February 9, 2008

Late Rally Propels No. 14 UCLA Past UCSB In Eight Innings

Feb. 9, 2008

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Despite leading No. 14 UCLA for more than half of the game, the UC Santa Barbara softball team was unable to pull off the upset, falling 7-5 to the Bruins in eight innings on Saturday evening. The game served as the Gauchos' final match-up at the season-opening Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, being held at UCLA's Easton Stadium. With the narrow loss, UCSB falls to 1-3 on the season, while the Bruins improve to a perfect 4-0.

Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto fell to 0-2 after pitching 7.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits, while walking seven and fanning one. UCLA's Donna Kerr (2-0) picked up the win after eight innings of work. She allowed two earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and just one walk. The Bruins committed a total of four errors during the game, while the Gauchos had none.

Junior Tiffany Wright went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and two runs while fellow classmate Christine Ramos was 2-for-4 with a RBI for the Gauchos.

After holding the Gauchos scoreless at the top of the first, UCLA opened the bottom of the inning with a single from Katie Schroeder. Teammate Ashley Herrea advanced Schroeder to second with a sacrifice bunt, putting her into scoring position. Matsumoto walked the next batter before Megan Langerfield singled to center, loading the bases. Samantha Camuso waked on the next play sending Schroeder home for the first run of the game. The next batter, Gionna DiSalvatore followed with a walk of her own, bringing in Colburn and putting the Bruins ahead, 2-0.

Wright opened the second inning with a leadoff double to right center field and a single from Tisha Duran quickly sent her home for the first Gaucho run. Jessica Beristianos was up next and when a pitch grazed her, she moved to first base, but the next three batters went down in order, leaving the Gauchos trailing, 2-1. The Bruin offense was silenced in the bottom of the third, as three batters went down in order.

The Gauchos got their chance in the third as Ramos singled to the pitcher to open the inning. Jessica Ziegler grounded out to the shortstop during the ensuing at-bat but advanced Ramos to scoring position. Katie McWhirter followed with a single to the shortstop and Wright reached after being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Duran reached on a fielder's choice during the next play and then advanced to second as Wright scored the second Gaucho run. McWhirter capitalized on a catcher error and scored another Gaucho run, putting the Gauchos ahead 3-2.

With one out at the bottom of the inning, Langerfield hit a long single to left field, but was called out on Camuso's fielder's choice during the next play. DiSalvatore doubled to left center, but an impressive Gaucho play as Camuso attempted to cross the plate earned the third out.

Neither team scored during the next two innings, but the Gauchos struck again at the top of the sixth. Beristianos led-off with a walk and one out later, Ericka Hansen singled to put two runners on. Churnock grounded out to second base during the next at-bat, moving both of the base runners. A RBI single from Ramos brought Beristianos home and the fourth Bruin error of the game allowed Hansen to score, extending the Gaucho lead to 5-2.

The next six batters went down in order before Herrea singled to shortstop in the bottom of the seventh and then advanced as Krista Colburn grounded out to short during the following at-bat. With one out, Langerfield walked and Herrera advanced on a fielder's choice. With two runners on, DiSalvatore hit a homerun over the right field fence tying the game at 5-5. A quick out during the next at-bat sent the game into extra innings.

Duran was placed at second base at the top of the eighth as Beristianos came up to bat for UCSB. The freshman laid down a sacrifice bunt in the infield, moving the Gaucho runner to third base, but Kerr retired the next two batters, leaving Duran stranded.

Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Bruins were able to get the job done at the bottom of the inning. Amanda Kamekona was placed on second and quickly moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. A homerun over the center field fence from Kaila Shull sealed the win for the Bruins at 7-5.

The Gauchos will play in their annual Alumni Game tomorrow at noon at their very own Campus Diamond. Former Gaucho players scheduled to be in attendance are: Karen Dietz, Dayna McCall, Kim Sawyer, Alysia Hendricks, Lindsey (Herrin) Bentley, Teresa (Tolson) Faruzzi, Tonya Dias, Julia Tamai, Laren Thornbug, Katie Junge, Shelby Hensler, Brittany Putich, Jennifer Davis, Jessica Hejna, and Liz Walters.

UCSB will return to regular season action next Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic. The Gauchos will open the four-day event against host San Diego State at 7 pm.