April 22, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara head softball coach Kristy Schroeder picked up her 300th career victory on Sunday as the Gauchos won their first Big West Conference game of the season in a 6-1 decision over Cal State Northridge. After dropping a pair of games to the Matadors on Saturday, UCSB used a pair of homeruns to push itself past its conference foe in the series closer on a drizzly Sunday afternoon on Campus Diamond.
With the win, the Gaucho record is lifted to 24-17 overall and 1-8 in Big West games. UCSB's 24 wins so far this season matches the total number of wins they posted during the entire 2006 campaign. Northridge falls to 16-19-1 and 4-8 in conference games with the loss.
Schroeder, who is in her sixth season with the Gauchos, now has a nine-year career record of 300-184-1. The head coach has recorded a 167-150 mark at UCSB and went 133-34-1 in her three years at Division II Truman State prior to coming to Santa Barbara.
Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis captured the win for the Gauchos in the circle after pitching seven innings, allowing only one hit, walking four and fanning nine batters to improve her record to 8-11. The Whittier, Calif. native was also impressive at the plate going 2-for-3 with a two-run homerun, her third homer of the weekend and her fifth of the season.
Junior third basemen Tisha Duran went 2-for-2 with two runs including a three-run homer in the fifth inning and a walk. Sophomore Christine Ramos was 2-for-4 with a run scored and junior Nicole Churnock was 1-for-3 with an RBI double.
For the Matadors, Mercedes Lovato (11-10) took the loss after pitching a complete six innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Kelly Zakosek accounted for Northridge's only run with a homerun in the first at bat of the day.
Zakosek led off for the Matadors with her homer to right field off of the second pitch of the day from Gaucho hurler Tami Weston, giving Northridge an early 1-0 lead. Weston continued to struggle as she walked two batters and hit one with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Davis was brought in for UCSB and the ace took down the next three batters in order.
Trailing 1-0, Ramos led off with a bunt single at the bottom of the inning and Hejna followed with a sac bunt moving Ramos to scoring position. Duran singled on the next play, but Ramos was caught stealing giving the Gauchos two outs. Davis homered to center field on the next play driving Duran home and putting the Gauchos ahead 2-1.
The next three innings remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Duran hit a home run to right field driving in three runs and bringing the Gaucho lead to 5-1. For good measure, Churnock hit an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth with two outs stretching the score to 6-1.
Northridge could not muster a response at the top of the seventh inning and UCSB took the 6-1 victory ending its eight game Big West losing skid.
The Gauchos will continue Big West action next weekend when they hit the road for a three-game series at Cal Poly. Saturday, April 28 will feature a doubleheader set to start at noon and the series will conclude with a noon game on Sunday. All games will be played at the Mustang's Bob Jassen Field.