SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB and UC Davis split their final two games of the weekend, with the Gauchos taking a 3-1 win Saturday afternoon before falling 4-2 in eight innings in the series finale.
Junior outfielder Jessica Johnston led the way with three RBI on a 2-2 mark at the plate in UCSB's 3-1 win. In the final game, errors would hurt the Gauchos for the second time this weekend, as they fell 4-2 despite having an 8-5 advantage in hits.
While the Aggies started out strong in the series opener on Friday, it was the Gauchos who struck first in Saturday's first game, as senior left fielder Kristen Clark scored on a sac fly to right field by Johnston in the bottom of the first. However, Davis would respond with two hits in the top of the second, tying the game with a run by senior Brianna Warner.
UCSB would retake the lead in the bottom of the third, thanks to three Gaucho hits, two of which came with two outs on the board. Freshman third baseman Kayla Krantz and senior outfielder Jacqueline Hinojosa were the beneficiaries of a two-run single down the right field line by Johnston, giving UCSB a 3-1 lead.
Davis recorded at least one hit in six out of seven innings, but was unable to capitalize, going scoreless the rest of the way. The Aggies ended the game with seven runners left on base, compared to one for UCSB.
Junior pitcher Lena Mayer (3-1) pitched a full seven innings for the first time this season, finishing with two strikeouts.
The Aggies had a 7-4 advantage in hits, but the Gauchos were able to make theirs' count, turning four hits into three runs. UC Davis had the only error of the game on Clark's first at bat of the game, which led to the opening run.
In the final game of the weekend, UCSB again got out to a quick start, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The Gauchos matched their hit total from the previous game (4) in the first inning alone, earning runs by Clark and Hinojosa.
Clark's opening run came on a sac fly to right field by sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer, while Hinojosa made it home on a single to right field by freshman first baseman Alyssa Diaz. In the top of the third, the Aggies would tie things up at 2-2 with a pair of unearned runs.
Both teams would remain scoreless until the top of the eighth, when Davis scored another two unearned runs. The first came on a passed ball with the bases loaded. Freshman Maddie Rojas then scored to make it 4-2.
Needing two runs to extend the game, UCSB fell short in the bottom of the eighth, as sophomore shortstop Melanie Menor's single down the left field line proved to be the Gauchos' only hit in the extra inning. The Gauchos finished with eight hits to the Aggies' five, with Clark, Hinojosa, Diaz and Menor all tallying two hits each.
The loss was UCSB's first in extra innings this season. The Gauchos are now 6-1 in extra innings games.
Santa Barbara will close out its regular season slate with its final home series against Cal State Fullerton next weekend (May 12-13).