Gauchos Split Pair on Opening Day of Cathedral City Classic

Feb. 19, 2009

NC State Box Score
Maryland Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (6-5) split its first two games of the 2009 Cathedral City Classic on Thursday afternoon at the Big League Dreams Sports Park. The Gauchos defeated NC State (2-2) by way of a 4-3 score before falling to Maryland (1-5), 7-3.

In the first game of the day against NC State, Tiffany Wright hit a two-run homer at the bottom of the first inning to give UCSB a 2-0 lead. The home run marked the 24th of Wright's career and broke her tie with Tonya Dias (1997-2000) at the top of UCSB's career home runs list.

At the bottom of the next inning, the Gauchos stretched their lead to 4-0 when Brooke Putich and Mary Episcopo scored on a pair of errors.

During the following inning, NC State's Bridget Desbois hit a two-RBI single to left field, driving home a pair of unearned runs and cutting the Gaucho advantage to 4-2. Then, at the top of the sixth, Claudia Cooper hit a solo home run over the right center field fence, putting the Wolfpack within one run at 4-3. The Gauchos, however, were able to hold on for the win.

Wright, Jessica Ziegler and Christine Ramos accounted for the Gauchos' three hits during the game.

In the circle, freshman Krista Cobb (3-2) picked up the win after tossing five innings and allowing five hits and no earned runs. Junior MeLinda Matsumoto closed the game and allowed just one run on two hits.

Maryland came out swinging in the Gauchos' second contest of the day. The Terrapins loaded the bases with one out at the top of the first inning before a double from Devon Williams cleared the bases and gave Maryland an early 3-0 advantage.

UCSB fought back at the bottom of the same inning when Ramos and Ziegler both scored on a single to first base by Jessica Beristianos.

A home run from Kerry Hickey at the top of the third inning gave the Terrapins a 4-2 advantage. Michelle Takeda scored on a wild pitch one inning later and a two-run homer at the top of the fifth by Lydia Fowler stretched Maryland's lead to 7-2.

At the bottom of the fifth, Putich led off with a double to left field and a single from Ramos put two runners in scoring position. Back-to-back fielder's choices loaded the bases for the Gauchos with just one out before Beristianos earned a walk, bringing home Ramos for what would be the final run of the game.

Ramos led the Gauchos in the loss, going 2-for-2 with two runs, two walks and two stolen bases. Beristianos posted all three RBI's for UCSB.

In the circle, Matsumoto (1-2) took the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and allowing five earned runs on seven hits with one walk. Cobb pitched 1.2 innings and allowed two earned runs on one hit while classmate Jenny Liepman closed the game. The freshman tossed two scoreless innings and allowed two hits.

The Gauchos' continue action at the 2009 Cathedral City Classic on Friday when they play Tennessee Tech at 8 p.m.

UCSB will open its 2009 home schedule on March 11 when they host San Diego in a doubleheader. For a chance to catch all of the Gauchos' games at Campus Diamond this season, the UCSB Athletics Departments is, for the first time, offering season tickets. Ticket prices are $50 for adults, $40 seniors (55 and over) and $24 for youth (13 and under) and include all 16 home contests. With the purchase of a season ticket, you will also receive a free UCSB visor. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -