CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – In a low scoring affair, a two-run fourth inning from Utah made the difference in UCSB's 2-0 loss at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Gauchos have dropped their second game of the weekend, as their record moves to 3-9. With the win, Utah improves its record to 9-4.
Both teams recorded just four hits each in the game with Arianna Palomares leading all players with a pair of singles. The junior is now riding a five-game hitting streak, which includes four multi-hit games in a row.
Ashley Ludlow kept UCSB competitive throughout the game in the circle in throwing six complete innings and striking out a career-high five batters.
In the first inning, Jacqueline Hinojosa – who batted in the one-spot for the first time – drew a walk to get on base. Two batters later, the sophomore looked to give the Gauchos the first run of the game when Palomares hit a single to left field. While she reached third base safely, Hinojosa looked to stretch the play and made a run for home, but she was tagged out after Shelbi Everett delivered a strike from left field to get her at the plate.
Though the Gauchos were unable to get on the board, Ludlow led the effort in stalling Utah's offense in return. Through the first three innings, the junior only allowed one hit in facing 12 batters. The Utes were unable to move a runner into scoring position.
Utah found its offense in the bottom of the fourth inning when Anissa Urtez set things up with a one-out double. A pair of singles following that gave the Utes a 2-0 lead with a runner on first. Ludlow got the Gauchos out of the inning with a groundout, as Utah left two runners stranded.
UCSB had its best scoring opportunity in the following inning when they loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single with no outs. However, Katie Donovan – who was pitching in her first inning of the game – found the strike zone and got two punchouts and a fly out to get Utah out of the jam.
Ludlow continued to keep the Gauchos in the mix, as she did not give up a single hit in her last two innings and also struck out a pair of batters to start off the sixth. However, UCSB struggled to get back on base themselves, as Utah closed out the game on top 2-0.
The Gauchos will continue tournament play tomorrow with Texas A&M starting at 9:30 a.m.