The UCSB softball team posted a 3-1 road win over UC Riverside on Sunday, capturing a sweep of the Big West Conference series. On Saturday, the Gauchos swept the doubleheader, 7-6 and 6-2.
With the win, UCSB improves to 20-14 on the season and 3-0 in the Big West. Riverside falls to 14-22 overall and 0-3 in conference.
In the bottom of the first inning, UCR’s Marissa Alvidrez and Kristie Martinez singled with two outs. Taylor Thomas walked to load the bases, and Katie Curtis’ single sent Alvidrez home to put Riverside ahead, 1-0.
After three hitless innings, the Gauchos returned to the top of their order in the fourth inning. Three consecutive singles from Christine Ramos, Jessica Ziegler and Tiffany Wright loaded the bases. Tisha Duran stepped-up and hit a double to left center field, driving home a pair of runs and giving the Gauchos a 2-1 lead.
A single from freshman Katie McWhirter two outs later brought Duran across home plate and stretched the Gauchos’ advantage to 3-1. The lead was enough as UCSB shut down UCR over the next four innings to take the victory and the series sweep.
The Gauchos were led by Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High who went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Ramos and senior Ericka Hansen each tallied two hits in the win.
In the circle, junior Tami Weston (7-2) picked up her second win of the weekend after pitching six innings, allowing no runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto pitched the first inning, allowing one run on three hits with a walk.
The Gauchos will continue Big West action next weekend when they host Cal Poly in a three-game series. The first game starts at noon Saturday at Campus Diamond.
Lisa Skvarla is UCSB’s assistant media relations director.