Gauchos Defeated in Citrus Classic II Finale

Alyssa Diaz (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Alyssa Diaz (Photo by Tony Mastres)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – In their first meeting since 2007, the UC Santa Barbara softball team lost to Massachusetts 7-3 in the final game of the Citrus Classic II for both teams at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday. Sophomore first baseman Alyssa Diaz had a two-run home run and junior second baseman Sierra Altmeyer went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single, but it wasn't enough to overcome a season-high 15 hits from the Massachusetts offense.

Massachusetts struck first through an RBI single in the top of the first. UCSB responded with a Sammy Fabian single to set up an Alyssa Diaz two-run home run one out later.

The lead was short-lived, however, as a Gaucho error set up two Massachusetts runs in the top of the third to put the Minutewomen ahead 3-2.

UCSB tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out Sierra Altmeyer RBI single to center field to score sophomore third baseman Kayla Krantz.

From there, the game began to tilt in favor of Massachusetts. Jenna Cozza homered to left in the top of the sixth to take the lead, and the Minutewomen used a four-run seventh inning to close out the game.

Kiara Oliver (3-5) earned the win behind a dominant complete-game performance, striking out 10. Junior pitcher Veronika Gulvin (3-5) was tagged with the loss for UCSB. Senior Lena Mayer appeared in relief.

The Gauchos (8-12) return home to Campus Diamond for a midweek doubleheader against Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, Mar. 7, with first pitches at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.