April 8, 2008

No. 13 Fresno State Captures Pair of Non-Conference Wins Over UCSB

April 8, 2008

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No. 13 Fresno State put an end to the UC Santa Barbara softball team's eight game win streak on Tuesday afternoon as the Bulldogs swept a non-conference doubleheader at Campus Diamond by way of 5-2 and 9-5 scores. The Bulldogs improve to 37-7 on the season while UC Santa Barbara drops to 23-16 overall.

In the first game of the day, each team went scoreless through the first two innings before Fresno State got on the board at the top of the third. Nicole Angene and Morgan Melloh opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Mallory Perkins loaded the bases with a walk. One out later, Haley Gilleland hit an RBI single to right field, sending Angene home and putting the first run of the day on the board. A double from Caitlin Stiglich during the next at-bat sent two more runners across home plate and gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage.

Junior second baseman Christine Ramos opened the bottom of the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second when sophomore Jessica Ziegler grounded out on the next play. Fresno State earned one more out before senior third baseman Tisha Duran singled to left field sending Ramos home and cutting the deficit to 3-1.

Angene opened the top of the fourth with a walk and advanced to third when Melloh doubled to right field. A single to left field by Perkins sent another Fresno run across home plate extending the Bulldog lead to 4-1. Ramos turned an impressive unassisted double play tagging Perkins before beating Jenna Cervantez to first base, earning the first two outs of the inning. Unfortunately, Gilleland hit a double down the right field line during the ensuing at-bat, bringing Melloh home and stretching the score to 5-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the same inning, senior catcher Ericka Hansen hit a homer over the right field fence to put the Gauchos within three runs. The Gauchos, however, managed just two more hits the rest of the game and fell short, 5-2.

Ramos led the Gauchos going 3-for-4 at the plate with a run, while Hansen went 2-for-2 with her homer and a walk. Sophomore Lindsey Correa (10-5) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work. She walked five and struckout one. MeLinda Matsumoto pitched the latter half of the game for the Gauchos and allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings of work while walking two and fanning two.

Melloh earned the win in the circle for the Bulldogs after throwing a complete seven innings allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. She also was impressive at the plate going 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk.

In the latter half of the twin bill, Gilleland opened with a single to left field and then advanced to second on a Gaucho throwing error. Cervantez singled to right field pushing Gilleland to third base, and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Stiglich earned a walk, loading the bases before pitcher Tami Weston struckout the next batter, earning the first out of the game. A sac fly from Ashley White put Fresno on the board, but a throw from first to third on the same play cut Cervantez off and earned an additional out, ending the inning.

The first six Gauchos were taken down in order and, at the top of the third, Fresno State stretched its lead to 2-0 with a solo home run to right field by Cervantez. At the top of the fourth, Perkins singled to center field with one out and a home run off Gilleland's bat during the next play, extended the Bulldogs' lead to 4-0. Cervantez then walked and advanced to second on a passed ball before the second home run of the inning was hit by Stiglich to left field.

Trailing 6-0 at the bottom of the fourth, Ziegler reached first base on a Fresno State fielding error before junior Tiffany Wright hit a double, bumping Ziegler over to third base. A ground out by Duran brought the runner home and got the Gauchos on the board.

The Gauchos took down the next three batters in order before putting together an impressive fifth inning. With one out, sophomore Priscilla Perez hit a single to center field, which was followed by another single, this time from classmate Kelsey Anderson. An error by the Bulldog third basemen allowed senior Nicole Churnock to reach first and loaded the bases for UCSB.

Ramos posted an RBI single to left field, which was followed by a two-RBI single from Ziegler, who was called out on the play. Wright kept the streak alive and posted an RBI single of her own: a hit straight to the Fresno State pitcher's shin that brought Ramos home and put the Gauchos within one at 6-5. A fielder's choice ended the inning, but the Gauchos were in striking distance with two innings to go.

The Bulldogs wouldn't let the Gauchos stay close for too long as Cervantez hit a two-RBI homer over the left field fence in the sixth to push Fresno State ahead, 8-5. Then, in the top of the seventh, Fresno loaded the bases with two outs, before a single from Cervantez sent Lisamarie Coronado home for the Bulldogs' ninth run of the game. Fresno took the final three Gaucho batters down in order to earn the 9-5 victory.

Tiffany Wright went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the loss, while Ziegler was 1-for-4 with a run and two-RBI. Ramos stretched her current hitting streak to 13 consecutive games after going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

Tami Weston (8-3) took the loss in the circle after pitching six innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits, with five walks and a season-high tying seven strikeouts. Matsumoto once again finished the game, pitching the final inning, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.

For Fresno State, Melloh (26-4) once again went the distance, throwing a complete game and allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts.

UCSB, which has posted a flawless 6-0 record in Big West action so far this season, will continue its conference schedule this weekend at Cal State Northridge. The three-game series with the Matadors will begin with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday at Matador Diamond.