LAS VEGAS – UCSB's offense shined in the opening day of the Rebel Classic, as the Gauchos (6-16) secured a 7-4 win over Eastern Kentucky (9-8) and narrowly fell to Houston (11-12) in a 12-10 decision.
Jacqueline Hinojosa was consistent at the plate in recording three hits in both games, while Arianna Palomares and Shelby Wisdom each provided four RBI. Together, the Gauchos combined for 28 hits, by far the most the team has had in consecutive games this year.
Santa Barbara will be back in action tomorrow with match ups against No. 16 Cal at 1:30 p.m. and with Iowa State at 8:15 p.m.
Carried by a four RBI performance by junior Arianna Palomares, and a strong outing in the circle from junior Alex Pingree, UC Santa Barbara captured a 7-4 win against Eastern Kentucky.
Allowing three earned runs and striking-out six batters, Pingree collected her fourth win of the season. Fellow junior, Ashley Ludlow, came in as the relief pitcher and grabbed her first save of the campaign.
After a scoreless top of the first for UCSB, Eastern Kentucky snatched the early momentum. Due to a fielding error, the Colonels secured its first runner in scoring position. Eastern Kentucky's Shannon McQueen drilled a two-out single to bring in the first run of the game.
The top of the third is where the momentum of the contest shifted. Opening the inning with a single by Jacqueline Hinojosa and a double down the left field line by Kristen Clark, UCSB had runners on second and third with no outs. Palomares led the Gaucho surge with a two RBI single up the middle.
Leading 2-1, Pingree and the Gauchos defense blanked the Colonels' bats in the bottom of the third.
UCSB continued to put the pressure on as the team faced a two-out, bases loaded situation. With Palomares at the plate, the junior second baseman continued her offensive success, hitting another single up the middle. With the single, Palomares brought in two more Gaucho runs to give the team a 4-1 edge.
Leading by the same score at the top of the fifth, the Gauchos converted a throwing error into another productive inning. With a single out, and runners on second and third, UCSB tallied its fifth run of the match. Senior third baseman DeJanee Moore singled up the middle to bring home fellow senior, Shelby Wisdom.
After a hit-by-pitch, single and groundout, UCSB was in another position to put more runs on the board. Senior Jenessa Jeppesen lined a single through the left side, bringing home the last two runs for the Gauchos.
Up 7-1, the Gauchos were in a commanding leading over Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels battled back in the bottom of the sixth, producing three runs in the inning.
Coming in to pitch midway through the sixth inning, Ludlow guided the Gauchos to a flawless finish, beating Eastern Kentucky, 7-4.
Shelby Wisdom provided the fireworks on Saturday night with two home runs, but it came in a losing effort as UCSB fell in a 12-10 shootout with Houston.
Wisdom had her best outing of the season in going 3-4 at the plate with a pair of homers and a triple in recording four RBI. Jacqueline Hinojosa also picked up three hits, while Kristen Clark and Jenessa Jeppesen added two base knocks each.
Lena Mayer pitched the lion's share of the game (5 1/3 innings) and allowed four earned runs, while Ashley Ludlow (1-12) picked up the loss after giving up seven earned runs.
The teams did not wait to get on the board, as UCSB tallied two runs in the bottom of the first to take the early 2-1 lead. After Clark led off with a single up the middle, Stacy Cavazos was looking to move her into scoring position with a routine sacrifice bunt. But there was nothing routine about what actually happened. In a play that featured two errors, the second baseman could not secure the catch for the putout and sent the ball into right field. Houston's Tiffani McKnight misfired her throw back into the infield, which gave Clark the green light for the score.
Two batters later, Wisdom made sure her scoring play was a lot cleaner, as she delivered a solo shot to left center to give the Gauchos the 2-1 advantage.
While the Cougars' defense went on to commit seven errors in the game, their offense made up for it starting with a six-run second inning. With two outs and bases loaded, Houston rallied with a single, a double, and a two-run bomb in three consecutive at bats to take a commanding 7-2 lead.
Later in the third, Wisdom came through again with a solo jack soaring over left field, but the Cougars responded in the following inning with two more runs.
The Gauchos made things interesting with their turn in fourth, starting with a pair of stolen bases from the sophomore duo of Clark and Hinojosa. Both singled with their at bats and quickly moved into scoring position to set the scene for Cavazos' two RBI double to left field. In the circle was Shelby Miller, who came in for Summer Groholski to start the inning, but had trouble figuring out UCSB.
Following Cavazos' double, Miller walked back-to-back batters to load the bases for Samantha Stark. The junior grounded out to third, but the play brought in another Gaucho run to cut into the Houston lead at 9-6.DeJanee Moore brought in one more with a grounder hit to the shortstop, as the Gauchos trailed only by two runs heading into the fifth.
Houston kept the pressure on with a two RBI single shot up the middle. However, UCSB's bats remained hot from the previous inning, as the team pulled itself within one at 11-10. With two outs and MeShalon Moore at third, Cavazos once again arrived on base thanks to a fielding error that sent Moore in for the score. Two batters later, Wisdom continued to inflate her slugging percentage, as she roped a triple to right field to bring in Palomares and Cavazos for the team's ninth and tenth runs of the game.
While the Gauchos moved into scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, they could not deliver the scoring play, as Houston salvaged their lead and finished on top 12-10.