SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara celebrated its Senior Day in style as the Gauchos capped their series sweep over visiting Cal Poly with an 8-0 mercy win at Campus Diamond on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, UCSB improves to 27-28 on the season and 12-6 in the Big West. The Gauchos are currently tied for second with Pacific and UC Davis on the league leader board. Long Beach State is in first place at 14-4. Cal Poly falls to 12-34 and 4-14 in league with the loss.
Freshman Jenessa Jeppesen topped off a fantastic weekend at the plate by hitting a three-run bomb in the bottom of the third inning to give UCSB an early 3-0 lead.
Senior Lainey DePompa led off the inning with a base hit to shallow left field. Freshman Shelby Wisdom was able to reach first base on the next play when Mustang pitcher Chloe Wurst was unable to cleanly field her sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Lauren Boser moved both runners when she grounded out to second base, putting two runners in scoring position with just one out.
Jeppesen gave the first pitch she saw a ride, sending it over the baseball batting cages beyond Campus Diamond's left center field fence.
With two outs in the fourth, junior Jessica Soria laid down a bunt and beat the throw out to first base. Sophomore Kathryn Pilpil followed with a base hit of her own, hit to shallow center field. Senior Brooke Putich's ensuing single, hit to shallow center, drove Soria home and pushed the Gauchos' lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, junior Keilani Jennings led off with a base hit to left field and her pinch runner, DeJanee Moore, promptly stole second. The runner was able to move to third when DePompa hit a fly ball to center field. Wisdom's sacrifice fly brought Moore home to add one more run to UCSB's lead.
Jeppesen opened the sixth inning for the Gauchos with a base hit to right center field. She was able to move to third base when Mustang right fielder Cami Brown overthrew the ball into the UCSB dugout. Sophomore McKenzie Kane and Soria then loaded the bases with a pair of infield singles with no outs.
Pilpil hit into a fielder's choice during the next at-bat, but the second baseman Ashley Romano missed the throw home, allowing pinch runner Jenny Liepman and Kane time to dash home.
Putich followed by hitting another fielder's choice, but the Mustangs were once again unable to make the play at the plate as Soria scored the game-ending eighth Gaucho run.
Soria led the team going 3-for-4 with two runs while Jeppesen went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a home run.
In the circle, Wisdom tossed six shutout innings. She limited the Mustangs to just three hits and one walk while striking out nine batters.
UCSB will wrap-up the regular season with a three-game series against Cal State Northridge next Friday and Saturday, May 11-12.