March 25, 2007

Gauchos Split Doubleheader With Loyola Marymount

March 25, 2007

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team split a pair of games Sunday afternoon against non-conference opponent Loyola Marymount, dropping a narrow 4-3 game before recovering and posting a 6-2 win over the Lions in the second game of the day at Campus Diamond.

With the split, the Gaucho record now stands at 19-8 and with just their second home loss of the season, they are 11-2 at Campus Diamond. LMU currently holds a 26-13 record on the season.

In game one, junior third basemen Tisha Duran led the UCSB offense going 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Senior hurler Jennifer Davis pitched a complete game allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits. The Whittier, Calif. native walked one and struck out 10 batters in the loss, she is now 3-6 on the season.

For the Lions, Melissa Dykema picked up the win after pitching a complete seven innings allowing only three runs on five hits, walking two and fanning six to improve her season record to 17-5. Megan Ackerman was impressive at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance, which included two runs and an RBI. Chelsie Tysdal also had a great showing going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

The Gauchos got off to a good start in the first game of the day as Davis retired the first six batters in order, including four strikeouts. At the top of the third, Ackerman led off with a single, which was followed by a double to left field off the bat of Tysdal that drove in the first run of the game. The next three batters went down in order as the Gauchos kept the Lion lead to a manageable 1-0.

At the bottom of the fifth, Christine Ramos led off with a walk and Jessica Hejna reached after getting hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no outs. A double to left center from Duran brought Ramos home for the first Gaucho run of the game. Tiffany Wright grounded out to second base bringing Hejna home and Duran stole home on the next play to give UCSB its first lead of the day at 3-1.

The next six batters went down in order before LMU put together a big inning at the top of the seventh. Kylie Conroy led off with a single and advanced to second on a Gaucho error. The Lions picked up a pair of outs, before Ackerman singled to third base bringing Conroy home. Ackerman was then brought home on an RBI double from Tysdal, her second of the game, to tie things up at 3-3. On the next play, Kirsten Whitt reached on an error that also brought pinch runner J.J. Hartung home for an unearned run. The three-run inning put the Lions ahead 4-3.

Ramos led off with a bunt single at the top of the order in the seventh, but the Gauchos were unable to bring her home falling 4-3.

The Lions used their momentum in the first inning of the second game as Pineda fired a two-run homer over the right field fence to get LMU out to a 2-0 start.

UCSB took a couple innings to muster its response, but in the third with one out Ramos doubled to left center advancing Nicole Churnock to third. A walk by Tisha Duran loaded the bases with two outs and an error by the Lions' third basemen allowed Wright to reach first bringing Churnock home for an unearned run. A single from Brittany Putich brought both Ramos and Duran home giving the Gauchos a 3-2 lead. A passed ball allowed Wright to score extending the UCSB advantage to 4-2 at the end of three innings.

A single to right center from Ramos in the bottom of the sixth drove in two more Gaucho runs putting UCSB ahead 6-2. LMU left a pair of runners stranded at the top of the seventh sealing the victory for Santa Barbara.

In game two, Ramos led the Gauchos at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI while Putich was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Freshman pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto pitched a complete seven innings allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four. The Union City, Calif. native is now an impressive 9-1 on the season.

For the Lions, Tiffany Pagano took the loss after allowing six runs, two of which were earned, on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts. At the plate Margo Pineda led the team with her two-run homerun in the first inning.

The Gauchos will hit the road on Tuesday for a single game against No. 11 UCLA before returning home to open their Big West Conference schedule against defending league champions Cal State Fullerton in a three game series on Saturday and Sunday. A doubleheader will be played on Saturday starting at noon followed by a single game on Sunday also scheduled for a noon start, the series will be played at Campus Diamond.

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