LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the third year in a row, the UCLA softball coaching staff of head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and assistant coaches Lisa Fernandez and Kirk Walker were named the NFCA West Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
The Bruins advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the second-straight season, producing a 40-16-1 overall record and a 16-5-1 mark in Pac-12 play. UCLA, which swept through Regional action, finished second in the conference to Oregon, which it defeated in three games at the Eugene Super Regional to move on to Oklahoma City.
UCLA led the nation in double plays turned with a school-record 45 and was in the top 40 in five other categories, ranking tied for 15th in the country in home runs (67), 18th in slugging percentage (.514), 21st in on base percentage (.413), 23rd in runs per game (6.21) and 31st in batting average (.316). Among the Bruins’ highlights during the season were their 17 comeback victories, including twice in the NCAA Tournament against Oregon (Game 2 of Super Regional) and Cal State Fullerton (Regional Championship). During Pac-12 play, UCLA won its first regular-season series against Oregon since 2010 and posted its fourth-straight series victory versus Arizona.
Three Bruins were named NFCA All-Americans, with senior Mysha Sataraka and junior Delaney Spaulding earning Second Team honors and senior Allexis Bennett receiving Third Team accolades. Bennett, Sataraka, Spaulding and sophomore Kylee Perez were all named both First Team NFCA All-West Region and First Team All-Pac-12. In addition, sophomore Madeline Jelenicki was First Team All-Region and Second Team All-Pac-12, freshman Brianna Tautalafua was Second Team All-Region and Pac-12 All-Freshman and freshman Paige Halstead was Pac-12 All-Freshman. Bennett was also named the Pac-12 regular-season batting champion, as well as Pac-12 All-Defensive.
It is the fourth time during Inouye-Perez’s head coaching tenure that UCLA has earned NFCA CSOY honors. The Bruins were named the National and Regional Coaching Staff of the Year in 2010. As an assistant, Inouye-Perez was a part of the 2004 National CSOY and the 2000 Regional CSOY.