HONOLULU, Hawaii – UCSB's seventh inning rally came up short in a 3-2 loss at Hawaii on Friday night.
The Gauchos (15-31, 2-11) loaded the bases in the top of the seventh and moved two runners aross home plate with a Jacqueline Hinojosa single and a MeShalon Moore walk. However, a pitching change from the Rainbow Wahine (27-19, 14-6) was enough to stave off the comeback and clinch the game one victory.
Ashley Ludlow (4-17) was in the circle for the entire games, as she allowed just three runs (two earned) off five hits while also fanning two batters.
Though UCSB did not score until the final inning, the Gauchos managed to outhit Hawaii 10-5 with DeJanee Moore and Arianna Palomares co-leading the game with two hits each. In fact eight of the nine batters in the lineup recorded at least one hit in the contest.
After Ludlow kept two runners on second and third from scoring in the first inning, Hawaii nabbed the lead in the second with the help from two Gaucho errors. With a runner on second, Ulu Matagiese reached base on a fielder's choice, but a muffed throw to third allow Rachel Lack to stay on the bags, as the Rainbow Wahine had runners on the corners with one out. Then on a steal attempt, MeShalon Moore misfired her throw to second which not only allowed the steal at second, but Lack also crossed home plate for the game's first run.
On the following play, a groundout to the shortstop was all the Rainbow Wahine needed to add another run and take a 2-0 lead.
Later in the sixth inning, Leisha Liilii gave Hawaii what would prove to be the game-winning run with an RBI single to right field, allowing a runner at second to score.
Down to their final three outs, the Gauchos kept their hopes alive with their first two batters singling to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs. While the Rainbow Wahine picked up a quick out off a fielder's choice, Kristen Clark loaded the bases after driving a single up the middle. Hiniojosa took care of the rest in splitting her base knock through the right side for UCSB's first run of the game.
The play ended Hawaii pitcher Brittany Hitchcock's night, as Kanani Aina Cabrales came in for relief. Though she did not have an easy match up in Palomares as her first batter, she managed to strike out the second baseman swinging, leaving UCSB with one more out. MeShalon Moore showed patience in the following at bat in drawing a walk and, more importantly, giving UCSB its second run. Aina Cabrales found her way out of the jam with a fly out to complete the save and end the game at 3-2.
The Gauchos will be back in action tomorrow night in a doubleheader starting at 7 p.m. PDT as they look to end their eight-game losing streak. You can follow the game online via Live Stats.