CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara suffered a tough 5-2 loss on Friday evening as they fell to No. 1 ranked Oklahoma in the kickoff game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Freshman Shelby Wisdom battled through all seven innings on the rubber for the Gauchos, surrendering five earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. She faced a fierce-hitting Sooner team who got on top quickly, as sophomore Lauren Chamberlain started the game with her second leadoff home run of the season.
Junior Brittany Williams led the Sooners' offense going 3-for-3 with two RBI's, keeping the away team out front with singles in the third and fifth innings.
The Gauchos' offense was ignited in the bottom of the third when junior McKenzie Kane singled to third and was advanced to second after senior Jessica Soria was hit by a pitch. Wisdom followed with a two-run double to give UC Santa Barbara its only runs for the night.
Down 5-2, an underdog Gauchos squad battled in the bottom of the fifth to load the bases on two walks and a single by Soria. However, relief pitcher Keilani Ricketts came in for Oklahoma starter Michelle Gascoigne and retired the side by forcing Wisdom to fly out to left. Ricketts would eventually go on to record her first save for the Sooners after 2.1 hitless innings.
Gascoigne got the win to move to 7-0 on the season, striking out 11 batters and allowing two earned runs on four hits. She out-dueled Wisdom in the circle, who moves to 6-3 on the season after taking the loss.
The Gauchos take on BYU and Tennessee in a doubleheader for tomorrow's second day of tournament action.