DAVIS – Despite taking the lead twice, the UC Santa Barbara softball team fell to Idaho State 4-3 in eight innings in its 2020 season opener on Friday morning at the NorCal Kickoff.
UCSB combined for nine hits, highlighted by both junior left fielder Sammy Fabian and junior second baseman Maci Fines’ 2-for-4 days at the plate.
The Gauchos took the early lead after junior right fielder Rayna Cohen brought in Fabian with an RBI double to right field.
Two plate appearances later, Fines put the Gauchos up 2-0 by driving in Cohen with a single up the middle.
Santa Barbara’s lead lasted until the bottom of the third, when Idaho State’s Isabel Cargill hit a single to center that scored teammate Shaelee Perkins to cut the lead to 2-1.
Shortly afterward, Cargill took advantage of a UCSB error to come across the plate herself and tie the game up at 2-2.
Neither team would break the tie until the game advanced into extra innings. With senior OP Devan Sperryplaced on second at the beginning of the eighth, redshirt senior first baseman Sierra Altmeyer sent her across the plate with a single on the payoff pitch, though Altmeyer was put out at third base after attempting to advance on the throw.
Following a groundout from Fines in the next at-bat, sophomore catcher Teah Thies hit a double to center field on the second pitch, but the Gauchos couldn’t make anything of that and they headed to the bottom half of the frame with a 3-2 advantage.
Cargill began the bottom of the eighth placed on second base, and a single from left fielder Morgan Hess and walk issued to pinch hitter Frankie Tago in the next two at-bats meant the bases were loaded with no outs.
Up stepped shortstop Kelsey Breer, who knocked in both Hess and Cargill with a single along the left side to walk off the game for Idaho State, winning 4-3.
Pitcher Lexi Campbell made her debut in the circle for the Gauchos, going five innings while allowing five hits and two runs, one earned, and walking one batter while striking out six.
UCSB continues play Saturday, facing Cal Baptist at 9 a.m. and Boise State at 11:30 a.m.