UCSB Sweeps Final Day of Stacy Winsberg Invitational

Samantha Stark (Photo by Scott Quintard)
Samantha Stark (Photo by Scott Quintard)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – UCSB (11-8) swept the final day of the Stacy Winsberg Invitational with a 5-2 win over Charleston Southern and an 8-4 triumph of CSU Bakersfield. The Gauchos finished the tournament with a 4-1 record, as their only loss was a competitive 3-2 decision to No. 13 UCLA.

Strong pitching performances from Lena Mayer and Ashley Ludlow were key for the Gauchos, as both allowed just two earned runs each, while both also nabbed their third win of the year.

UCSB – now winners of nine of its past 11 games – will continue their season next weekend at the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Long Beach. The tournament will open on Thursday March 10, as the Gauchos will face Utah Valley at 4:30 p.m.

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

Lena Mayer shutout Charleston Southern through the first six innings, while the UCSB offense cruised ahead to pull off the 5-2 victory to start the third day of the Stacy Winsberg Invitational. It was the Gauchos' first game of the tournament played at Matador Diamond at Cal State Northridge.

Mayer (3-2) earned the win after throwing the first 6.2 innings and allowed only two earned runs through 10 hits. After the sophomore allowed two runs in the seventh inning, Claudia Puente was called in to make the save and she came through with the final out of the game with a fielder's choice to third base.

On offense, Emily Brucelas continued her strong weekend with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, including a double. Melanie Menor had a big late-game hit with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, adding to what would prove to be needed padding to UCSB's then 3-0 lead.

Sierra Altmeyer brought in the Gauchos' first run of the game with an RBI double to center field. The freshman registered the run with two outs and Jessica Johnston on first base who got on with a walk.

Despite the early start, that run would the only one scored until the Gauchos tacked on one more in the bottom of the fifth. During the scoring drought, the Buccaneers had runners in scoring position on two occasions, but never advanced the past second base. In all, the team left four runners stranded during those four innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Gauchos picked up a hard earned run after the team worked Stacy Cavazos around the base pads through three at bats. Ashley Wright led off with a walk and was replaced on the bags by the pinch runner Cavazos. The junior went to work quickly and stole second with Kristen Clark at the plate. She later moved to third after Clark grounded out to the shortstop, and scored one batter later following an infield groundout by Arianna Palomares.

Charleston Southern picked up a one-out double belted to right center in the following inning. But they couldn't capitalize, as Mayer retired the next two batters with a pair of fly outs.

In the sixth, the Gauchos worked to load the bases with a walk, single, and a fielding error, which brought up Samantha Stark who also drew a walk to bring across a run. That at bat ended Arizona Pilgrim's day in the circle, as Hayley Elkins came in for her. The new arm didn't change much, as Menor was Elkins first batter and came up with the two-RBI single.

CSU BAKERSFIELD

UCSB softball closed out the Stacy Winsberg Invitational at Matador Stadium this weekend with their second win over Cal State Bakersfield 8-4. The Gauchos combined for 11 hits in the game while senior pitcher Ashley Ludlow pitched a complete game to pick up her third win of the season.

Though the Roadrunners struck first with one run in the top of the fourth inning, UCSB answered back in the bottom of the fourth with a huge seven run inning.

With one out and runners on first and second Samantha Stark hit an RBI double down the left field line. After a wild pitch allowed Jessica Tetzlaff to score, pinch runner Rieanne Thomas scored by an Ashley Wright RBI to third base, the score now 3-1. A single and a stolen base from Kristen Clark had runners on second and third for Arianna Palomares's two-RBI single into right field, again raising the score 5-1 and causing a pitching change for Bakersfield. A walk and a single from Sierra Altmeyer loaded the bases for the Gauchos. A sacrifice fly into right field from Junior Emily Brucelas scored Palomares. Hinojosa earned her second hit of the inning with a bunt down the third base line to once again load the bases for UCSB. Jessica Johnston touched home for the final run of the fourth after Jessica Tetzlaff was walked with nowhere to put her.

The Roadrunners were able to gain three more runs in the fifth inning to tighten the score 7-4. However, the Gauchos earned one more insurance run in the sixth inning from a Samantha Stark sac fly.

The Gaucho offense was evenly spread as seven different players earned at least one hit, and all eight runs coming from a different UCSB player. Kristen Clark, Arianna Palomares, and Jacqueline Hinojosa had multiple hits on the day, Hinojosa leading the way going 3-4 on the day.