Gauchos Fail to Hit the Jackpot in Vegas, Drop Pair to Notre Dame and UNLV

March 7, 2009

Box Score

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team (11-11) dropped a pair of contests on Saturday at the UNLV Invite being hosted by the Rebels at Eller Media Stadium. The Gauchos fell 5-2 to Notre Dame (5-5) before they were defeated 5-4 by UNLV (15-8) for the second time this weekend.

During the first contest of the day, Notre Dame had a big first inning as they posted four runs on five hits to jump out to an early lead.

The Gauchos were able to get on the scoreboard at the top of the sixth inning. Jessica Ziegler led off with a single to the shortstop and Tiffany Wright followed with a single to left field. Jessica Beristianos then reached on a fielder's choice as Wright was called out at second. With runners on the corners, Amanda Ziegler reached on a fielder's choice that subsequently sent her sister home.

With two runners on and just one out, Jackie Conlin hit a single to left field, driving Beristianos home and cutting the Fighting Irish lead to 4-2.

Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the two runs were all they would score during the game. Notre Dame scored one more run at the bottom of the sixth and then turned a triple play at the top of the seventh to secure the victory at 5-2.

J. Ziegler led the team, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a run. Wright went 2-for-4 with a double and Conlin went 2-for-3 with a RBI and a stolen base.

In the circle, Jenny Liepman (1-2) took the loss after giving up four earned runs on four hits during the first inning. Tami Weston pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Against the Rebels, the Gauchos once again had a rough first inning defensively. UNLV's Marissa Nichols led off with a walk and then Brittany Bolinger doubled to left center, putting two runners into scoring position with no outs. Jaci Hull followed with a three-run homer down the right field line to put the Rebels on the board at 3-0.

Gaucho pitcher Krista Cobb was able to get control of the game and did not give up a hit and walked just two hitters over the next five innings.

At the top of the seventh, Katie McWhirter was hit by a pitch before Brooke Putich grounded out to the pitcher, allowing the runner to advance to second. A single from Christine Ramos ensued and McWhirter was able to score during the play due to a UNLV throwing error. Ramos advanced to third when J. Ziegler grounded out during the next play. Wright followed with her second double of the day, sending Ramos home. A RBI single by Beristianos tied the game at 3-3 and the Gauchos took the lead one play later when Beristianos came home on another Rebel error.

UNLV responded at the bottom of the seventh when Laura Briones led off with a double to center field. Back-to-back singles followed one out later, including a RBI single up the middle by Nichols, tying the game at 4-4. Bolinger singled down the left field line sending the winning run home and giving the Rebels their second win of the weekend over the Gauchos.

Wright led the team going 2-for-4 with a run, a double and a RBI. Ramos went 2-for-4 with a run.

Cobb (6-3) took the loss. She pitched 6.1 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits. She walked three and struck out one.

UCSB will open its 2009 home schedule on this upcoming Wednesday, March 11 when they host San Diego in a doubleheader at noon. For a chance to catch all of the Gauchos' games at Campus Diamond this season, the UCSB Athletics Departments is, for the first time, offering season tickets. With the purchase of a season ticket, you will also receive a free UCSB visor. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -