NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – After playing through a pair of lopsided decisions, UCSB (21-21, 4-4) split Saturday's doubleheader with Cal State Northridge (24-19, 4-4) at Matador Diamond.
Kristen Clark came through with team-highs of three hits and three RBIs through the two games, as she also picked up a stolen base in the second game. Veronika Gulvin also had a fine performance in the matinee contest, tossing a complete game and limiting CSUN to just one run.
The Gauchos struggled in the series opener, as CSUN clubbed three home runs while shutting out UCSB 6-0.
UCSB combined for three hits in the game with Emily Burcelas, Kristen Clark, and Jacqueline Hinojosa each recording singles. Both Clark and Hinojosa were able to reach scoring position, but both times it was with two outs as the Gauchos were unable to score either of them.
Up 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, CSUN broke the game open scoring three runs off a Savannah Horvath homerun into center field.
The Matadors' third homerun of the game marked a pitching change for the Gauchos with Lena Mayer replacing starting pitcher Ashley Ludlow. Though Ludlow (7-10) gave up eight hits over her 5.1 innings pitched, she also tallied five more strikeouts during the game, ranking her third in strikeouts among all Big West pitchers.
Northridge pitcher Daphne Pofek earned her eleventh win of the season (11-5), quieting UCSB to three hits and striking out seven, while only allowing two runners to reach second base.
Junior left fielder Kristen Clark led the Gauchos on the offensive side, finishing an efficient 2-3 with two runs and three RBI.
The win ended a four game losing streak for the Gauchos, bringing them even with the Matadors at 4-4 in conference play in the third weekend of Big West action.
Santa Barbara got off to a quick start, scoring all six of its runs in the opening two innings.
Senior second baseman Arianna Palomares got the scoring started in the top of the first, doubling down the left field line to bring senior catcher Samantha Stark and junior left fielder Kristen Clark home.
With two RBI on the day, Palomares is now tied for second in the team with 26 RBI this season.
Already with a 2-0 lead heading into the second inning, UCSB didn't let up there.
After a double by Melanie Menor, a pair of walks for Stacy Cavazos and Jessica Johnston loaded the bases. All three Gauchos would score on the next at bat, as Clark came to the plate for a double to left center, giving UCSB a 5-0 lead.
Right after Clark's three-run double, junior third baseman Emily Brucelas capped off the scoring, singling down the middle to give Clark her second run of the game.
Freshman pitcher Veronika Gulvin (7-9), who didn't play in the previous game against the Matadors, did not give up a run until the sixth inning, when Northridge's Taylor Nate scored on a solo home run. Gulvin finished the game with four strikeouts after pitching a full seven innings.
UCSB will close out its weekend road series with the Matadors tomorrow at 1 p.m.