Gauchos Fall in Doubleheader with CSUN

Lena Mayer (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Lena Mayer (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB (15-26, 2-6) dropped both of its games to Cal State Northridge (33-10, 8-0) in Saturday's doubleheader at Campus Diamond. The first place Matadors remain perfect in conference, while Santa Barbara is on a three-game slide.

Jacqueline Hinojosa and Arianna Palomares both paced the Gauchos with two hits each, while Kristen Clark tallied a team-high two runs in the twin bill. MeShalon Moore provided the day's biggest hit in crushing a three-run homer over left field in game one.

With her double in the second game, Palomares added to her Big West-leading 14 doubles this season.

GAME ONE

CSUN's Katie Hooper hit a pair of home runs to lead her team to the 9-4 win to open the doubleheader. MeShalon Moore hit a jack of her own in giving the Gauchos three runs in the first inning, but the Gauchos were held to just one run the rest of the game.

Ashley Ludlow (4-15) tossed all seven innings for UCSB, as she was credited with the loss after finishing with 12 hits, nine runs (six earned), and a pair of strikeouts. For the Matadors, Zoe Conley (14-4) picked up the win after going for five innings and allowing six hits, four runs, and four punch outs.

CSUN opened the game with two runs thanks to a pair of RBI singles in a two-out rally. The Gauchos were quick to put up runs of their own in the bottom of the inning when Moore blasted a three-run shot to left center, giving UCSB the lead at 3-2. It was the junior's sixth homer of the season, which helped her improve her team-leading slugging percentage to .581. 

Later in the third, Hooper connected on her first homer of the day, while the Matadors reclaimed the lead with two more runs in the fourth following a wild pitch and a throwing error.

In the fifth inning, Jacqueline Hinojosa's lead off bunt single was followed by two quick outs, leaving a runner on first for Arianna Palomares. The second baseman kept the inning alive in dropping a single into right field, sending Kristen Clark in for the score, cutting the deficit to one. 

However, Hooper later put the game out of reach one inning later with a two-run blast to left center. That coupled with another run in the seventh proved enough in the 9-4 win, as UCSB was held to four at-bats in the final two innings. 

GAME TWO

The Gauchos were unable to avoid the doubleheader sweep, as CSUN pulled off a shutout in holding them to five hits in game two. 

The game featured solid outings from both pitchers. For the Gauchos, freshman Lena Mayer (4-4) pitched every inning and held the Matadors to four runs (three earned), while also fanning two batters. Matador Brianna Elder (15-3) controlled UCSB's offense throughout the game in recording seven strikeouts and allowing five hits.

After a quiet first inning, Ariana Wassmer broke the ice with solo shot in the second to move CSUN ahead 1-0. The Gauchos threatened to score in the second and third, but could not move their runners across home plate. In the third, Clark picked up a double and was moved to first following a bunt single from Hinojosa. However, CSUN managed to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out to center to end the inning.

CSUN added three more runs, including two in the top of the seventh, to come up with a 4-0 lead. While DeJanee Moore singled in the bottom of the seventh, Elder produced three outs to clinch the win and the series.