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Fresno State Ends UCSB’s Home Winning Streak

13th-ranked Bulldogs capture pair of nonconference victories.

No. 13 Fresno State put an end to UCSB’s eight-game win streak Tuesday as the Bulldogs swept a nonconference doubleheader at Campus Diamond, 5-2 and 9-5. The Bulldogs improve to 37-7 on the season while the Gauchos drop to 23-16 overall.

In the first game, Fresno State got on the board in the top of the third. Nicole Angene and Morgan Melloh opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Mallory Perkins loaded the bases with a walk. One out later, Haley Gilleland hit an RBI single to right field, sending home Angene with the first run. Caitlin Stiglich’s double in the next at-bat sent two more runners across home plate to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage.

For the Gauchos, junior second baseman Christine Ramos opened the bottom of the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second when sophomore Jessica Ziegler’ grounded out on the next play. Fresno State earned one more out before senior third baseman Tisha Duran singled to left field, sending home Ramos and cutting the deficit to 3-1.

Angene walked to open the fourth and advanced to third when Melloh doubled to right. Perkins’ single to left field sent another Fresno run across home plate, extending the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-1. Ramos turned an impressive unassisted double play, tagging Perkins before beating Jenna Cervantez to first base, earning the first two outs of the inning. Gilleland doubled down the right field line during the ensuing at-bat, bringing home Melloh and stretching the score to 5-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the same inning, senior catcher Ericka Hansen’ homered over the right-field fence to get the Gauchos to within three runs. UCSB managed just two more hits the rest of the game and fell short, 5-2.

Ramos led the Gauchos, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a run, while Hansen went 2-for-2 with her homer and a walk. Sophomore Lindsey Correa (10-5) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work. She walked five and struck out one. MeLinda Matsumoto pitched the latter half of the game for the Gauchos and allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings of work while walking two and fanning two.

Melloh earned the win in the circle for the Bulldogs after throwing a complete seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. She also was impressive at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk.

In the second game, Gilleland opened with a single to left field and advanced to second on a Gauchos throwing error. Cervantez singled to right field, pushing Gilleland to third base, and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Stiglich earned a walk, loading the bases before pitcher Tami Weston struck out the next batter to earn the first out of the game. Ashley White’s sacrifice fly put Fresno on the board, but a throw from first to third on the same play cut off Cervantez and earned an additional out, ending the inning.

The Gauchos went down in order and, in the top of the third, Fresno State stretched its lead to 2-0 when Cervantez hit a solo home run to right. In the top of the fourth, Perkins singled to center field with one out and Gilleland’s homer on the next play, extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-0. Cervantez then walked and advanced to second on a passed ball before Stiglich hit Fresno State’s second home run of the inning.

Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Ziegler reached first base on a Fresno State fielding error before junior Tiffany Wright doubled to bump Ziegler over to third base. A ground out by Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High, brought home the runner and got the Gauchos on the board.

The Gauchos took down the next three batters in order before putting together an impressive fifth inning. With one out, sophomores Priscilla Perez and Kelsey Anderson hit back-to-back singles while a Bulldogs error allowed senior Nicole Churnock to reach first, loading the bases for UCSB.

Ramos posted an RBI single to left field, which was followed by a two-RBI single from Ziegler, who was called out on the play. Wright kept the streak alive and posted an RBI single of her own: a hit straight to the Fresno State pitcher’s shin that brought home Ramos and put the Gauchos within one, 6-5. A fielder’s choice ended the inning, but the Gauchos were in striking distance.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t let the Gauchos stay close for too long as Cervantez hit a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the sixth to push Fresno State ahead, 8-5. In the top of the seventh, Fresno loaded the bases with two outs, before Cervantez’s single sent Lisamarie Coronado home for the Bulldogs’ ninth run of the game. Fresno retired the final three Gauchos batters to earn the 9-5 victory.

Wright went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the loss, while Ziegler was 1-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Ramos stretched her current hitting streak to 13 consecutive games after going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

Tami Weston (8-3), a junior from Ventura High, took the loss in the circle after pitching six innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits, with five walks and tying a season high in strikeouts with seven. Matsumoto again finished the game, pitching the final inning and allowing one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.

Melloh (26-4) once again went the distance for Fresno State, throwing a complete game and allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts.

UCSB, which had posted a flawless 6-0 record in Big West Conference action this season, will continue its conference schedule this weekend at Cal State Northridge, beginning a three-game series at noon Saturday.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSBs assistant media relations director.

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