April 16, 2011

Cobb Throws No Hitter; Gauchos Take Twinbill

April 16, 2011

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior pitcher Krista Cobb tossed a complete game no hitter on Saturday afternoon as UC Santa Barbara won both games in a doubleheader against Big West Conference foe UC Riverside at Campus Diamond. Cobb's second career no hitter came in game one as the Gauchos posted a 3-0 win; UCSB captured game two via a 7-5 score.

With the wins, UCSB improves to 22-18 on the season and 6-2 in Big West games. The victories stretch the Gauchos' current win streak to nine games. UCR falls to 9-24 overall and 2-6 in league play.

Cobb (10-9) was masterful in game one allowing just two walks and striking out one on her way to the complete game no hitter. It marked her second career no hitter; her first was in a perfect game against Wagner during her first collegiate start (Feb. 8, 2009).

The junior got all the offensive support she would need in the third inning. Kendall Gill was hit by a pitch to lead things off and advanced to second when Brooke Putich grounded out to shortstop Kameryn Hebenton. A blooper hit by Kathryn Pilpil over Hebenton's head pushed Gill to third before a fielder's choice, in which Hebenton chose to hold the ball to keep Gill from going home, allowed McKenzie Kane to load the bases. A bases loaded walk drawn by Allison Taylor gave UCSB the 1-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, Pilpil led off by hitting a high pop up single that landed between Hebenton and left fielder Brittany Keeney and was able to beat out the throw as she raced to second base. A slow rolling ground ball hit by Kane to short allowed Pilpil to reach third. On the next play, Kane dashed to second and, in attempt to catch her stealing, catcher Dawn Brodersen overthrew past second base, allowing Pilpil ample time to score an unearned run.

When Allison Taylor flew out during the next at bat, the Highlanders were able get Kane out on a pickle but Keilani Jennings followed with a two-out solo home run hit over the left center field fence to push the Gaucho lead to 3-0.

Cobb retired the next six batters in order and, with the help of an impressive diving catch made by Kane in center field during the sixth inning, she sealed the 3-0 win for the Gauchos.

Kane and Pilpil led UCSB at the plate, each going 2-for-3 in the victory.

The Gauchos also turned two double plays in Saturday's first game, bringing their season total to 23, which ties the school record set last season. UCSB is currently ranked fourth nationally for double plays per game.

Santa Barbara carried its momentum from its game one win into the second game of the day. Pilpil and Kane opened the game with consecutive singles and both advanced on the first of six errors by the Highlanders. A fielding error by pitcher Casey Suda allowed Jennings to load the bases.

Boser hit a fielder's choice on the next play and Suda tossed the ball to Brodersen at home, but the catcher dropped the ball allowing Pilpil to safely reach home for an unearned run.

In the second, the Gauchos loaded the bases with one out before Taylor hit an RBI single to right field to score Brooke Putich. Jennings followed with a hit that looked as if it was going to go yard before bouncing off the top of the right field fence and back into the outfield. That single scored Pilpil. One out later, Lainey DePompa sent in two more runs with a base hit to left field as UCSB stretched its lead to 5-0.

A Highlander throwing error and an RBI single up the middle by Taylor allowed two more Gaucho runs to come home in the third, giving UCSB a seven-run advantage.

After facing 10 consecutive shutout innings at the hands of the Gauchos, Riverside finally broke through in the fourth. Brittany Keeney led of with a double hit down the left field line and moved to third when Kayla White singled to center. Taylor Thomas' ground out to third base drove Keeney home for the first Highlander run of the day.

In the fifth, UCR tacked on two more runs off an infield RBI single by White and a bases loaded walk earned by Jessica Vasser. With its lead cut to four runs and the bases loaded, UCSB subbed Cobb in for starting pitcher Andriana Collins. Cobb threw one pitch to Thomas, who popped up to second base ending the inning.

An RBI single to shortstop by Brooke Hebenton in the sixth and a solo home run by Keeney in the seventh cut the UCSB lead to two runs at 7-5, but the Gauchos held on to sweep the twinbill.

Collins (12-9) captured the win after tossing 4.2 innings in which she allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits. She walked one and struck out three. Cobb earned her first save of the season after finishing the game. She allowed two earned runs off of three hits.

Kane once again led the Gaucho offense going 3-for-4 with two runs. Taylor and DePompa, meanwhile, each went 2-for-4 with two RBI apiece.

With the doubleheader win on Saturday, UCSB ensures its second consecutive Big West series victory. The Gauchos remain atop the Big West leader board in a tie for first with Cal State Fullerton.

The three-game series with the Highlanders will conclude on Sunday with a noon game at Campus Diamond.