UCLA's Holly Azevedo Is The Ultimate Team Player
It’s no secret that Rachel Garcia and Megan Faraimo have dominated the circle for UCLA the last few years. But they’re not the only ones who have had success for the Bruins’ pitching staff.
Holly Azevedo has been a complementary piece to Garcia and Faraimo since she arrived on campus in the fall of 2017.
Azevedo, now a junior, comes into the UCLA/Long Beach State Invitational as a 2019 national champion with a 2.12 career earned run average and a 32-1 record. She’s never been the star of the staff, but she’s also never had the feeling she’s behind her fellow pitchers.
“We don’t really look at it as a one- or a two- or a three-type situation. All three of us last year, we got along really well because we knew if we got in trouble, we had either other’s backs,” Azevedo told Softball America. “That was just really cool to have a pitching staff that had the ability to lean on one another. There’s nothing more important than that.”
Azevedo played the Robin to Garcia’s Batman in her freshman season, throwing over 115 innings and being named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. The arrival of Faraimo led to a decrease in her innings, and now she’s accepted a new role in year three at UCLA.
“Each year, I’ve always understood that we’ve had one goal in mind and that’s to get to the end and hopefully win,” Azevedo said. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. Everyone on the team also just wants to be part of the team and do whatever we can do.”
Aside from having a pair of very successful teammates, she also has the legendary Lisa Fernandez as her pitching coach. Azevedo said that Fernandez makes bullpens productive and pays attention to every little detail, all while keeping the relationships she has with her pitchers fun.
“She is such a hard worker and she makes us the best that we can be,” Azevedo said. “Overall, we just have a good time. We keep learning, our relationships continue to grow and there’s never anything to complain about.”
For Azevedo and most Bruins, there’s truly not a life outside of softball because the UCLA team considers itself a family. That’s the culture UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez has maintained in Westwood.
“I’m really proud to be a part of this team,” Azevedo said. “At the end of the day, we’re all in it. We’re all bought into doing whatever it takes. I just feel honored to be a part of something as big as this.”