LONG BEACH, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team accrued a five-run lead after four innings, but ultimately suffered a loss in their rubber match with Long Beach State at the LBSU Softball Field on Saturday afternoon.
Three at-bats later and with the bases loaded, sophomore shortstop Maci Fines doubled to right center to bring home Menor and freshman centerfielder Tyler Goldstein to bring the Gaucho lead up to 3-0.
Continuing UCSB's success at the plate in the second frame, left fielder Sammy Fabian delivered an RBI single up the middle to score junior third baseman Kayla Krantz and give the Gauchos their fourth run of the day.
Long Beach State (19-22, 6-6 Big West) got on the scoreboard in the fifth when pinch hitter Breezy Wise's RBI single through the 3-4 hole scored centerfielder Maddy Ruffin, cutting the lead to 5-1.
The Beach chipped further into the Gauchos' lead in the sixth, when third baseman Sydney McCollum came across home plate off right fielder Alyssa Gonzalez's RBI single to right field.
The hosts looked to complete their comeback bid in the bottom of the seventh, and they started off with pinch hitter Naomi Hernandez scoring on McCollum's infield single as the gap closed to just two runs.
In the next at-bat, shortstop Nichole Fry scored Long Beach's fourth run on Gonzalez's RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
Designated player Lauren Lombardi was walked in the next at-bat to load the bases for the Beach. With two outs already on the board, Ruffin singled through the left side to deliver the game-tying and game-winning runs as the Beach walked off.
The win was credited to the Beach's Ashley Coleman, who improved to 10-10 on the season.
Junior Felisha Noriega was tagged with the loss on the day, dropping to 6-15.
Junior first baseman Devan Sperry and Cohen both had multi-hit days for UCSB, with each player 2-for-4 at the plate.
The Gauchos return to Campus Diamond for a three-game series with the CSUN Matadors, beginning on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m.