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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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UCSB Unleashes Power in Sweep of Bakersfield

After racing past Roadrunners, Gauchos prepare for Big West opener in Riverside.

UCSB’s softball team took a pair of games from Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday at Campus Diamond. The Gauchos shut out the Roadrunners, 7-0, in the opener before posting a 4-1 win in the second game.

With the twinbill victory, the Gauchos improved to 17-14. Bakersfield fell to 12-16.

After taking down the first three Roadrunners batters in order in the top of the first in the first game, UCSB got on the board at the bottom of the inning when junior Tiffany Wright hit a two-out solo home run.

The Gauchos left three runners stranded in the next two innings before a pair of solo homers from freshman Jessica Beristianos and Ericka Hansen stretched their lead to 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Jessica Ziegler led off with a single to left field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Wright followed with a single, her third hit of the game, before senior Tisha Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High, singled to right field to bring home Ziegler. With no outs and two runners on base, Beristianos hit a fly ball to right field, bringing home Wright for her second run of the day.

With the 5-0 advantage, freshman Katie McWhirter walked before a passed ball let the two runners advance. Pinch-hitter Adrienne Anderson‘s single to left field sent Duran home. A fielding error by the center fielder during the same play gave McWhirter ample time to score, pushing the Gauchos’ lead to 7-0.

The Roadrunners got out of the inning but were unable to convert two walks or a Gauchos error into runs in the final two innings, falling to UCSB, 7-0.

Wright was impressive in the win, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs, an RBI, a double, and a homer. Beristianos, senior Nicole Churnock and sophomore Christine Ramos each had two hits.

Sophomore Lindsey Correa (8-4) posted the complete-game shutout, her third of the season, allowing just five hits and three walks, while fanning five batters. Brittany Johnson (8-8) took the loss for the Roadrunners after pitching the first four innings and allowing three runs on eight hits.

In the second matchup of the day, Bakersfield’s Bethany Snow opened the first inning with a lead-off double to left field. Stefanie Frei’s sacrifice bunt pushed the runner to second before Cara Klein singled to left field, driving home the run to give the Roadrunners the 1-0 lead.

The Gauchos got five runners on base over the next four innings, but were unable to bring any home. Still trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Hansen led off with a solo home run, her second of the day, over the right center field fence to tie the game, 1-1.

Likely feeling inspired by their teammate, Churnock followed with a double to left center field and Ramos singled to right. Ramos stole second base before Ziegler walked, loading the bases with no outs. A fielder’s choice off of Wright’s bat earned the first out for the Roadrunners, but kept the bases loaded for the Gauchos.

On the next play, Duran flied out to right field, but Ramos was able to score, putting the Gauchos ahead, 2-1. Beristianos’ double in the next at-bat sent both Ziegler and Ramos home, stretching the UCSB lead to 4-1, the final score.

In Wednesday’s second contest, Ramos led the team at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases. Beristianos and Churnock both turned in double-hit performances again. Each had a double and Beristianos ended the day with a team-high four RBIs, two in each game. Kelli Bailey led the Roadrunners, going 2-for-3 at the plate.

In the circle, Tami Weston (5-2) earned the win after pitching a complete game, allowing just one run on seven hits. She also finished the game with no walks to her name. Kristen Schlegel (0-1) took the loss for the Roadrunners after allowing all four Gauchos runs on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

UCSB opens Big West Conference action this weekend at UC Riverside. The Gauchos and Highlanders play a noon doubleheader Saturday and complete the three-game series at noon Sunday.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSBs assistant media relations director.

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