The UC Davis softball team held UC Santa Barbara to just two runs on Saturday as it posted a pair of wins over the Gauchos in a Big West Conference doubleheader at La Rue Field. The Aggies won game one 2-1 before defeating UCSB 4-1 in the latter half of the twin bill.
With the losses, UCSB falls to 25-22 on the season and 8-6 in Big West games. UC Davis improves to 22-30 overall and 7-7 in conference play.
In game one, Aggie Trish Paine reached on a Gaucho fielding error at the top of the order in the bottom of the first inning. After being bunted over by Jessica Gonzales, Paine was brought home when Julie Stauder doubled to center field, giving Davis a 1-0 lead.
At the top of the next inning with one out, Jessica Beristianos walked before Ericka Hansen singled, putting two runners on. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance before, one out later, Priscilla Perez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. The next batter grounded out, leaving the three Gauchos stranded.
The Aggies extended their lead to 2-0 at the bottom of the same inning when Erin Emde led-off with a single and pinch runner Michelle Espiratu scored on Ashley Johnson’s double to left field.
At the bottom of the fifth, the Gauchos once again loaded the bases with one out on back-to-back singles by Nicole Churnock and Christine Ramos, followed by an Aggie error that allowed Jessica Ziegler to reach first. One out later, Churnock was able to score on a wild pitch before the remaining two batters were left stranded.
Still trailing 2-1 at the top of the seventh inning with one out, Ramos singled through the right side before Ziegler followed with a single of her own during the next at-bat. Ziegler was called out at second on a fielder’s choice during the ensuing at-bat as Tiffany Wright made it safely to first. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Aggies earned the final out on a groundout to second base and picked up the 2-1 victory.
Hansen led the Gauchos at the plate, going 2-for-3, while Ramos also tallied a pair of hits. In the circle, MeLinda Matsumoto (7-9) took the loss after pitching all six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks and one strikeout.
Davis’ Jessica Hancock (15-17) took the win after pitching the complete game, allowing just one unearned run on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Davis once again struck first during the second game of the day. At the bottom of first, Paine led-off with a walk, then advanced to second when Gonzales grounded out. Paine then stole third before Stauder singled to center field, bringing her home to give Davis a 1-0 lead.
The two teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Paine and Gonzales led-off with back-to-back singles. Both runners stole second before Deanna Menapace walked, loading the bases.
Sarah O’Neill walked during the next at-bat, sending Paine across home plate. Erin Emde followed with a single, sending Gonzales home.
The Aggies rounded out the inning with an RBI single from Ashley Johnson, extending their lead to 4-0.
UCSB’s Wright opened the sixth inning with a double to left field, then advanced to third when Tisha Duran fouled out during the ensuing at-bat. Wright scored on a groundout to second base by Beristianos, cutting the UCSB deficit to three runs.
The Gauchos retired the next three Aggies in order before pinch hitter Danielle Meyers opened the top of the seventh with a single to right field. After the first out of the inning, pinch runner Jackie Conlin was able to reach second when Churnock grounded out to the pitcher.
Ramos laid down a bunt single to move Conlin to third, but it would be the last Gaucho hit of the game as the next batter flied out, securing Davis’ 4-1win.
Ramos led the team going 3-for-3 at the plate. Tami Weston (8-6) took the loss after pitching the first two-thirds of the first inning. The pitcher allowed one run on one hit while walking two. Matsumoto finished the game and allowed three earned runs on six hits with four walks.
Alex Holmes (7-13) picked up the win after pitching seven innings and allowing just one run on seven hits with no walks and one strikeout.
UCSB will conclude its three-game series with the Aggies at noon Sunday at La Rue Field.
Lisa Skvarla is UCSB’s assistant media relations director.