Gauchos Go the Distance, End Gaucho Classic I with Victory Over San Diego

Andriana Collins (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Andriana Collins (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Freshman catcher Sami Stark hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning, driving home junior Lauren Boser, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 3-2 victory over San Diego in the final game of the Gaucho Classic I on Sunday afternoon at Campus Diamond. 

The victory over the Toreros gave the Gauchos a split on the day after they fell in the morning to No. 7 Missouri, 12-1. 

UCSB now stands at 8-2 overall after going 3-2 during their home-opening tournament. The Gauchos defeated San Diego twice and Fresno State while suffering a pair of losses to the nationally-ranked Tigers. Missouri finished the tournament 5-0, San Diego went 2-3 and Fresno State finished 0-5.

With the score deadlocked at 2-2 in the eighth inning and Boser placed on second base – per the tiebreaker rule – freshman Jessica Reichner came through for the Gauchos with a sacrifice bunt that moved Boser to third. Stark was up next and with a 1-1 count, she sent the ball flying to the right center field fence, giving Boser ample time to come home for the game-winning run against the Toreros.

The Gauchos had scored first in the bottom of the second after freshman Jessica Tetzlaff earned a bases loaded walk, bringing junior Kathryn Pilpil home from third. 

San Diego countered in the fourth inning when Mary Grabowski hit a one-out single up the middle driving Lauren Tomey home from second base. UCSB quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the same inning. 

Boser led off with a single to left field and one out later, Stark was able to reach on an error while bunting Boser over. A bunt single by Tetzlaff loaded the bases before an infield ground out by Jessica Soria brought Boser home.

San Diego mustered another response in the top of the fifth when Dana Prelsnick drove home Kylie McNutt with an RBI double to tie the game at 2-2.

Sophomore Shelby Wisdom (6-2) got the win after pitching the final inning in relief of Andriana Collins. Collins tossed seven innings and allowed just two earned runs on eight hits. She struck out three and walked one.

In the first game of the day against No. 7 Missouri, the Gauchos fell behind early when Nicole Hudson hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field to score Emily Crane. The Tigers tacked on four more runs in the third inning to push their lead to 5-0.

After the first nine UCSB batters were retired in order, the Gauchos were finally able to disrupt Mizzou pitcher Chelsea Thomas in the fourth. Soria led off with an infield single and two outs later, a single from Keilani Jennings brought her home for what would prove to be the lone Gaucho run of the game.

A two-run homer from Lindsey Muller in the fifth inning and a five-run seventh inning brought the Tigers' final tally to 12-1.

Muller went 4-for-4 with a run and three RBI and Corrin Genovese went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI to lead the Mizzou offensive effort. Thomas pitched the complete game and allowed just one unearned run on three hits while striking out 10.

Wisdom suffered the loss after tossing the first 4.1 innings and allowing seven runs – six earned – on 10 hits. She walked three and struck out two.

UCSB will be back in action next weekend at the Cathedral City Classic. The Gauchos will open tournament action against top-ranked Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m.