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Late Rally Propels Bruins Past UCSB

Gauchos pick up first win of the year, over Santa Clara, before falling to Bruins in tournament finale.

UCSB led No. 14 UCLA for more than half of the game Saturday, but the Gauchos’ softball team was unable to pull off the upset Saturday evening, falling to the Bruins, 7-5 in eight innings.

The game was UCSB’s final match-up at the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, held at UCLA’s Easton Stadium. The Gauchos beat Santa Clara, 8-6, earlier Saturday. UCSB is now 1-3 on the season.

Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto fell to 0-2 after pitching 7.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits, while walking seven and fanning one. UCLA’s Donna Kerr (2-0) picked up the win after eight innings of work. She allowed two earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and just one walk. The Bruins (4-0) committed a total of four errors during the game, while the Gauchos had none.

Junior Tiffany Wright went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs while fellow classmate Christine Ramos was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Gauchos.

After holding the Gauchos scoreless in the top of the first, UCLA opened the bottom of the inning with a single from Katie Schroeder. Teammate Ashley Herrea advanced Schroeder to second with a sacrifice bunt, putting her in scoring position. Matsumoto walked the next batter before Megan Langerfield singled to center, loading the bases. Samantha Camuso waked on the next play, sending Schroeder home for the first run of the game. The next batter, Gionna DiSalvatore, followed with a walk of her own, bringing in Colburn and putting the Bruins ahead, 2-0.

Wright opened the second inning with a leadoff double to right center field, and a single from Tisha Duran, a former Ventura College and Buena High standout, quickly sent her home for the Gauchos’ first run. Jessica Beristianos was hit by a pitch but the next three batters went down in order, leaving the Gauchos trailing, 2-1.

The Gauchos got their chance in the third as Ramos singled to the pitcher to open the inning. Jessica Ziegler grounded out to the shortstop during the ensuing at-bat but advanced Ramos to scoring position. Katie McWhirter followed with a single to shortp and Wright reached after being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Duran reached on a fielder’s choice during the next play and advanced to second as Wright scored the Gauchos’ second run. McWhirter capitalized on a catcher error and scored another run, putting UCSB ahead, 3-2.

Batters Up

The Gauchos will play their annual Alumni Game at noon Sunday at Campus Diamond.

Former Gauchos players scheduled to be in attendance are Lindsey (Herrin) Bentley, Jennifer Davis, Tonya Dias, Karen Dietz, Teresa (Tolson) Faruzzi, Jessica Hejna, Alysia Hendricks, Shelby Hensler, Katie Junge, Dayna McCall, Brittany Putich, Kim Sawyer, Julia Tamai, Laren Thornbug and Liz Walters.

With one out in the bottom of the inning, Langerfield hit a long single to left, but was called out on Camuso’s fielder’s choice on the next play. DiSalvatore doubled to left center, but an impressive Gaucho play as Camuso attempted to cross the plate earned the third out.

Neither team scored during the next two innings, but the Gauchos struck again in the top of the sixth. Beristianos led off with a walk and, one out later, Ericka Hansen singled to put two runners on. Nicole Churnock grounded out to second during the next at-bat, moving over both runners. Ramos’ RBI single brought Beristianos home and the fourth Bruins error of the game allowed Hansen to score, extending the Gauchos’ lead to 5-2.

The next six batters went down in order before Herrea singled to short in the bottom of the seventh and then advanced as Krista Colburn grounded out to short during the following at-bat. With one out, Langerfield walked and Herrera advanced on a fielder’s choice. With two runners on, DiSalvatore homered over the right field fence, tying the game at 5. A quick out during the next at-bat sent the game into extra innings.

Duran was placed at second base at the top of the eighth as Beristianos came up to bat for UCSB. The freshman laid down a sacrifice bunt in the infield, moving the runner to third. Kerr retired the next two batters, leaving Duran stranded.

Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Bruins were able to get the job done in the bottom of the inning. Amanda Kamekona was placed on second and quickly moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Kaila Shull’s home run over the center field fence sealed the win for the Bruins at 7-5.

Earlier on Saturday, UCSB used a three-run first inning to set the tone against Santa Clara, going on to post an 8-6 victory, the Gauchos’ first this season. The day before, UCSB lost to Nevada and Oklahoma on the tournament’s first day.

Sophomore Lindsey Correa picked up the win, improving to 1-1 on the year. Correa threw five innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits while walking two and fanning five batters. Junior Tami Weston, the former Ventura High star, pitched the final two innings, also allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Ziegler had a strong showing at the plate, going 4-for-5 with one RBI and a career-best two runs. Duran, who hit a home run in each of Friday’s games, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run.

Ramos got the game rolling with a triple to right field in the top of the first. Ziegler singled to center on the next play, bringing Ramos home for the Gauchos’ first Gaucho run. Ziegler stole second before Wright and Duran each walked with one out to load the bases. Santa Clara quickly switched pitchers before Beristianos earned the third-straight walk, sending home Ziegler. Santa Clara’s pitching staff continued to struggle as a wild pitch allowed Wright to cross the plate and put the Gauchos ahead, 3-0.

Correa retired the next three batters in order and both teams remained scoreless in the second inning.

Wright led off for UCSB in the third and quickly advanced to first after being hit by a pitch. She then stole second and advanced to third on a catcher error. An RBI single from Duran sent Wright home for her second run of the game, extending the Gauchos’ lead to 4-0. Beristianos’ sacrifice bunt advanced Duran to second before Danielle Meyers walked, putting two Gauchos on base. One play later, Churnock tripled home both Duran and Meyers, giving UCSB a 6-0 lead after two and a half innings.

Santa Clara left two runners on in the third before Ziegler led off the top of the fourth inning with her third single of the game. A sacrifice bunt from McWhirter pushed Ziegler over to second base before Wright earned her second walk of the game. Duran’s single to right field brought home Ziegler for the only Gauchos run of the inning. Heading into the bottom of the fourth, UCSB had a 7-0 advantage.

A lead-off home run from Amanda Edmonson put the Broncos on the board for the first time in the fourth. Correa sandwiched a walk with a pair of strikeouts, but a second Santa Clara home run, this time from Noelani
Ho’opi’i, cut UCSB’s lead to 7-3.

Weston came in to pitch in the bottom of the fifth and allowed just one run, an RBI single from Edmonson to make it 7-4.

The Gauchos added their final run of the game in the top of the seventh when Churnock scored unearned on a McWhirter walk with the bases loaded.

A double from Edmonson brought home a Broncos run with no outs in the seventh and she, in turn, was brought home on a single from Maggie Godfrey. The Santa Clara comeback would fall short, though, as the next two batters went down in order, preserving UCSB’s 8-6 victory.

UCSB will return to regular season action Thursday at the Campbell/Cartier Classic. The Gauchos will open the four-day event against host San Diego State at 7 p.m.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

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