SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – For their first game of the 2014 season, the Gauchos topped Dayton 9-8 after nine innings of game action that featured two Shelby Wisdom homers, and a walk off double from Lauren Boser.
The Gauchos entered the bottom of the ninth down 8-6 and, per tournament extra inning rules, had Kathryn Pilpil on second base.
To start the rally, freshman Stacy Cavazos bunted her way to single and moved Pilpil to third. The following two Gaucho batters followed suit and bunted their way safely to base, running in Pilpil and loading the bases for MeShalon Moore.
The sophomore made a sacrifice fly to center field to send Cavazos across home plate, tying the game at eight.
One out later and both runners in scoring position, Boser completed the rally by blasting the walk off double into deep left center.
Dayton took the first lead of the game at 2-0 in the top of the third, but it would be short-lived as the Gauchos fired back with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Arianna Palomares led off by roping a triple down the right field line. On the next at-bat, Moore then picked up her second RBI of the game when she sent Palomares home with a single to left field, giving UCSB its first run of the game.
Shelby Wisdom, who also started in the circle, continued the rally when she connected on her first hit of the season with a towering shot over the right field wall and put the Gauchos ahead 3-2.
The junior, though, was only getting started, as she delivered a lead-off homer during her next at-bat in the fifth inning.
Wisdom would finish the game 2-3 at the plate with three RBI, a pair of runs, and three walks.
Boser added to the lead with an RBI single hit down the right field line to move UCSB ahead 5-2 entering the seventh inning.
Up by three runs, UCSB witnessed Dayton record three consecutive doubles to tie the game at 5. The Flyers then added another run later in the inning to gain a lead for the first time since the third.
Entering the bottom of the seventh, the Gauchos needed just one run to stay alive in the game, and it was freshman Emily Brucelas who answered the call with a lead off homer to left field.
In the ninth, Dayton registered another run, which led to a change in the circle for Santa Barbara. Alex Pingree made her season debut needing to make two outs to move UCSB past the inning, and the sophomore delivered.
In their second game of the day, the Gauchos (1-1) were not able to match their offensive output from the first game as they fell 9-1 to a tough Texas A&M (2-0) squad at Campus Diamond. Pitted against a talented offensive lineup, the Aggies jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, finishing the game in 5 innings due to the mercy rule.
Texas A&M junior pitcher Rachel Fox (1-0) notched a complete game to pick up her first win of the season. She recorded five strikeouts, while only allowing four hits and one earned run in the twenty batters she faced.
Gaucho's pitcher Andriana Collins got her first start of the season but was knocked out in the first inning when the Aggies got their offense going. The first three batters of the game recorded back-to-back-to-back singles all hit right back up the middle. Collins nearly made an outstanding defensive play on one, but it scooted off her glove and rolled to the shortstop. With the bases loaded, Texas A&M stroked two more singles and picked up a walk to take the lead 3-0.
Alex Pingree came in to pitch for UCSB to try to get them out of the first inning jam. In a tough spot with the bases loaded once more, the Aggies knocked in three more runs on two singles. Pingree was able to get a ground out to end the inning but not before the damage was done with Texas A&M taking a 6-0 lead.
In the top of the third, the Aggies brought home three more runs on three hits to take a 9-0 lead.
Pingree would finish with three strikeouts while allowing three earned runs in four and two-thirds innings pitched.
With one out in the bottom of the third, the Gaucho's bats came to life. Freshman leadoff hitter Kristen Clark laid down a beautiful bunt for a base hit. After Ariana Palomares advanced Clark to second on a groundout, MeShalon Moore singled to right field to score Clark and pick up the RBI to make it 9-1. Shelby Wisdom followed with a single of her own but a fly out by Lauren Boser would end the rally.
UCSB will have a chance for redemption when they face Texas A&M tomorrow at 1:00pm as the Gaucho Classic I continues.