Six-Run Fourth Inning Lifts Gauchos Over Bakersfield 7-4

Kristen Clark (Photo by Scott Quintard)
Kristen Clark (Photo by Scott Quintard)
LOS ANGELES -- After splitting its two games to open the Stacy Winsberg Invitational on Friday, UCSB (10-8) capitalized on a strong fourth inning in its only game on Saturday to catapult it to a 7-4 win over CSU Bakersfield (4-10). The win was Santa Barbara's seventh in its last nine outings.
UCSB didn't get off to a particularly fast start facing a 1-0 deficit midway through the game while recording just one hit through three innings. However, as they did when they put up nine runs in a single inning against Charleston Southern just one day earlier, the Gauchos got hot in the fourth.
Santa Barbara put up six runs – five of which came with two outs on the board – tying for the second-most it has had in an inning this season.
Third baseman Emily Brucelas first got UCSB on the board with a solo home run to left field, giving her a team-best three homers this year and tying the game at 1-1.
Soon after, with two outs and runners on second and third, senior utility Jessica Tetzlaff doubled to center field, bringing home freshman Melanie Menor and junior Jacqueline Hinojosa to make it 3-1.
The Gauchos weren't done there, as senior second baseman Arianna Palomares picked up an RBI of her own on a single to the left side to give Tetzlaff her fourth run of the year. With her fifth RBI of the weekend, Palomares is now tied with sophomore Jessica Johnston (16) for the team lead.
Capping off the offensive outburst was Sierra Altmeyer. With the bases loaded, the freshman recorded UCSB's sixth hit of the inning, a single to the left side, which brought in two runs from Palomares and freshman Kristen Clark and extended the lead to 6-1. Clark and Palomares now rank first and second on the team with 16 and 15 runs, respectively.
After taking one game off following her first career no-hitter against Charleston Southern on Friday, pitcher Veronika Gulvin (4-4) was solid through the first four innings. Despite giving up three hits and a run in the first, the freshman bounced back to keep the Roadrunners without a single hit over the next three innings.
Tetzlaff then added to the Gaucho lead at the top of the fifth, singling to right center to help give Hinojosa her second run. Hinojosa was the only player to score multiple runs in the game.
Now in her third year at UCSB, Tetzlaff had just two career RBI coming intoSaturday's game, but she surpassed that in just a two-inning stretch, going a perfect 2-2 for the day with three RBI.
Facing a 6-1 deficit, the Roadrunners attempted to make a comeback in the bottom of the fifth, as a solo home run by freshman Nadia Amezcua and a run by senior Alex Simmons cut the lead to 7-3.
Senior pitcher Ashley Ludlow was subbed in for the final two innings to finish things off, giving up one run as the Gauchos went on to claim the 7-4 victory. They have now gone 4-1 in their last five games, outscoring their opponents 32-8 over that stretch.
UCSB closes out the Stacy Winsberg Invitational in Los Angeles, CA withSunday rematches against Charleston Southern and CSU Bakersfield at 9 am and noon, respectively.