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Oklahoma Mercies UCSB in 12-1 Rout

Gauchos fall to 0-2 after losing earlier to Nevada, 5-4. Next up: Santa Clara and UCLA today.

UCSB’s softball team fell to 0-2 after losing to fifth-ranked Oklahoma, 12-1 in five innings, on Friday evening at the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament hosted by UCLA at Easton Stadium. Earlier Friday, the Gauchos dropped a hard-fought 5-4 game to Nevada.

Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto took the loss against the Sooners (1-1) after pitching the first two innings and giving up seven earned runs on six hits while striking out two and walking four batters. Junior Tami Weston pitched the second half of the game for UCSB, tossing three innings. The former Ventura High star allowed five earned runs on five hits, walked six and struck out two. Oklahoma’s D.J. Mathis captured the win after pitching four innings and giving up just one run on two hits with six strikeouts.

Senior Tisha Duran, the former Ventura College and Buena High star, led the Gauchos at the plate with her second home run of the day, going 1-for-2 against the Sooners. Senior Danielle Meyers went 1-for-1 as the Gauchos’ designated hitter, while Nicole Churnock rounded out the hitting, going 1-for-2 at the plate.

Oklahoma’s Amber Flores led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Susan Ogden followed with an RBI off the outfield wall as the Sooners jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Oklahoma loaded the bases with two outs after a pair of Sooners walked. Savannah Long pounded a two-RBI double to right center field to extend OU’s lead to 3-0.Wendy Trott provided another two-RBI double to the left field to push the advantage to 5-0 at the end of the first inning.

After the Gauchos went down in order, the Sooners’ momentum continued in the second inning when Flores led off with a single and, one play later, was brought home by an RBI single from Ogden to put OU ahead, 6-0.

With one out in the bottom of the second, Duran hit a home run — her second of the day — to put the Gauchos on the scoreboard at 6-1. With two outs, Meyers singled to second base and advanced to scoring position after Ericka Hansen walked. Mathis struck out the next batter swinging, ending the inning.

A bases-loaded single from Krystle Huey in the third stretched the Sooners’ lead to 7-1. An RBI on a fielder’s choice from Ogden followed and put yet another run on the board. Oklahoma loaded the bases again and a walk
brought home the eighth run. A grand-slam home run from Flores at the top of the fourth gave the Sooners’ a 12-1 lead.

Churnock led off with a single to right center at the top of the fifth, but a double play, followed by a hit lined out to short ended the game. The Gauchos fell 12-1 in the mercy-rule loss.

In the tournament opener, UCSB came out on the wrong end of a 5-4 game with Nevada (1-1). Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Correa took the loss after pitching a complete seven innings and allowing five earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and six walks. Nevada pitcher Katie Holverson picked up the win, allowing just one earned run on seven hits with two walks and a game-high nine strikeouts.

Junior Tiffany Wright went 1-for-3 at the plate for the Gauchos with two RBIs, while Duran was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Correa got the game off on the right foot as she struck out the first two Nevada batters looking and retired the third on a ground out to second base. In the bottom of the first, sophomore Jessica Ziegler singled to first base
with one out to post the first Gauchos hit of the season. The next two batters were retired in order to end the inning.

After walking the first two batters in the second, Correa and the Gauchos escaped the inning without any Nevada hits or runs. Freshman Jessica Beristianos singled to right field with one out and then stole second, but the next two Gauchos went down in order to end the inning scoreless.

Nevada’s Kristin Stith earned a walk to open the third inning and then stole second. A single to left field from teammate Tyler Schafer sent Stith home for the first run of the game.

The Gauchos responded at the bottom of the third as Churnock led-off with a walk. Christine Ramos was able to reach on a Wolf Pack error during a bunt to put two runners on. Ziegler laid down a sacrifice bunt of her own, advancing both runners to scoring position. A single from Wright two plays later drove both Churnock and Ramos home for a 2-1 Gauchos lead.

Nevada would not stay behind for long as an RBI single to center field from Sam Bias tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning. The next inning and a half remained scoreless before a homer to left field from Kelsey Starr with
two runners on put Nevada ahead 5-2 at the top of the fifth.

Duran responded with a home run of her own at the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to just two runs. In the top of the seventh, UCSB put the three Nevada batters down in order. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Ziegler earned a walk before freshman Katie McWhirter singled to left field. Wright was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. An error by the Nevada shortstop allowed Duran to reach first and brought home Ziegler, unearned. The next Gaucho batter popped up to third base, leaving three runners stranded and ending the game.

The Gauchos will look for their first win of the season Saturday as action continues at Easton Stadium. UCSB will face Santa Clara at 10:30 a.m. before a 3:30 p.m. game the tournament host, No. 14 UCLA, which beat both Nevada and Oklahoma on Friday.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant sports information director.

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