UCSB’s softball team posted three runs in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Utah State as the Aggies took a 4-3 win at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego on Friday afternoon. The matchup was the first between the two teams since Utah State left the Big West Conference after the 2005 season.

Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto (0-3) took the loss for UCSB, which fell to 1-4 on the season. In six innings of work, the right-hander allowed three earned runs on eight hits. Lindsey Benson (1-4) captured the win for Utah State (1-5), pitching a complete game and giving up three earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout.

Sophomore Jessica Ziegler went 2-for-4 with one run and freshman Mary Episcopo went 2-for-3 with a stolen base in her collegiate debut. Senior Tisha Duran, a former Ventura College and Buena High standout, was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI.

After retiring the first six Gauchos in order, Utah State’s offense got rolling in the bottom of the second inning as Kayla Dunn led off with a double to left center field and then advanced to third on an illegal pitch. A single from Heather Haak brought Dunn home to put the Aggies ahead, 1-0.

An RBI single from Aubrie Stroman with two outs in the third brought home Amy Schaible, putting Utah State ahead, 2-0. A Gauchos error on the next play allowed Emily Reilly to score, stretching the Aggies lead to 3-0 after three innings.

The Aggies scored their fourth run when Dunn grounded out to second base, sending Jessica Law home in the bottom of the fifth.

Junior Christine Ramos reached first base after getting hit by a pitch to open the sixth inning for the Gauchos. A bunt single from Ziegler put two runners on base. Katie McWhirter followed with a bunt single of her own, loading the bases with no outs. One out later, Duran singled to center field, bringing home Ramos and Ziegler. Jessica Beristianos grounded out to second base on the next play, but sent Duran home in the process, cutting the Gauchos’ deficit to 4-3.

Episcopo led off with a single in the top of the seventh for the Gauchos and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Nicole Churnock, but the next two Gauchos went down in order, giving Utah State the 4-3 victory.

UCSB will continue action at the Campbell/Cartier Classic on Saturday. The Gauchos play Indiana at 9 a.m. and Fresno State at 2 p.m.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB’s assistant media relations director.