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Gauchos Sweep Past Pacific

UCSB rallies for 7-4 win in first game then coasts to 3-1 victory in second.

For the first time in three weeks, UCSB‘s softball team swept a doubleheader. After posting a 7-4 come-from-behind win over Pacific in Saturday’s first game at Campus Diamond, the Gauchos took the second game, 3-1.

With the pair of wins, UCSB stretches its season record to 28-22 and is now 11-6 in the Big West Conference. Pacific falls to 23-32 on the year and 5-12 in conference play.

The opening game was scoreless through the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, Mandy Hickman singled to left field with one out. Brittany Hendrickeon followed with a base hit of her own to put two runners on. The Gauchos earned the second out of the inning when Lindsey Pierce hit a fielder’s choice. With runners on first and second, Casey Goldsand singled to second to load the bases. Nicole Matson was up next, and with two outs and the bases loaded, she hit a grand slam over the left field fence.

The Gauchos responded in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tiffany Wright led off with a double to left field. Tisha Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High, then got in on the action and hit a double to the same gap, bringing home Wright for the first UCSB run. Ericka Hansen followed with a single before Jessica Beristianos hit a two-run double to left center field, cutting the Gauchos’ deficit to 4-3.

Pacific made a pitching change and earned the first out of the inning on a ground out as Beristianos advanced to third. Priscilla Perez grounded out as well, but the runner was able to score, tying the game, 4-4.

Pacific had its chance to regain the lead in the top of the seventh as the Tigers loaded the bases on a walk, an error and a fielder’s choice. Matson once again was the first to come up to bat with the bases loaded, but this time around there was no grand slam, as MeLinda Matsumoto took her down swinging. The Gauchos got out of the inning on a fielder’s choice.

With one out in the seventh, Wright posted her second double of the game before Duran earned a walk. Hansen was up next and homered over the right center field fence to capture the 7-4 win for the Gauchos.

Duran, Hansen and Wright each posted two hits in the victory as well as two runs. In the circle, Matsumoto picked up the win after tossing the full seven innings. She allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. She improves to 8-9 on the year.

For the Tigers, Alyce Jorgenson pitched the first five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Heidi Helberg finished the game and allowed three runs on three hits with one walk. Helberg falls to 3-6 this season.

The Gauchos carried their momentum into the second game, getting the ball rolling in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Wright hit a bunt single and Duran doubled her home. Hansen followed with a double of her own, scoring Duran. Beristianos and Danielle Meyers were both hit by pitches in the ensuing at-bats, loading the bases. Perez then earned a walk, sending Hansen home and stretching the Gauchos lead to 3-0. The Tigers finally got out of the inning with three Gauchos stranded.

Alyce Jorgenson got the Tigers on the board with a solo homer in the top of the sixth, but the Gauchos held on for the 3-1 win.

Duran led UCSB at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI in the second game. In the circle, Tami Weston  improved to 10-6 on the season after tossing seven innings and allowing just one run on five hits. She walked two and struck out five.

Pacific’s Chelsea Engle took the loss after pitching six innings and allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. She falls to 14-17 this season.

The Gauchos will complete the series with Pacific, and their 2008 home schedule, at noon Sunday. Prior to the first pitch, UCSB will honor its five graduating seniors: Duran, Hansen, Meyers, Dani Baltazar and Nicole Churnock.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSBs assistant media relations director.

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