April 23, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara captured its third consecutive Big West series win on Saturday with a 4-2 victory in the rubber game against Cal State Northridge at Campus Diamond.
With the win, UCSB improves to 24-20 on the year and 8-4 in Big West play. The Gauchos are currently tied for third in the league standings with Long Beach State. Pacific and Cal State Fullerton are atop the leaderboard with 9-3 conference marks. Cal State Northridge falls to 16-28 on the year and 4-8 in Big West play with Saturday's loss.
Junior pitcher Krista Cobb tossed her second complete game of the series and improved to 12-9 on the season with the win and is now 6-1 in conference games. She allowed just two unearned runs on three hits while striking out three. She did not allow a walk in the victory.
The Gauchos took the lead in the bottom of the second inning when, with two outs, senior Jessica Beristianos hit a double that hit the left field fence before dropping. Senior Katie McWhirter drove her classmate home during the next at bat with a double of her own that soared past right fielder Samantha Slonicker's outstretched glove.
In the third, UCSB extended its lead to three runs. Junior Brooke Putich led off with her fifth triple of the season hit deep to the right field warning track. Freshman Kathryn Pilpil then drew a walk before stealing second. One out later, junior Allison Taylor hit a double to left center field sending both runners home.
Northridge benefited from a pair of Gaucho errors in the top of the fourth inning, which put two runners on with just one out. A single from Madeline Sale to shallow left field scored Slonicker from second base to cut the Gaucho lead to two runs.
In the fifth, an error following Karla Chaparro's bunt allowed the Matador to reach second base. One out later, Jaci Carlsen doubled to left field, sending Chaparro home cutting the CSUN deficit to just one run.
At the top of the sixth, Taylor led off with a solo homer hit over the center field fence. The run gave the Gauchos a bigger cushion, but Cobb ensured that they wouldn't need it as she held on for the 4-2 win.
Taylor led the Gauchos, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI.
Northridge pitcher Hannah Fraijo (10-11) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs on four hits. She walked one and struck out one in 2.1 innings of work. Mia Pagano pitched 3.2 innings of relief and gave up just one hit - Taylor's homer - while striking out one.
The Gauchos will continue Big West action at Long Beach State next Saturday and Sunday, April 30 through May 1. The series begins with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.