March 4, 2006
FULLERTON, Calif. - Freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, but Ginger Gutierrez was the story Saturday morning, tossing a one-hitter in UC Santa Barbara's 6-0 shutout win over Loyola University Chicago on day two of the Worth Invitational.
The Gauchos rebounded after last night's loss to No. 9 Oregon State and improve to 8-6 overall on the year. The Ramblers, who opened Cal State Fullerton's tournament with Saturday's contest, fall to 1-4 after the loss.
UCSB took an early lead in the top of the first when junior left fielder Jessica Hejna singled off Loyola starting pitcher Krista Crosson with one out. After advancing to second on a ground out, Wright singled to left field and Hejna came home, giving the Gauchos a 1-0 advantage.
LUC's only base runners of the ball game came in the bottom of the first inning. Tara Miller reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After stealing second base, she then advanced to third on the Rambler's only hit of the game--a single by Lindsey O'Gean--but was thrown out at home for the first out. After a two out walk to Raven Gengler, the inning ended when she was thrown out trying to steal second.
After the rough start in the first, Gutierrez pitched brilliantly the rest of the way, retiring the final 18 Rambler batters in order. She fanned three and walked one in only the third start of her career. The Ventura, Calif. native owns a 2-1 record after the win.
Crosson kept Santa Barbara in check the next two innings, before the Gauchos added two runs in the top of the fourth. Junior center fielder Kendra Singley doubled to lead off the inning. After Wright singled and sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen drew a walk, junior shortstop Brittany Putich smacked a double to right field, scoring Singley and Wright. Putich's first two runs batted in this season gave UCSB a 3-0 lead.
The Gauchos tallied three more runs in the top of the sixth. Wright led off the inning with her third hit of the game, a single to right field. With one out, Putich walked. The next batter, designated player Liz Walters then hit a towering three-run shot over the center field fence to give Santa Barbara their final 6-0 lead.
Gutierrez took care of the Ramblers in the last of the sixth and seventh to preserve the shutout victory.
Crosson took the loss for Loyola, allowing six runs on 11 hits in seven innings pitched. She struck out five and walked two and falls to 0-3 on the year.
The Gauchos take the field later today when they square off with No. 5 Stanford at 1:30 p.m. as the Worth Invitational continues.