SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB (24-20, 5-4) closed out its three-game home series with Cal State Northridge (25-15, 5-4) by earning its second shutout of the weekend to take a 2-1 series win. After falling 6-1 in Saturday's opening game, the Gauchos defeated the Matadors 4-0 in the third and final game.
For the second straight game, UCSB got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first. Following a single to center field by sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer, senior left fielder Kristen Clark made it 1-0, capitalizing on a Matador fielding error.
The scoreline would remain the same until the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second, junior outfielder Jessica Johnston blasted her fourth home run of the season to right field. Seniors Stacy Cavazos and Clark also scored to give the home side a 4-0 advantage.
The Gauchos would record just one more hit for the rest of the game, but the four-run lead would prove to be enough thanks to a stellar team defensive performance led by pitcher Ashley Wright (2-2). The sophomore pitched a full seven innings for the first time in her career, tying a season-high with two strikeouts, on the way to her first ever shutout.
Northridge outhit the Gauchos 6-5 on the day, but left five runners on base compared to two for UCSB. Altmeyer led the way with two hits, while Clark, Johnston and Cavazos added one hit each.
"We had some good pitching, good defense, and timely hitting," Galicinao said. "We left a lot of runners on that first game. In the second game, even though CSUN put up a few more hits, our offense was able to capitalize. It's always nice to have that home run."
The second game of the weekend would see the visitors take a 6-1 win, despite the Gauchos matching CSUN 10-10 in hits. Clark opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, making it home from second on a double down the left field line by Altmeyer.
The Matadors would take their first lead of the weekend in the top of the third, courtesy of a two-run homer from freshman Jessica Alexander to make it 2-1. Northridge would add to its lead in the top of the fifth, as senior Tara Kliebenstein would score on a sac fly before Alexander notched her second home run of the game, making it 4-1.
CSUN added two more runs in the top of the seventh – both unearned – on the way to the 6-1 victory.
Three different Gauchos tied for team-high honors with two hits, including Clark, Johnston and Altmeyer. Seniors Jacqueline Hinojosa and Emily Brucelas, freshman Alyssa Diaz, and junior Samantha Lujan all added one hit apiece.
"We're feeling good. We're in it," Galicinao said. "Offensively, everybody's been ready. We've had a lot of different people stepping in and our team has continued to work hard in practice. We're in a good spot."
Santa Barbara will be back in action this Wednesday for a home matchup with Fresno State at 3 p.m. This will be the Gauchos' final non-conference affair of the season.