SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB (15-27, 2-7) was unable to avoid the series sweep, as Cal State Northridge (34-10, 9-0) remains perfect in conference following the 7-2 tilt.
The Gauchos struggled early at the plate, as they were held to only three hits before their two-run effort in the sixth inning. Matador pitcher Zoe Conley (15-4) picked up the win in allowing two hits through four innings. For UCSB, Lena Mayer (4-5) was credited with the loss after going for 1 2/3 innings and giving up three runs, all earned. Ashley Ludlow replaced her in the circle in the second and picked up a quick out to leave a pair of Matador runners stranded in scoring position.
CSUN's big fourth inning lifted the team to a 7-0 lead after collecting four runs off five hits.
In averting the shutout, UCSB put up both its runs in the sixth inning. Leading off was pinch hitter Jessica Tetzlaff who blooped a single to right field. Jacqueline Hinojosa gave UCSB two runners on base with a bunt single to the pitcher. Both runners were then moved into scoring position after Palomares grounded out to first. This set the stage for MeShalon Moore's sacrifice fly to center for the Gauchos' first run. Two at-bats later, Samantha Stark doubled off the left field wall to bring in Hinojosa from third, making the score 7-2.
While Ashley Ludlow held CSUN to just a single in the top of the seventh, UCSB was unable to pull off a late rally, as Brianna Elder struck out three of the four batters she faced to clinch the victory.
The Gauchos will be back at Campus Diamond on Saturday to host a doubleheader with UC Davis starting at noon. The teams will then wrap up their three-game series with a Sunday matchup starting at 12 p.m.