Feb. 12, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team (4-0) was perfect on Saturday, posting three wins during the second day of its own Gaucho Classic I, which is being held through Sunday at Campus Diamond.
The Gauchos opened the day by completing some unfinished business with Wichita State (1-2). The two teams finished a game that had begun on Friday, but was called after 5.5 innings due to darkness. UCSB won the contest, 4-3, before defeating the Shockers again, 5-1, in the following game. The Gauchos then capped the day off with a 1-0 victory over Western Kentucky (2-2), marking their second win over the Hilltoppers this weekend.
In the first pairing with the Shockers, the Gauchos jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on Friday. With one out, Kathryn Pilpil drew a walk and then Jessica Beristianos hit a single to right field. Both runners then advanced when Keilani Jennings grounded out. An error by the Wichita State third baseman during Lauren Boser's at-bat allowed both Pilpil and Beristianos to score, putting the Gauchos ahead, 2-0.
In the second, Wichita State evened the score when Brittney Osborn drove home Holley Eckert and Hayley Temple with a two-out single to center field.
At the top of the sixth, Jennings led off with a double hit towards third base and Boser once again reached on an error to put two runners on with no outs. Kelly McDonald laid down a great sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Katie McWhirter then hit a fielder's choice to third base, but Wichita's attempt to tag out Jennings at third failed, allowing UCSB to load the bases.
Lainey DePompa was up next and though she grounded out to second base, she did send Jennings home on the play to give the Gauchos a 3-2 lead right before the game was halted.
Wichita State wasted no time getting back in the game early on Saturday morning. Eckert doubled to left center with two outs and was driven home one play later when Temple doubled down the left field line, tying the game once again.
UCSB battled back as McKenzie Kane led off with an infield single and then Pilpil drew her third walk of the game. Beristianos then delivered a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both runners over. Jennings followed with a fielder's choice bunt and was able to reach first safely while also sending Kane home for the eventual game-winning run. Wichita retired the next two batters in order to hold UCSB to the one-run lead.
Krista Cobb retired the next three batters in order to hold on for her first win of the season.
Cobb got the win after tossing the complete game. She allowed three earned runs on four hits and walked five in her first outing of 2011. At the plate, Kane led the way going 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base.
UCSB carried its momentum into its second game with Wichita State. In the third with one out, Kane hit an infield grounder to the shortstop, but Sammie Shook overthrew to first allowing Kane to run to second. Pilpil then hit the ball towards the pitcher, Sloan Anderson, but she bobbled it, giving Pilpil ample time to reach first and Kane to move to third. Pilpil then stole second before Jessica Beristianos hit a single to shallow right field, driving Kane home. Jennings followed with a single to right center field that sent Pilpil home and gave the Gauchos an early 2-0 lead.
At the top of the following inning, Wichita scored what would be its only run of the game when Brittney Osborn drove Jamie Hull home with a sacrifice fly to left field with one out.
The Gauchos scored the remainder of their runs at the bottom of the fifth inning. Brooke Putich led off with an infield single and then advanced to second on an illegal pitch. Kane then moved Putich to third and reached first on a bunt. Following a steal by Kane, Pilpil doubled to center field driving both runners across home plate. She then advanced when Beristianos grounded out to first base. A single by Jennings to right field drove Pilpil home from third base and gave UCSB the 5-1 lead.
Jennings led the team going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI. Pilpil meanwhile was 2-for-2 with two RBI, two runs and a walk.
In the circle, Andriana Collins (2-0) pitched her second complete game and allowed just one earned run on five hits. She struck out seven and walked two.
In UCSB's final game of the day, the Gauchos once again grabbed an early lead. At the top of the second, Kelly McDonald hit the first home run of the season - with one out - over the left centerfield fence to put UCSB ahead, 1-0.
The Gauchos got seven more hits during the game and loaded the bases in the fourth and the fifth innings, but Western Kentucky kept them away from home plate.
At the bottom of the seventh, Western Kentucky's Ciara Garcia drew a walk with one out and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, a runner in scoring position and a full count, Karavin Dew battled with Krista Cobb to try to keep her team in the game. After Dew fouled off several balls, Beristianos was finally able to get under a foul fly to end the contest and give the Gauchos the win.
Cobb (2-0) tossed her second complete game of the weekend allowing six hits and four walks. She struck out two in what marked the 12th shutout of her career. Her two complete games bring her career total to 29, tying her for 10th all-time in the UCSB record book with MeLinda Matsumoto (2007-10) and Tracy Witherell (1982-83).
Kane and Beristianos each went 2-for-4 in the win. The latter tallied a double, marking the 34th of her career, which ties her for fourth on the UCSB career doubles list with Tiffany Wright (2006-09). She is now just 10 away from the school record set by Mandy Edwards (1997-2000).
In addition to her game-winning homer, McDonald drew three walks against the Hilltoppers.
UCSB will conclude tournament action on Sunday as they take-on Seattle University at 11 a.m. at Campus Diamond.
Tickets for all of the Gauchos' 2011 home contests, including this weekend's tournament, can be purchased online here.