LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In a doubleheader with No. 6 UCLA, UC Santa Barbara dropped both road decisions to the Bruins.
The matchups marked the first time the Gauchos took on a nationally ranked opponent as the away team since they visited Florida State back in February. UCSB is now 20-10 on the season as the team is on a four-game skid heading into conference play this Saturday. UCLA improves to 29-2 and have strung together three consecutive wins.
In the first game, Shelby Wisdom started the game and kept UCSB competitive by keeping the Bruins scoreless through the first four innings. UCLA got into scoring position twice during that span, but Wisdom skillfully forced the batters into groundouts to end the innings.
The Gauchos found themselves in a 0-0 tie going into the fifth winning, which was when the Bruins' offense caught fire. UCLA first got on the board with an RBI single through the left side and followed that play with a two-run shot to left center and took a 3-0 lead. They coupled those runs with two more in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-0 advantage heading into the seventh.
UCSB got a run in the final half inning to avoid the shutout. Lauren Boser first reached base from a fielding error by UCLA's Delaney Spaulding at shortstop. Freshman Jaqueline Hinojosa came in to pinch run at first base and advanced to the second pass on a passed ball. With two outs, Jenessa Jeppesen sent Hinojosa home with an RBI delivered to right field.
In the second game, UCSB found the scoreboard earlier after MeShalon Moore led off the second with a single hit to center field. After a pair of groundouts, Moore advanced to third base looking to cut into UCLA's two-run leading. She did just that on the next at bat after Mysja Sataraka committed an error at third, which gave Moore the chance to run in for the score.
In the following inning, UCLA took control of the game by firing off six runs, highlighted by Stephany LaRosa's second home run of the day. The Bruins finished the game with a 9-1 decision through five innings.
The Gauchos will continue this week's play at Cal State Fullerton to open Big West play. The three game series will open on Saturday in a doubleheader scheduled to start at 4 p.m.