SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara exploded for eight runs over a two inning span to win game one of a Saturday doubleheader over Hawaii, 9-5, but the Rainbow Wahine rebounded to split the twinbill with a 4-1 victory in the second game.
After a Sierra Altmeyer home run gave the Gauchos (24-26 overall, 7-8 in the Big West) a 1-0 lead through two innings of the first game, Hawaii (21-27, 5-10) clawed back with a run in the third and three in the fourth to claim a 4-1 advantage, but the lead was short-lived.
Altmeyer singled to right center to open the bottom of the fourth and then moved to second when Jessica Tetzlaff was safe on an error. A single by Jacqueline Hinojosa loaded the bases and was followed by a two-run single from Stacy Cavazos, carving the lead to 4-3. Following a sacrifice by Jessica Johnston, Melanie Menor plated two more runs with a single up the middle, giving UCSB the lead for good, 5-4.
Aided by a pair of errors, the Gauchos scored four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to 9-4. The inning did feature singles by Cavazos, Menor and Emily Brucelas.
Hawaii got a run back in the sixth inning to make it 9-5, but could get no closer.
Santa Barbara pounded out 13 hits in the first game, including two apiece by Menor, Brucelas, Altmeyer, Hinojosa, Cavazos and Johnston.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Rainbow Wahine starting pitcher Brittany Hitchcock tossed a complete game six-hitter to record the win. Hitchcock's batterymate, catcher Rachel Lack, was a perfect 3-for-3 with a two-run home run and three RBI.
The Gauchos scored their run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Palomares singled to right and Samantha Stark reached on an error, advancing Palomares to second. One out later, Altmeyer lined a single to center field, scoring Stark. Altmeyer and Hinojosa each had a pair of hits to lead UCSB.
One of five seniors competing in their final game at Campus Diamond, Ludlow relieved Veronika Gulvin and tossed 2.2 solid innings to close out the game for UCSB, allowing no earned runs.
The Gauchos will close out the season with six consecutive road games. They begin their final stretch with three games at UC Davis next weekend, including a doubleheader on Saturday, May 7 with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.