FRESNO, Calif. – On day two of the Fresno State Bulldog Classic, the UC Santa Barbara softball team got hot in a 7-5 win over California Baptist, but would end the day with a 5-0 defeat to Montana.
For the second straight game, the Gauchos (5-12) piled up the hits, as they tallied 11 in the win over the Lancers (5-12). Despite giving up 12 hits of its own, Santa Barbara would score in six of seven innings to come away with the 7-5 win, ending a seven-game skid.
Four different Gauchos registered multiple hits, but it was infielder Ally Nodohara who led the charge late in the game. With her team leading by just two runs at 5-3 in the top of the sixth, the freshman smashed the Gauchos' first home run of the season towards right center, the first hit of her career. Then, in the following inning, she would knock a single up the middle to bring fellow freshman Tyler Goldstein home from second, making it 7-3.
Needing a flawless inning to get back in the game, the Lancers got out to a good start in the bottom of the seventh as its first two batters reached base. A single up the middle from Alley Johnson would bring home two runs, cutting the UCSB lead in half. However, junior pitcher Felisha Noriega (4-4) would get out of the inning without allowing another run, earning her team-leading fourth win of the year in the process.
Maci Fines, Sammy Fabian and Genesis Ramirez also finished with two hits each. Sophomore Rayna Cohen added one of her own and was the only Gaucho to round the bases twice. Her first of the day opened the scoring in the top of the first, courtesy of a CBU fielding error.
UCSB would tack on two more runs in the third inning. After leadoff batter Fabian made her way to second with second stolen base of the year, a Cohen double to left center would make it 2-0 in favor of UCSB. Cohen would then cap her statline with another run, thanks to an RBI single to left by Ramirez.
That started a five-inning scoring streak for the Gauchos, another season-best. Senior Melanie Menor scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, providing an answer to a pair of CBU runs to make it 4-2. Freshman Teah Thies would triple in the fifth, scoring a run for Ramirez to make it 5-0.
Nodohara's home run in the following inning would end a run of 18 straight games without a homer. Prior to Saturday, the freshman had yet to record a hat in six appearances.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, they couldn't sustain their offense from the previous game against a Montana (5-16) team which outhit them 11-4. The Griz reeled off four runs in the second inning on four consecutive hits, and UCSB wasn't able to recover.
Fines, Fabian, Ramirez and Goldstein all finished with one hit apiece. The Gauchos would get two runners on base in the fourth inning, both coming against two outs. Ramirez started things with a single to center, and Goldstein followed with a single through the right side on the next at bat. That would be the closest UCSB would get to making a dent in the Montana lead, though.
Every Gaucho with a hit in the game – with the exception of Goldstein – now has a hit in at least three straight games. Fabian now has one in five consecutive outings, racking up eight hits over that span.
UCSB will once again start its day with an 11:30 a.m. contest on Saturday, this time against North Dakota. However, the Gauchos will have to wait until 7:30 p.m. for their next matchup as they get set for a rematch against the host Bulldogs tomorrow night.