March 1, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team outscored No. 18 Mississippi State 5-2 in the eighth inning to capture its first upset of the season Saturday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic being held this weekend at the South Commons Field and Complex in Columbus, Ga. UCSB dropped its first game of the day to N.C. State, 3-0. With the split, UCSB holds an even 9-9 overall record and is 2-2 at this weekend's tournament.
Senior Tisha Duran led the Gauchos against Mississippi State, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run while sophomore catcher Kelsey Anderson was 1-for-2 with two RBI. In her first start of the year, sophomore Priscilla Perez went 2-for-3 at the plate. Lindsey Correa (5-3) grabbed the win in the circle after allowing just one earned run on six hits during eight innings of work.
The first seven innings saw the Gauchos outhit Mississippi State 5-4, and saw a total of 11 runners stranded on the base paths between the two teams. So, with the score deadlocked at 0-0 at the end of seven innings, the two teams were forced into an extra inning tie breaker.
With Jackie Conlin placed on second base, senior Nicole Churnock led-off in the eighth with a single moving the runner over to third base. A sacrifice fly from Christine Ramos during the next at-bat sent home the first Gauchos run of the day. Churnock was able to advance to third on a wild pitch before a fielder's choice from Jessica Ziegler followed by a Mississippi State error brought her home to put the Gauchos ahead, 2-0. A pair of singles from Duran and Tiffany Wright loaded the bases before a double to center field from Kelsey Anderson brought everyone home to give the Gauchos a 5-0 lead.
A lead-off RBI double at the bottom of the inning put Mississippi State on the board and a single two outs later cut the UCSB lead to 5-2 before Correa earned the final out of the game and the win for the Gauchos.
During the first game of the day against N.C. State, Ziegler and Katie McWhirter accounted for the Gauchos' lone hits. Junior hurler Tami Weston (3-1) took the loss, her first of the season, in the circle after allowing two earned runs on five hits, with four walks, and four strikeouts.
After the first six batters went down in order, N.C. State's Lacey Holm reached on a Gaucho error before a single from Alyssa Ishibashi put a pair of runners on the corners in the top of the second inning. Holm stole home during the next at-bat to put the Wolfpack on the board, 1-0. A single up the middle brought home the second N.C. State run before the Gauchos got out of the inning.
A solo homerun from Alyssa Allbritten with one out in the third inning stretched the Wolfpack lead to 3-0.
UCSB managed to get seven runners on-base in the final four innings, but failed to bring any of them home, falling 3-0 to N.C. State.
UCSB will finish action at the NFCA Leadoff Classic when they take on No. 19 DePaul at 10 am (ET) on Sunday.