Gauchos Struggle on Opening Day of Gaucho Classic II

SANTA BARBARBA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team's return to Campus Diamond was not what it had hoped as the Gauchos stumbled in their two games on the opening day of the Gaucho Classic II. After falling 4-0 to Wisconsin in the opening game, UCSB dropped a 7-2 decision to Oklahoma State later in the day. 

The Gauchos (10-19) battled through five scoreless innings against the Badgers (11-7) before falling behind during a three-run sixth inning. With two runners on and one out, Molly Spence hit a double to left center field driving home two Wisconsin runs. After advancing to third on a Gaucho error during the same play, Spence was bunted home by Shannel Blackshear.

Mary Massei hit a two-out solo home run at the top of the seventh to bring the Badger's lead to 4-0. 

Wisconsin pitcher Cassandra Darrah (7-3) limited UCSB to just two hits – singles by McKenzie Kane and Kathryn Pilpil – in a complete game effort. She allowed just one walk while striking out four.

Andriana Collins (4-10) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs on six hits. She walked one and fanned one. Shelby Wisdom pitched one and a third innings of relief and allowed just one run on two hits.

The Gauchos' luck did not improve as the day wore on. Oklahoma State – which was the designated home team in the match-up – got a pair of early base hits from Kelsey Anchors and Tamara Brown at the bottom of the first. With two outs, Shelby Davis hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield, but the Gauchos erred on the play giving Anchors time to come home.

UCSB committed three more errors in the third inning while also allowing three Cowgirl hits, which led to a four-run onslaught.

At the top of the fourth, the Gauchos battled back. Kane and Allison Taylor opened the inning with consecutive base hits. Kane then made a break for third and, when the Oklahoma State catcher overthrew trying to catch her stealing, the sophomore came home. A wild pitch during the same at-bat brought Taylor home and cut the Cowgirl lead to 5-2.

Unfortunately, those would mark the only runs for the Gauchos. Oklahoma State tacked on two more at the bottom of the fifth off of an RBI base hit from Jessica Ward and a bases-loaded passed ball to grab the 7-2 victory.

Kane, Taylor, DeJanee Moore and Lainey DePompa accounted for the Gauchos' four hits against the Cowgirls.

Wisdom (6-9) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs, only one of which was earned, on 11 hits. She walked one and struck out four.

Weather permitting, the Gaucho Classic II will continue on Saturday. UCSB will face Oklahoma State at 11:15 am and Wisconsin at 1:45 pm.