Gauchos Top the Hilltoppers in Season Opener
Feb. 11, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team got the 2011 season off on the right foot on Friday as they opened season with a 3-2 victory over Western Kentucky during the first game of the Gaucho Classic I, which is being held through Sunday at Campus Diamond.
The Gauchos played a second game later in the day against Wichita State, but after 5.5 innings of play, the game was postponed due to darkness. UCSB and Wichita State will conclude the contest, which the Gauchos are leading 3-2, at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Several of the Gaucho freshmen had standout performances on Friday morning as they made their first appearances in the blue and gold. Freshman pitcher Andriana Collins started and tossed a complete game to earn her first collegiate win. The lefty allowed just one earned run on five hits while walking three and striking out six. She threw three hitless innings to open the game.
Rounding out the Gaucho leaders was junior Lainey DePompa, who was 2-for-3 with a double and the game-winning RBI.
UCSB jumped out in front of the Hilltoppers early. At the bottom of the first with one out, Pilpil and Jessica Beristianos posted consecutive base hits before Keilani Jennings drew a walk to load the bases. Boser then singled through the left side, sending Pilpil and Beristianos home and giving UCSB a 2-0 lead.
Western Kentucky cut the Gaucho lead to one run at the top of the fourth. Following a two-out single to left field by Karavin Dew, Amanda Thomas singled to right. On the play, there was an overthrow from right field that went out of the field of play, allowing Dew to come home.
The Hilltoppers struck again in the sixth when Thomas posted her second hit of the day, a single to center, that drove pinch runner Olivia Watkins home, tying the game at two apiece.
UCSB quickly bounced back at the bottom of the same inning. Boser hit a one-out single before Kelly McDonald drew a walk putting two runners on-base. One out later, DePompa came up with the clutch play as she hammered a ball towards the shortstop, driving pinch runner Tiffany Corder home.
Western Kentucky got two runners on at the top of the seventh with one out, but the Gauchos turned a double play to escape the inning unscathed and with the 3-2 victory.
Following the conclusion of today's abbreviated game with Wichita State, the Gauchos will continue tournament play with another contest against the Shockers at 8:30 a.m. UCSB will then play Western Kentucky at 10:45 a.m.
Tickets for all of the Gauchos' 2011 home contests, including this weekend's tournament, can be purchased online here.