Stockton, Calif. – The conference woes continue for UCSB as they dropped both games in their doubleheader against the University of the Pacific on Friday. With a 6-5 loss in the first game and a 3-2 defeat in the second, the Gauchos now fall to 20-13 on the season and are just 1-4 in Big West play. The losses also extend the team's losing streak to four games.
Just a quick glance at the box score would let you know what the difference was in the first game. There was only a one-run differential, both teams delivered seven hits, but the Gauchos recorded four errors compared to Pacific's one.
The trouble for UCSB began in the first inning when the Tigers stormed out to an early 3-0 lead. Starting pitcher Shelby Wisdom threw a wild pitch that advanced Megan Hom from second to third, and the Tigers would took advantage when Amy Moore singled with a shot up the right field side sending Hom across home plate and moving Megan Fogelsong to second.
Next up, Nikki Armagost doubled to left field to give the Tigers another run and put herself and Moore in scoring position.
One sacrifice fly later gave Pacific the 3-0 lead after only one inning of play, but the Gauchos were quick to respond.
In the top of the second, Keilani Jennings got on base with a leadoff walk, but the Tigers were able to retire the next two batters. The Gauchos, though, were able to embark on a two out rally with the timely hitting from two juniors: McKenzie Kane and Lauren Boser.
Kane hit an RBI single to the shortstop and sent Jennings in for the Gaucho's first run. Then, Lauren Boser made her way to the batter's box to deliver arguably the biggest hit for the Gauchos all day. Facing a full count, Boser hit a shot deep to centerfield for an RBI triple, her second of the season. The rally ended when Jessica Soria hit a line out to third, but the Gauchos caught up with a 3-2 score.
The Tigers put up another run the next time they were up to bat, but UCSB found a way to maintain the one-run differential at the top of the third.
With Kathryn Pilpil on first base, Shelby Wisdom doubled to right center to give the Gauchos two runners in scoring position. Jennings would finish the job with a sacrifice bunt laid down the first baseline to make the score 4-3 Tigers.
The Gauchos finally evened the score when the fifth inning came around. McKenzie Kane was up at bat with Santa Barbara down 5-3, facing two outs, but had the bases loaded. UCSB needed a hit, and number 88 delivered with a hard single hit up the middle sending two runners home and tying the game at 5.
After recording only one hit through the next two innings, UCSB was hoping to push the matchup into extras. However, a throwing error from Keilani Jennings not only gave the Tigers a runner on base, it also gave them the game-winning run at third. Jennings would commit yet another throwing error on the next play which sealed the first-game victory for the Tigers.
Shelby Wisdom only lasted one inning in the circle before head coach Brie Galicinao put in Andriana Collins. Wisdom was done after giving up three hits and three runs, two of them earned. Collins was able to keep the Gauchos competitive throughout the game as she allowed a total of four hits and three runs, two earned, through five innings.
UCSB dropped the second game of the doubleheader in a 3-2 loss. The Gauchos solved their error problems from the first game, they finished with zero, but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities at the plate as they left a total of six runners on base.
Again, it was Pacific that captured the early lead in the bottom of the first.
With runners on the corners, Amy Moore connected for a double down the left field line for the two-RBI play, putting the Tigers up by two.
The game was gridlocked at 2-0 until the sixth inning, when the Gauchos were able to get on the board. It started when Kathryn Pilpil advanced to second thanks to Shelby Wisdom's single to left field.
Keilain Jennings then stepped up for her third plate appearance of the game. The Gauchos' top power hitter put her big bat to work with a double roped down the left field line, running in Pipil. Wisdom was out on the play when she tried to advance to third, but was tagged out when Pacific's left fielder delivered a perfect throw to the third baseman.
The Tigers continued to keep UCSB at bay with another double. This time, the extra base hit came from Megan Allen who brought Sara Anderson home from third to give Pacific the 3-1 advantage heading into the seventh.
The Gauchos were down 3-1, but their freshman catcher refused to let her team go down easy.
Leading off and facing a 2-1 count, Sami Stark crushed her first homerun as a Gaucho over the left field wall to narrow the deficit to one run. The freshman's solo shot would prove to be too little too late, though, as the Tigers were able to get the next three UCSB batters out to end the game.
Shelby Wisdom pitched a full six innings and faired better in this game than she did in part one of the doubleheader. The sophomore allowed five hits for three earned runs, while registering three strikeouts. She also allowed a season-high four walks in game-two.
UCSB will look to avoid the sweep with the series finale scheduled for tomorrow at 12pm.