Gauchos Split With No. 5/4 UCLA

March 24, 2009

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara (14-12) softball team came back after a mercy rule loss to No. 5/4 UCLA (25-4) and defeated the Bruins, 7-2, to earn a split during a nonconference doubleheader at Easton Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The win is the Gauchos' fourth ever over UCLA and their first by more than two runs. The loss marks the largest margin of defeat for the Bruins this season.

After the first game of the doubleheader finished in an 8-0, six-inning mercy rule loss for UCSB, the Gaucho offense came on strong early during the second game of the twin bill.

Senior Christine Ramos led off with a single up the middle before a bunt single from junior Jessica Ziegler. Senior Tiffany Wright followed with a sacrifice bunt, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Sophomore Jessica Beristianos was up next and she hit a two-RBI single to left field, bringing home the first UCSB runs of the day.

Amanda Kamekona led off for UCLA with a bunt single at the bottom of the inning and then stole second. Katie Schroeder followed with a walk and Kamekona advanced on a wild pitch to put runners on the corners for the Bruins. One out later, Kaila Shull hit a two-RBI single through the right side, tying the game at two apiece.

The game remained tied until the top of the third when the Gauchos struck again. Ramos once again led off with a single before Ziegler hit her second bunt single of the game. A double from Wright during the next at-bat sent Ramos home and Ziegler to third base, regaining the UCSB lead. A fielder's choice RBI from Beristianos stretched the Gaucho advantage to 4-2.

Wright hit a solo home run at the top of the fifth inning giving UCSB its biggest lead of the game at three runs. UCSB was not done though. At the top of the sixth, freshman Lainey DePompa walked and classmate Brooke Putich followed with single to put two runners on with one out. Ramos followed with a two-RBI double to right center field, pushing the Gaucho lead to 7-2.

Freshman pitcher Krista Cobb gave up just one hit across the next two innings, securing the UCSB win.

Ramos went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs, a double and two RBI. Ziegler went 2-for-4 with two runs and Wright was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Beristianos accounted for three of the Gauchos' RBI in the win.

In the circle, Cobb (8-3) threw a complete game and allowed just two earned runs on six hits. She walked three and struck out three.

For the Bruins, Whitney Baker (8-1) took the loss after tossing two innings and allowing four earned runs on six hits. She struck out three. Donna Kerr finished the game and allowed three earned runs on three hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts.

During the first game of the day, UCLA got on the scoreboard at the bottom of the second inning when Kamekona hit a single to up the middle with the bases loaded, driving home a pair of runs.

At the bottom of the sixth, the Bruin offense struck again. With two runners on and one out, Kamekona hit a three-run homer over the left field fence, stretching the UCLA lead to 5-0. The Bruins got two more runners on base before another three-run homer was hit, this time by Shull, to left field capturing the 8-0 mercy win for UCLA.

Kamekona led the Bruins going 3-for-5 with a run and five RBI. Shull was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and three RBI. In the circle, Kerr pitched all six innings and allowed just five hits while striking out three to capture the win and improve to 14-3 on the season.

For the Gauchos, Ramos, Jackie Conlin, Katie McWhirter and Putich accounted for UCSB's four hits. MeLinda Matsumoto (2-5) took the loss after tossing 5.1 innings and allowing five earned runs on eight hits while walking three. Lindsey Correa finished the game and allowed the final three runs on two hits.

The Gauchos return home on Wednesday for a nonconference doubleheader against Santa Clara scheduled for a noon start at Campus Diamond. For tickets, call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.

In its on-going effort to draw awareness to breast cancer and to promote its research, the UCSB Athletics Department will sponsor "Pink Week" at this week's athletics events, including tomorrow's softball games against the Broncos.

In addition to the softball team, the UCSB women's water polo and tennis teams will be taking part in the effort during their home contests this week.

"Pink Week" is part UCSB Athletics' BE Great initiative.

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