March 6, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (11-7) concluded action at the DeMarini Invitational with a 14-6 run-rule victory over Southern Miss (8-12) on Sunday morning.
The Gauchos wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. At the top of the first, McKenzie Kane and Brooke Putich reached on a wild pitch and fielder's choice, respectively, before both advancing on a sacrifice bunt from Kathryn Pilpil. A single to the shortstop by Jessica Beristianos sent Kane home for the first run and a single up the middle from Keilani Jennings sent both Putich and Beristianos across home plate.
Lauren Boser followed with an infield single and then Allison Taylor loaded the bases with a walk. A pitch hit Lainey DePompa during the next at-bat, sending Jennings home. Southern Miss was able to get its second out of the inning when Kelly McDonald hit into a fielder's choice, but the Gauchos continued their onslaught.
A pair of Southern Miss errors allowed two more UCSB runners to come home and put the Gauchos up, 6-0.
The Golden Eagles were able to load the bases with two outs at the bottom of the second inning before Brittany Lilly hit a two-RBI single to left field driving Michelle Takeda and Chanell Thurman home. An illegal pitch allowed Mackenzie Sher to score and a walk earned by Leslie LeJune sent one more run home to cut the Gaucho lead to two runs.
UCSB quickly distanced itself again in the third inning. Taylor led off with a double to right center field and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by DePompa. McDonald then reached base on balls before an illegal pitch allowed Taylor to score. The Gauchos quickly loaded the bases when Putich reached on an error only to be followed by Pilpil, who reached on a fielder's choice. A walk earned by Beristianos gave McDonald nowhere to go but home, putting UCSB ahead, 8-4. Jennings then posted her second hit of the game, driving both Pilpil and Putich home.
In the fourth inning, McDonald hit an RBI double to center field to score Taylor and consecutive RBI ground outs by Putich and Pilpil brought the Gauchos' lead to 13-4.
The Golden Eagles tacked on two more runs at the bottom of the same inning off an RBI single by Lilly and an RBI single to the left side by Taylor Brown, but the Gauchos were able to shut the door at the top of the fifth inning when Jennings led off with a solo home run. UCSB kept Southern Miss scoreless at the bottom of the fifth and ended the game early with their eight-run advantage.
Krista Cobb improved to 4-3 on the season after pitching all five innings. She allowed six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out one.
At the plate, Jennings led the way going 3-for-4 with two runs, a home run and five RBI. Beristianos was 1-for-3 with a run, a stolen base, a walk and two RBI.
The Gauchos return home next week for the first time since their season-opening weekend to host the Gaucho Classic II. The tournament will run March 11-13 at Campus Diamond and will feature games with UNLV, Wisconsin and San Diego.