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Gauchos Take Two at LMU Tournament

UCSB mercies North Dakota, 12-4, then beats Loyola Marymount, 4-1.

UCSB’s softball team dominated the Loyola Marymount Round-Robin Tournament on Sunday, picking up a 12-4 mercy win over North Dakota before defeating host LMU, 4-1. With the victories, UCSB improves to 12-11 on the season.

The win over North Dakota marked the second mercy-rule win of the weekend for UCSB, which beat Loyola Chicago a day earlier, 10-2.

UCSB posted a season-high 12 runs on a season-high 14 hits in the tournament opener against North Dakota. Six players had multiple hits in the game and three posted two runs apiece. Sophomore first baseman Jessica Ziegler led the team, going 2-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and one run. Senior designated player Danielle Meyers was 2-for-2 at the plate, with a home run, an additional run and an RBI. Tisha Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High, added a home run, two RBIs and two walks.

Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (2-7)  picked up the win in the circle after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing two runs (both unearned) on just one hit, with six strikeouts and no walks.

Junior Christine Ramos led off with a single in the top of the first inning and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from Ziegler. Duran’s homer in the next at-bat put the Gauchos on the board, 2-0.

UCSB added two more runs in the second inning when Kelsey Anderson and Meyers opened with back-to-back singles. Priscilla Perez‘s sacrifice bunt pushed both runners over before Ramos walked and Nicole Churnock‘s single brought home Anderson for the Gauchos’’ third run. During the same play, Ramos was out called out and Churnock was picked off, but not before Meyers came home, stretching the lead to 4-0.

In the third, a two-RBI double from Anderson and an RBI single from Perez gave the Gauchos a 7-0 lead.

North Dakota’‘s bats finally came alive in the third inning, when Nicole Puerling’s two-run home run to center field put the Fighting Sioux on the board. The Gauchos fired back in the next inning, posting a pair of their own on an RBI double from Ziegler and an RBI single from Tiffany Wright.

A pair of Gauchos errors in the fourth allowed North Dakota to tally two more runs, but they would be the last for the Fighting Sioux. Meyers’ solo homer, followed by Ziegler’s two-RBI single sealed the 12-4 victory in the top of the fifth.

The second game of the day proved to be a pitcher’s duel between sophomore Lindsey Correa and LMU’s Tiffany Pagano. The match-up marked the first pairing between the two teams since the Lions ended the Gauchos’ 2007 season at the NCAA Tournament.

Loyola Marymount scored first in the bottom of the second inning when Priscilla Satete hit an RBI single to center field to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

UCSB trailed for the next two innings before Ziegler led off with a single in the top of the fifth. Duran then reached on a fielding error to put two runners on-base. A home run from freshman Jessica Beristianos cleared the bases and gave the Gauchos a 3-1 lead.

Churnock led off the sixth with a double to right center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ramos. A double from Duran one out later sent Churnock home to extend the UCSB lead to 4-1.

Correa (7-3) held the Lions scoreless, and hitless for that matter, in the final two innings, sealing the 4-1 victory. She picked up the birthday victory in the circle after allowing just one run on three hits in a full seven innings of work. She walked three and fanned three of the 27 batters she faced.

UCSB will return to Loyola Marymount on Friday for the Loyola Marymount Tournament. The Gauchos will face Illinois-Chicago at 1 p.m. and Bucknell at 3 p.m.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSBs assistant media relations director.

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