March 15, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team picked up a 6-4 win over Illinois-Chicago Saturday morning before dropping its final game of the LMU Tournament to host Loyola Marymount, 11-4 in the afternoon at Smith Field. With the split, the Gaucho record now stands at 15-12 overall.
In the first game of the day against Illinois-Chicago, senior Tisha Duran led the Gauchos going 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, a triple, an additional run, and two RBI. Three pitchers saw time in the circle for UCSB, but it was Tami Weston (4-1), who pitched the final two innings with no runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout, that picked up the win.
At the top of the second inning, the Flames' Nicole Robinson led-off with a double down the right field line. Melissa Marinacci struck out looking, but was able to reach on a passed ball to put two runners on. A double to left center off the bat of Stephanie Chavez brought home two runs for Illinois-Chicago. The Flames managed one more hit during the inning, but the Gauchos escaped trailing by just two runs.
With one out at the bottom of the same inning, freshman Jessica Beristianos singled to center field and was brought home during the next play when junior Tiffany Wright doubled down the left field line, cutting the Flames' lead to 2-1.
In the third, an RBI single from Danielle Meyers tied the game up at 2-2. But, Illinois-Chicago responded with a run of its own in the top of the fourth. With one out and two runners on-base, Nikki Rogers singled down the right field line to regain the lead for the Flames at 3-2.
The see-saw continued as the Gauchos scored one at the bottom of the fourth and then both teams posted a run apiece in the fifth inning. Tied 4-4 at the top of the seventh, the Flames loaded the bases with just one out before a pair of fielder's choices earned the Gauchos the final two outs of the inning.
Sophomore Jessica Ziegler led-off with a walk in the bottom of the seventh before Duran homered to left field, capturing the 6-4 victory for the Gauchos.
In the second game of the day against the host Lions, Beristianos led the Gauchos going 2-for-3 with a run, while senior Nicole Churnock was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (4-8) took the loss in the circle after allowing five runs on four hits in the first 0.1 innings of the game.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the first inning, Amy Charpentier scored on a wild pitch before a single from Christine Foley sent home the second Lion run. LMU scored four more runs in the inning, including two off of a single from Kristen Slouber, to stretch its lead to 6-0.
The Gauchos got a pair of runners on-base at the bottom of the same inning, and with two outs, Churnock hit a single straight up the middle to bring Kelsey Anderson across home plate. LMU continued its offensive onslaught at the top of the second when they loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a double from Chelsie Tysdal. Despite the Gauchos turning a double play to earn the first two outs, the Lions were still able to bring two runs across the plate when J.J. Hartung hit a double down the left field line, extending the Lions' lead to 8-1.
At the top of the fourth, Beristianos continued her strong weekend showing with a lead-off triple to left field. Wright singled during the next at-bat to send the runner home. Senior catcher Ericka Hansen hit a home run over the left center field fence posting two more runs for the Gauchos. Churnock was able to reach on a single one out later, and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Christine Ramos, but the left fielder would remain stranded on second base as the Lions earned the third out.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, those would be their last runs of the game. LMU added a pair at the bottom of the fourth and one more run in the bottom of the sixth to come away with the 11-4 victory.
Lion pitcher Melissa Dykema (8-5) earned the win, her third straight against the Gauchos, after allowing four earned runs on seven hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.
UCSB will take the next week off from games as the Gauchos complete their winter quarter finals. UCSB will return to action on Tuesday, March 25 when they host UCLA in a non-conference doubleheader at Campus Diamond.