SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara split the doubleheader with UC Davis on Saturday at Campus Diamond, dropping the first game off a mercy rule 8-0 finish and shutting out the Aggies 1-0 to take the second.
UC Davis made the trip down to Santa Barbara for Saturday's doubleheader, and they remembered to bring their big bats.
Shelby Wisdom was nodded for the start in game one, but the Gauchos' ace would only last two outs. Having already given up two runs, Wisdom sent a pitch well off target and hit JJ Wagoner's back to load up the bases. UCSB only needed one more out to escape the half inning, but Wisdom went on to walk Cassandra Ginnis and gave the Aggies a 3-0 edge in the top of the first.
After the walk, Gaucho head coach Brie Galicinao called in Andrianna Collins to get her team out of the pinch. With the bases still loaded, Collins allowed Chandler Wagner to knock a single into right field, bringing UC Davis yet another run, but JJ Wagoner was thrown out at third after Arianna Palomares threw a bullet from right field to Jessica Reichner at third who completed the play with the tag.
The Gauchos struggled to get anything going offensively with Justine Vela in the circle for UC Davis. The right-handed sophomore tossed a complete game while limiting UCSB to only three hits, all of them being singles.
The Aggies would tack on three more runs in the top of the third to give themselves the 7-0 lead. However, it wasn't until the next inning when they would give themselves a legitimate shot at earning the mercy rule victory.
Facing two outs and no runners on base in the fourth inning, Caitlin Voss cranked a solo homerun over the centerfield wall to improve Davis' lead to 8-0.
With a mercy rule looming, the Gauchos could not rise to the occasion as they went three up, three down in the bottom half of the fourth and fifth innings.
Wisdom was credited with the loss after only going 0.2 innings and giving up four runs, three earned, while Collins pitched the rest of the game and allowed four runs as well.
This was the third game of the past five that UCSB has lost by a mercy rule decision, as they fell to Arizona twice in that fashion last weekend. Last season, UCSB was mercy ruled three times over the course of six games.
UCSB returned the favor and shutout UC Davis 1-0 in the second game of the doubleheader to even the series. The Gauchos looked to freshman pitcher Alex Pingree who threw a gem against the Aggies only allowing two hits, both bunts, and striking out two batters. It was her third complete game this season in which she is leading UCSB with an impressive 1.89 ERA.
The Aggies never had more than four batters make an appearance each inning. In fact, they only had three of their players visit the batter's box in five of the seven innings.
The pitching was there, but the Gauchos needed to capitalize with runs. The team was finally able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Shelby Wisdom roped a triple down the right field line to give UCSB their first runner in scoring position since the second inning. The triple also marked as UCSB's first extra base hit in the doubleheader. Keilani Jennings would not squander the opportunity as she singled to right field, running in Wisdom for the game winning run.
Pingree may have led the Gauchos to victory, but perhaps the most memorable moment from game was the final play. Jessica Tetzlaff was in left field when a low liner was hit in her direction. The freshman charged at the ball and made the spectacular diving grab using both hands to make sure the ball never touched the grass, though it came dangerously close. The Gaucho faithful erupted when she held her right hand up to prove she made the grab and the game was over.
The rubber match will be played tomorrow at Campus Diamond at noon.