February 24, 2006

UCSB Opens Palm Springs Classic with 10-1 Drubbing of Ohio State

Feb. 24, 2006

Final Stats

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Ericka Hansen went 1-for-2 with a run scored and three RBI and Ginger Gutierrez pitched five complete innings, limiting Ohio State to one run en route to her first career victory as UC Santa Barbara opened the Palm Springs Classic with a bang Friday night. The Gauchos improve to 6-2 with the 10-1 mercy rule victory.

The Buckeyes (5-6 overall) took an early lead after Freshman Courtney Pruner hit a solo shot to right field in the top of the second inning and OSU held its 1-0 lead into the third inning before UCSB erupted for its season-high tying 10 runs.

It had been 36 games since Ohio State had allowed 10 runs in a game. This also marks the second time this season that Santa Barbara has defeated an opponent by a score of 10-1 in five innings.

The wheels fell off for Buckeye starting pitcher Kim Reeder in the bottom of the third inning, when the Gauchos put together five hits and, helped by OSU's two errors, scored six runs.

Freshman second baseman Christine Ramos led off the inning with an infield single to third base. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Kendra Singley and Tiffany Wright put UCSB on top 2-1. After a single by junior shortstop Brittany Putich, Wright scored on an error by the Buckeye's catcher. The next two batters reached base and then junior third baseman Shelby Hensler singled down the right field line and three runs scored, as the Gauchos took a commanding 6-1 lead.

After Ohio State responded with two singles to start the fourth inning by Megan Schwab and Chelsea Baker, Gutierrez rebounded to retire the next three batters and get out of the inning.

Santa Barbara came right back with another four runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach at 10-1. After Ramos, Singley and Wright reached for the second straight inning, Putich drew an RBI walk from relief pitcher Pruner with the bases loaded. Hansen then came up and tripled to left center and three more runs scored.

The Buckeyes managed to put two runners on in the top of the fifth, but Gutierrez pitched her way out of trouble for the second inning in a row as the mercy rule came into effect and UCSB completed the 10-1 defeat over OSU.

Six days after retiring nine out of ten batters in three innings of scoreless relief in a 2-0 win over Rider, the junior transfer from Ventura College got the nod in UCSB's tournament opener and earned her first collegiate victory in style. Gutierrez allowed a total of one run--the homer to Pruner--on six hits in a complete five innings and struck out three.

Reeder falls to 2-2 for OSU with the loss after allowing six runs on six hits--all in the third inning.

The Gauchos take the field later tonight when they square off with No. 10 Oklahoma at 8:00 p.m. as the Palm Springs Classic continues.