SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Playing at Campus Diamond for the first time in nearly three weeks, the UC Santa Barbara softball team took on Hawai'i in Big West action and dropped the series opener 3-2 despite a late rally on Friday afternoon.
The Rainbow Wahine manufactured a run to open the game in the top of the first after a leadoff single followed by a sac bunt, another single and a sac fly.
Hawai'i added to its tally in the third inning after Rachel Turner hit a crucial two-run homerun to right center to put the Rainbow Wahine ahead 3-0.
UCSB answered back with a run in the bottom half of the inning after Maci Fines singled to center, the first hit of the game for the Gauchos, and promptly stole second. With two outs, Alyssa Diaz came through in the clutch and drove Fines home with an RBI single to center, increasing her season-high hitting streak to eight games.
The Gauchos continued to put pressure on the Hawai'i defense, putting runners in scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings before breaking through for another run in the sixth.
After Melanie Menor walked with one out and Alyssa Lazatin reached on a UH error, Lujan layed down a textbook sacrifice bunt to move both runners in scoring position. Fines stepped up to the plate and drove her second hit of the game to center to bring home Menor, but UCSB would strand the tying run on third and go down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Emily Schuttish (3-4) was handed the loss despite another strong pitching performance in the circle. The standout freshman allowed just one earned run while scattering seven hits and struck out five batters for the third straight game.
Hawaii's Dana Thomsen (12-10) picked up the win after giving up five hits on one earned run and struck out two.
UCSB concludes the series tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Campus Diamond.