Gauchos Take Down No. 17 Nevada to Highlight Final Day of Cathedral City Classic

Feb. 22, 2009

Box Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team (9-6) split its final two games at the Cathedral City Classic on Sunday afternoon at the Big League Dreams Park. The Gauchos knocked off No. 17 Nevada (7-7) by way of a 6-4 score before falling to Ohio State (12-3), 5-3. The Gauchos finished the weekend with a 4-2 tournament record.

During the first game of the day, the Gauchos got on the scoreboard first when Jessica Beristianos hit a one-out single to left field sending Christine Ramos home. A fielder's choice bunt from Amanda Ziegler brought her sister, Jessica Ziegler, home to give UCSB a 2-0 advantage.

The Gauchos increased their lead to 3-0 at the top of the third when Beristianos hit a RBI single to center field driving J. Ziegler across home plate for the second time.

Nevada responded at the bottom of the third when Sam Bias hit a RBI single to right field, bringing Brittany Puzey home to cut the Gauchos lead to 3-1.

With one out at the top of the fifth, Ramos and J. Ziegler posted back-to-back singles before Tiffany Wright hit a RBI single to center field. At the bottom of the same inning, Nevada loaded the bases with no outs before Noelle Micka scored on Kelsey Starr's fielder's choice. A sacrifice fly from Bias brought home the Wolfpack's second run and a single from Sarah Hunt tied the game at 4-4.

At the top of the next inning, Jackie Conlin led off with a single to center field before Allison Taylor reached on a fielder's choice, putting two Gauchos on with no outs. A sacrifice bunt from Lainey DePompa moved both runners over a base before Ramos hit a RBI single to left field one out later, regaining the lead for UCSB. An error during the next at-bat allowed Taylor to score and gave the Gauchos a 6-4 advantage.

Nevada managed to get just one runner on-base in the final two innings as UCSB held on for the win, the Gauchos' first of the season over a team ranked in the NFCA/USA Today Top-25 Poll.

Ramos led the team offensively going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and a RBI. J. Ziegler went 2-for-4 with two runs, a stolen base and a RBI and Beristianos was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

In the circle, Krista Cobb (5-2) picked up the win after tossing the final 2.1 innings of the game and allowing just one hit. MeLinda Matsumoto started the game and gave up just one run on six hits with three strikeouts.

Against Ohio State, the Buckeyes struck first at the top of the second inning when Rachael Shepherd hit an RBI single to right field, driving Alicia Herron home. The Gauchos fought back at the bottom of the fourth inning when Kelsey Anderson scored on a Buckeye error.

The tie remained until the Gauchos took their first lead of the game in the sixth inning when Conlin was brought home on another Ohio State error.

At top of the seventh, Whitney Cooper walked and one out later Tory Haddad hit a home run over the left center field fence to regain the lead for the Buckeyes. Ohio State tacked on one more run when Leah Ledford hit a RBI single to left field to grab a 5-2 lead.

Wright reached on an error to leadoff for the Gauchos and one out later, A. Ziegler hit a double to right center field putting two UCSB players into scoring position. Conlin fouled out during the next play bringing Wright home and cutting Ohio State's advantage to 5-3. The next batter was struck out swinging though, cutting the Gaucho comeback short.

Seven Gauchos posted a hit in the loss and Conlin had the lone RBI. She went 1-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Freshman Jenny Liepman (1-1) took the loss in the circle after tossing 6.1 innings and allowing five earned runs on seven hits. She walked two and struck out two.

The Gauchos will take a break from tournaments next weekend when they head to Cal State Bakersfield for a three-game nonconference series with the Roadrunners on Saturday and Sunday.

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. With the purchase of a season ticket, you will also receive a free UCSB visor. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -