SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Capped off by Lauren Boser's towering grand slam, UC Santa Barbara blew away Portland State 13-2 in six innings at Campus Diamond for its seventh straight win.
The Gauchos are now off to their best start in program history at 18-5 and currently sit atop the Big West standings. The last season they have had as a prolific a start through their first 23 games was in 2007 when they were 16-7. It was also the last season UCSB competed in an NCAA Regional.
While three Santa Barbara pitchers contributed in the circle, it was Andriana Collins who was credited with the win after tossing two scoreless innings. With a 7-1 record, the senior is now tied with Shelby Wisdom for the most wins on the team.
Leading the Gauchos at the plate was Boser who went 3-of-4 for three runs and five RBI, all highlighted by her walk off grand slam that she sent soaring over left-center field. Earlier in the contest, the senior hit a leadoff double against the left field wall and inspired a pitching change for the Vikings. Despite Portland State's fresha arm, Boser would still reach home plate and put her team up 5-2 thanks to a throwing error from the second baseman.
The game remained close until the Gauchos lit up the scoreboard with a four-run fifth inning.
Boser sparked the offense with a single up the middle, which sent Kathryn Pilpil home from second and moved Moore into scoring position. With a 6-2 Gaucho lead, Jennessa Jeppesen provided the inning's exclamation point with her three-run blast that she sent hurtling over left field.
UCSB came just one run shy of mercy-ruling Portland State in the fifth, but Santa Barbara would make it sure it had a chance to end the game later in the sixth inning.
Wisdom's number was called into the circle to open the sixth and made quick business of the Vikings, as she forced them to a three up, three down inning with a pair of lineouts and a groundout.
Overall, three Gauchos came away with three hits, as Kristen Clark and Pilpil matched Boser's total. Clark also picked up her 18th stolen base of the season, which ranks her second in the Big West. Pilpil went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and scored a team-best four runs after hitting a triple, double, and a single. As a team, UCSB now leads the conference with nine triples.
Santa Barbara will go for the sweep in the Gaucho Classic II when it takes on Dartmouth at 1:30 p.m. during the tournament finale. Tickets are available at main entrance of Campus Diamond or online here.