SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara (17-5) put together a big sixth inning rally to come from behind and defeat Monmouth (4-6) by a score of 6-3 on the second day of the Gaucho Classic II.
The Gauchos have now won six straight games and eight of their last nine. Shelby Wisdom came on in relief to pick up her seventh win on the season and her second in as many days.
Andriana Collins started the game for UCSB but struggled to find the strike zone early and was relieved by Alex Pingree. The Hawks managed to score one run on a bases loaded walk in the first inning, but once Pingree entered the game she got the final out to prevent any more runs from crossing the plate.
The Gauchos would respond in the bottom half of the first inning. With one out, after a controversial bang-bang play at first to nab leadoff hitter Kristen Clark, Kathryn Pilpil stroked a single to right field. A walk to Wisdom led to a 2-RBI double to the left-center gap by MeShalon Moore to give UCSB a 2-1 lead.
After three solid shutout innings by Pingree, the Hawks put together a three hit and two run fifth inning to take back the lead at 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Gauchos would stage a final rally to take a firm grasp on the game. Lauren Boser led things off with a double to left field. Jenessa Jeppesen followed with a comebacker right to the pitcher who's errant throw allowed her to reach base. Emily Brucelas then hit a sharp ground ball to the second basemen who threw out Jaqueline Hinojosa, who was pinch running for Boser, at home plate. Jessica Tetzlaff tried to bring a run home but her ground ball to the pitcher led to a force out at third to cut down the lead runner.
With two outs, the Gauchos desperately did not want to squander their chances after a lead off double and countless runners on base in the inning. Stacy Cavazos finally got the Gauchos over the edge with her base hit up the middle to score Brucelas to tie the game. Clark got her chance this time with another single up the middle to bring home Tetzlaff to take the lead. Just for good measure, Pilpil ripped a double to right center to score two and put UCSB up for good at 6-3.
Wisdom shut down the Hawks in the final frame to secure the victory.
Clark and Pilpil led the way at the plate with two hits apiece. Clark added an RBI and her team-high 17th stolen base of the year. Pilpil and Moore each notched 2-RBI doubles in the game.
UCSB continues play in the Gaucho Classic II tomorrow when they take on Portland State at 3:30 p.m. at Campus Diamond. Tickets are available at the event, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online.