FRESNO, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team concluded play at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic on Sunday morning with a neutral site game against Cleveland State. The Gauchos won with a score of 7-4, with three of those runs coming from a three-RBI double by freshman Alyssa Lazatin.
The Gauchos opened the scoring in the top of the second inning with a single by Alyssa Diaz that brought Sierra Altmeyer home. Kayla Krantz would hit a sacrifice fly one out later to bring Diaz home, making the score 2-0.
The Vikings answered back with a two-run homerun by Jordan Humitz to draw the score equal at two runs apiece. In the bottom of the third, Cleveland State took the lead when Mackenzie Joecken hit a solo homerun to give the Vikings their third run.
However, that would be the Vikings' last lead as the Gauchos took off in the top of the fourth. Alyssa Diaz doubled to right center with one out, and Melanie Menor singled to left field to put runners on first and third. Samantha Lujan delivered with a single to center, bringing Diaz home and Menor to second. Kayla Krantz then bunted and made it to first, which also put Lujan at second and Menor at third. Finally, Alyssa Lazatin hit a double deep to left center, and brought all three runners home to give the Gauchos a firm 6-3 lead.
Cleveland State would add one more run in the bottom of the fifth off a sacrifice fly by Riley Ries, but they would not get close to UCSB again. UCSB added one last run in the top of the sixth when Genesis Ramirez was walked with the bases loaded.
Felisha Noriega (3-5) was credited with the win, giving up only a single earned run. Freshman Emily Schuttish earned the save with 2.2 innings in relief and only two hits allowed. Mackenzie Joecken (4-3) was tagged with the loss for Cleveland State.
The Gauchos (10-17) return home to host the Gaucho Classic II from Mar. 23-26, opening tournament play on Friday, Mar. 23 with a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield at 11:00 a.m. followed by a matchup against St. Mary's at 4:00 p.m.