March 2, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The UC Santa Barbara softball fell to No. 19 DePaul, 2-0, on Sunday in the Gauchos' final game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic, which was held this weekend at the South Commons Field and Complex in Columbus, Ga. Santa Barbara finished the tournament with a 2-3 record and now stands at 9-10 overall on the season while DePaul improves to 11-5.
Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (1-6) took the loss in the circle after pitching the complete game. Matsumoto had one of her best performances of the season, allowing a season-low two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. All six of her losses this season have come against teams currently ranked in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 Poll.
DePaul pitcher Becca Heteniak opened the game strong, retiring the first seven Gaucho batters, including striking out six of those seven. At the top of the second inning, Heteniak led-off with a single to left field. Brittney Yniguez and Alex Morocco soon followed suit, loading the bases for the Blue Demons. Simone Ashikar hit a two-RBI single to right field to give the Blue Demons the 2-0 advantage.
The Gauchos got at least one runner on in each of the final four innings, but the Blue Demon defense persevered as DePaul held on for the 2-0 victory.
UCSB will return to Campus Diamond next Saturday to take on non-conference foe Loyola Chicago in a doubleheader that is scheduled to begin at 9 am.