March 17, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team earned a pair of shutout wins over non-conference opponent New Mexico State on Saturday at Campus Diamond. Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis threw 12 strikeouts while Christine Ramos hit a homerun single to take a 1-0 win in the first game of the day before the Gauchos mercied the Aggies 8-0 in the sixth inning of the second game of the day.
With the pair of wins, Santa Barbara now stands at 18-7 on the season and is 10-1 at home while New Mexico State falls to 17-12 on the year.
Ramos led the Gauchos in game one going 2-for-3 with her homerun and a stolen base while senior Brittany Putich went 1-for-3 with a double. Davis (3-5) pitched a complete game shutout allowing only two hits, walked two and struck out 12 batters, tying her season-high strikeout total.
For New Mexico State, Colleen Kimbro was 1-for-2 with a double and a stolen base while Rachel Lopez (0-1) took the loss after giving up one run on five hits, walking two and fanning four batters.
Putich had an opportunity to score early in the game when she doubled to right center at the top of the order in the second inning and a sacrifice bunt from Ericka Hansen moved her to third. But the Gauchos were unable to convert the run and left two more on base before Ramos hit a solo homer off of the right field foul pole to score the lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
The Aggies mustered two hits in the final two innings, but Davis and the Gaucho defense kept New Mexico State in check and took the 1-0 victory.
In the second game of the day, Tiffany Wright went 2-for-3 with a homerun, an additional run, a stolen base and two RBI. Davis was also impressive at the plate as she went 2-for-3 with a homerun and three RBI. Freshman pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (8-1) pitched six innings allowing no runs on six hits, walking none and striking out three. Matsumoto now has three shutouts under her belt this season.
For the Aggies, Kimbro went 2-for-3 at the plate with a stolen base and Ashley Roszkos was 1-for-3 with a double. Vanessa Fitzgerald (6-2) took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits in 0.2 innings of work.
The Gauchos got things rolling early in game two when a single to center field by Putich brought Tisha Duran home for the first run of the game in the first inning. A single from Davis further down in the order brought home Putich and Wright to give the Gauchos a 3-0 advantage.
The next six batters went down in order before New Mexico State put two on base in the third inning, but neither runner was brought in preserving the Gaucho lead.
Wright opened up the third with a solo homerun which was followed two outs later by Davis' first homer of the season hit right over the center field fence stretching the Santa Barbara edge to 5-0.
The Aggies created a great opportunity to score when a double from Roszkos in the sixth inning advanced Kimbro, who had singled earlier in the order, to third. The next two batters grounded out, however, leaving the two batters stranded.
A double from Hejna at the bottom of the sixth drove in Ramos and Nicole Churnock before Hejna herself scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly hit by Wright, giving UCSB the 8-0 mercy win.
"It was great to see Jen (Davis) have a really nice game. We struggled to hit in the first game but we talked about making adjustments after the first game, we wanted to do a better job of getting on top of the ball. We also did a nice job of shortening up in the second game and our defense did a superb job," remarked head coach Kristy Schroeder who tallied her 300th game coaching the Gauchos during the first of Saturday's two match-ups.
Santa Barbara will take the rest of the week off for finals and return to action Sunday, March 25 when they host a doubleheader with Loyola Marymount scheduled to start at noon at the Gauchos' very own Campus Diamond.