UCSB’s softball team dropped both games of a Tuesday doubleheader with No. 1 UCLA, losing a 7-2 decision in the first pairing before falling 8-1 in the nightcap in nonconference action at Campus Diamond.
The Bruins, who claimed the top spot in Tuesday’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, improved to 28-3 with the sweep. They’ve lost just once in the last 22 games. The Gauchos, now 15-4, have lost three in a row after winning five straight from March 9-15.
UCSB battled UCLA through a scoreless first four innings in the first game of the day, but the Bruins broke the tie with three runs in the top of the fifth. Amanda Kamekona and Samantha Camuso each had RBI singles and GiOnna DiSalvatore drew a bases-loaded walk to start the scoring for UCLA.
The Bruins opened up a 7-0 lead an inning later, with Krista Colburn driving in two to highlight a four-run, five-hit top of the sixth for the visitors. Jennifer Schroeder singled to right to start things off and Grace Murray came on as a pinch runner. One out later, Katie Schroeder singled to left and Kamekona hit a ground-rule double to plate Murray and make it 4-0. After Colburn’s single to right scored Schroeder and Kamekona to put the Bruins up, 6-0, DiSalvatore scored on a single to center by Megan Langenfeld to increase UCLA’s advantage seven runs.
UCSB finally got to Bruins starting pitcher Anjelica Selden in the bottom half of the frame when third baseman Tisha Duran, a senior from Ventura College and Buena High, hit a two-run homer to center field to drive in the Gauchos’ only runs of the game. The senior leads the team with 10 home runs this season. Freshman Jessica Beristianos followed with a single to short, but Langenfield came on in relief and retired the next three batters to end the inning.
Selden picked up the victory for UCLA, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out 12 and walking one. The senior improves to 13-2 on the season. Sophomore Lindsey Correa took the loss for the Gauchos and falls to 7-4 after allowing six runs on 10 hits in five and a third innings of work. She fanned eight and walked three.
Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto came on for Correa in the sixth and allowed one run in an inning and two thirds of relief.
Kamekona and Schroeder each went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead UCLA at the plate, while Christine Ramos had a pair of hits for Santa Barbara.
After taking an early 1-0 advantage in the first inning of game two, the Bruins scored four in the top of the fifth. UCLA sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, with Kaila Shull singling up the middle to lead things off and Schroeder and Kamekona following with RBI doubles to center field. DiSalvatore and Langenfeld each singled in runs as the Bruins’ cushion increased to five.
After UCLA tacked on three more in the sixth to pull away, 8-0, the Gauchos scored in the bottom half to avoid the shutout. With one out, Jessica Ziegler tripled to center and scored on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
UCLA starter Donna Kerr retired the final three batters in order in the bottom of the seventh to pick up the complete game and put the finishing touches on the Bruins’ sweep. The freshman was tremendous, allowing just the one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
Tami Weston started and went the first four and a third innings for UCSB, allowing five runs, nine hits, and one walk with three strikeouts. Matsumoto came on in relief again and pitched the final two and two-third frames. She gave up three unearned runs, four hits and three walks.
The Gauchos will look to bounce back when they return to Campus Diamond at 1 p.m. Wednesday for a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield.
Lisa Skvarla is UCSB’s assistant media relations director.