. The recently engaged couple has medaled at nationals in every season since 2013. That’s 11 straight years, which matches […]
2 days ago
Houston forward J'Wan Roberts (13) reacts after a Cincinnati shot clock violation during the second...
Associated Press

Walker, No. 3 Houston rally for a 75-69 win over Cincinnati

HOUSTON (AP) — Jarace Walker had a career-high 25 points and seven rebounds, and No. 3 Houston rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat Cincinnati 75-69 on Saturday. Walker, who scored 13 points in the second half, was 10 of 14 from the field. “I was just feeling good tonight,” Walker said. “The ball […]
2 days ago
Faraimo helps UCLA top Northwestern in WCWS elimination game