March 9, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team captured a 5-2 win over San Diego State before falling 6-2 to No. 12 ranked Stanford on the opening day of the Stanford Classic being held at the Cardinal's Smith Family Stadium this weekend.
With the split, the Gaucho record now stands at 14-6 on the season. With the loss to the Cardinal, Santa Barbara is now 2-1 in away games and 6-5 on the road.
In the first game of the day UCSB was led by sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos who went 3-for-4 with a run while senior first basemen Jessica Hejna was 2-for-4 with a run. Sophomore center fielder Tiffany Wright was 1-for-3 with a double, one run and an RBI and senior shortstop Brittany Putich went 1-for-3 with a team-leading two RBI.
Freshman pitcher Lindsay Correa captured the win for the Gauchos after throwing five innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out one. Correa is now 5-1 on the season. Senior hurler Jennifer Davis earned the save, her third of the season, after pitching two innings allowing one run on one hit, walking one and striking out one.
For the Aztecs, Melissa Owens went 2-for-3 with two homeruns and two RBI while Brittany Knudsen had the only other San Diego State hit with her 1-for-3 performance. Christina Ross (7-4) took the loss for the Aztecs after pitching six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking one and fanning six batters.
As has been the case in eight of the Gauchos' previous games this season, UCSB scored their first run in the opening inning. After Correa retired the first three Aztec batters in order, Ramos led off at the bottom of the inning with a bunt single. Hejna followed with the same result, advancing Ramos to second. Junior Tisha Duran provided a sacrifice bunt and a single to the pitcher from Putich drove in Ramos to put the Gauchos up 1-0 at the end of the first inning.
The next nine batters went down in order before Ramos once again led off at the top of the third, this time with a single to the shortstop. Hejna singled to center field and Duran walked to load the bases. Ross dug herself out by striking out the next three Gaucho batters swinging, leaving three runners stranded.
Owens opened up the fourth inning hitting one over the right field fence tying the game up at 1-1. The Gauchos responded when they once again returned to the top of their order in the fifth inning. Ramos hit her third single of the day through the right side but Hejna reached on a fielder's choice during the next at bat and Ramos was out at second. An error by the Aztec second basemen allowed Duran to get on base and a double from Wright brought Hejna home. Putich then reached on a fielder's choice bunt driving in Duran for the Gauchos' third run. Putich stole second before a sacrifice bunt from catcher Ericka Hansen drove Wright home to give UCSB a 4-1 edge.
Davis replaced Correa in the circle at the top of the sixth, but San Diego State's Owens managed her second homerun of the game, this time down the left field line to cut the score to 4-2. Tamani Wells walked on the next play but Erin Floros grounded into a double play that took her and Wells out. Davis struck out the next Aztec batter looking to complete the inning.
A single from Liz Walters opened up the bottom of the sixth inning and was followed by a San Diego State fielding error that allowed Davis to reach first and pinch runner Jackie Conlin reach third. Conlin then scored on a wild pitch to give the Gauchos their final run of the morning as they took the game at 6-2.
In the second game of the day, Ramos once again led the Gauchos going 2-for-3 with one run and a stolen base. Wright went 1-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI while Duran was 1-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI. Freshman hurler MeLinda Matsumoto (6-1) picked up her first loss of the season after allowing four runs on six hits in one inning of work. Davis pitched five innings allowing only one run on three hits and striking out five.
Missy Penna served as the Stanford's offensive and defensive anchor. The pitcher threw a complete game allowing two runs on four hits, gave up two walks and fanned 11 batters. Penna went 2-for-4 at the plate with a homerun and three RBI while teammate Rosey Neill went 1-for-3 with a double, one run and an RBI for the Cardinal.
Stanford got things rolling in the bottom of the first inning with a single at the top of the order from Alissa Haber. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Jackie Rinehart. Neill drove in Haber for the first run with a double down left field line. A single from Penna brought home Rinehart and Maddy Coon, who had walked, and Penna grabbed her first run of the game when Shannon Koplitz doubled down the left field line to put Stanford ahead 4-0.
Rinehart brought in Michelle Schroeder for the Cardinal's fifth run with a single up the middle at the bottom of the second and Penna's homer to left center in the third gave Stanford a 6-0 advantage.
The Gauchos struggled offensively through the first three innings as Penna took down the first nine Gaucho batters in order. At the top of the fourth, Ramos singled to the shortstop for her fourth hit of the day and then stole second. Hejna grounded out to the pitcher allowing Ramos to advance to third, but the next two batters were retired leaving her stranded.
With one out at the top of sixth, Ramos singled to left center and once again advanced when Hejna grounded out. A wild pitch enabled the runner to advance to third for the second time in the game and this time around Duran came up big hitting a double bringing Ramos home. Wright's second double of the day brought Duran home for a second UCSB run. Wright then stole third, but Penna struck Putich out swinging to end the inning.
Davis took out the next three Cardinal batters in order and Hansen opened the seventh inning with a walk, but the next three batters struck out in order to end the game. Stanford captured the 6-2 victory and handed the Gauchos their biggest margin of loss thus far in the 2007 season.
Santa Barbara will continue action at the Stanford Classic on Saturday when they face Sacramento State at noon and Loyola of Chicago at 6:00 p.m.