Stellar Pitching Performances Lift UCSB to Doubleheader Sweep Over Cal Poly

Ashley Ludlow (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Ashley Ludlow (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – With back-to-back complete games from Ashley Ludlow and Veronika Gulvin, UCSB (19-17) clinched the series win over rival Cal Poly (16-13), as they held the Mustangs to only one run in Saturday's doubleheader.

Ludlow led the Gauchos to a 2-1 victory in game one, while Gulvin shutout Cal Poly 3-0 in the second contest.

UCSB will be vying for the sweep tomorrow at Campus Diamond starting at 1 p.m. Tickets for the game will be available at the main entrance and can also be purchased online.

GAME ONE

The Gauchos opened their weekend series and conference play with a 2-1 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday. Senior Ashley Ludlow (6-7) pitched her team-high eighth complete game of the year, picking up her sixth win and striking out six batters with only one walk and one run. 

Cal Poly struck first by scoring their only run in the top of the first inning. Lead off batter Stephanie Heyward was hit by a pitch, stole second, and would come around to score after a single and fielder's choice. Cal Poly threatened to score more with two outs and bases loaded, but Ludlow forced a fly out to center field to end the threat.

UCSB defense retired the next six Mustang batters over the second and third innings with two strikeouts, a ground out, and three outs in the air. 

The Gauchos scored two and collected four of their five hits during the fourth inning.  

With two outs, senior Arianna Palomares singled into left field and was followed by a single into centerfield by Emily Brucleas. With runners on second and third Sierra Altmeyer singled down the left field line to score Palomares. Brucelas came around to score next on a Melanie Menor single into left field. 

UCSB relied on the heart of its lineup to produce its offense, as each batter from Jessica Johnston in the three spot to Melanie Menor in the seventh spot recorded one hit. Altmeyer and Menor came up with the two RBIs with their back-to-back left field singles.

GAME TWO

 

UCSB completed the twin bill sweep with a 3-0 shutout victory in the second game. Veronika Gulvin (6-8) gave the team its second complete game of the day, as she allowed just four hits and walk with a strikeout.

Jessica Johnston and Melanie Menor co-led the Gauchos with two hits each, as Johnston came up with the game's biggest hit with a triple roped down the right field line. The two also provided UCSB with both if its RBIs. 

Gulvin mowed her way through just 27 Mustang batters and saw just one batter reach third base, as she held Cal Poly to just four singles. Following back-to-back three up, three down innings, the Mustangs set up their best scoring opportunity in the fourth inning after their two lead off batters reached base.

Both runners were bunted over into scoring position with one out, but neither would reach home plate as Gulvin got out of the jam after forcing Ashley Tornio into a foul out to third base.

With Cal Poly's offense kept in the check, the Gauchos slowly tacked on their runs throughout the game. UCSB scored its first run in the bottom of the first thanks to a wild pitch from pitcher Stephanie Heyward (0-2). After Jacqueline Hinojosa got on with a walk, she moved over to third with the help of Johnston's first single of the game.

Now just 60 feet away from scoring, Hinojosa bolted to the plate after Heyward sent her pitch sailing over her catcher and into the backstop. A double play ended the team's chances to tallying more runs in the first, but they would strike again later in the third.

Two groundouts opened the inning, but Hinojosa kept the Gauchos going with an infield single. This set the stage for Johnston's stand up triple, which easily sent Hinojosa in for the team's second run.

After Cal Poly worked to get two runners on second and third in the fourth inning, Gulvin and the Gaucho defense made things less exciting for its rival down the stretch, as the Mustangs never made it past first base for the rest of the game. 

UCSB added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with Menor's RBI single to left field. With the help of two infield throwing errors from Cal Poly, Johnston reached third base by UCSB's third at bat of the inning. This made it easier for her to head home after Menor sprayed a single into shallow left field.

Down to their final inning, the Mustangs saw a lead off single from Betsy Colburn to keep their hopes alive. However, after Torino followed her up with a single to right field, Johnston picked up a big first out after throwing at Colburn at second base.

To complete the shutout, the Gauchos provided an exclamation point of a play with a 463 twin killing.