May 3, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the first time in three weeks, the UC Santa Barbara softball team swept a Saturday doubleheader, after tallying back-to-back wins over Big West foe Pacific at Campus Diamond. After posting a 7-4 come-from-behind win in the first game of the day, the Gauchos took the latter half of the twin bill by way of a 3-1 score.
With the pair of wins, UCSB stretches its season record to 28-22 and is now 11-6 in the Big West. Pacific falls to 23-32 on the year and 5-12 in conference play.
In the first contest of the day, the game remained scoreless for the first four innings. At the top of the fifth, Mandy Hickman singled to left field with one out, Her teammate, Brittany Hendrickeon followed suit and recorded a base-hit of her own to put two runners on. The Gauchos earned the second out of the inning when Lindsey Pierce hit a fielder's choice. With runners on first and second, Casey Goldsand hit a single to second, loading the bases. Nicole Matson was up next, and with two outs and the bases loaded, she hit a grand slam over the left field fence.
The Gauchos responded in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tiffany Wright led-off with a double to left field. Tisha Duran then got in on the action and hit a double to the same gap bringing Wright home for the first UCSB run. Ericka Hansen followed with a single before Jessica Beristianos hit a two-RBI double to left center field, cutting the Gaucho deficit to 4-3.
Pacific made a pitching change and earned the first out of the inning on a ground out as Beristianos advanced to third. The next Priscilla Perez grounded out as well, but the runner was able to come home, tying the game at 4-4.
Pacific had its chance to regain the lead at the top of the seventh as the Tigers loaded the bases on a walk, an error, and a fielder's choice. Matson once again was the first to come up to bat with the bases loaded, but this time around there was no grand slam, as MeLinda Matsumoto took her down swinging. The Gauchos got out of the inning on a fielder's choice and the score remained deadlocked.
With one out in the seventh, Wright posted her second double of the game before Duran earned a walk. Hansen was up next and she hit homer over the right center field fence to capture the 7-4 win for the Gauchos.
Wright, Duran, and Hansen each posted two hits in the victory as well as two runs. In the circle, Matsumoto picked up the win after tossing the full seven innings. She allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. She improves to 8-9 on the year.
For the Tigers, Alyce Jorgenson pitched the first five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Heidi Helberg finished the game and allowed three runs on three hits with one walk. Helberg falls to 3-6 this season.
The Gauchos carried their momentum into the second game of the day and after allowing just one hit in the first inning, they got the ball rolling at the bottom of the first. With two outs, Wright hit a bunt single. Duran doubled on the following play bringing Wright home. Hansen followed with a double of her own, hit to left field, sending Duran across home plate. Pitches hit both Beristianos and Danielle Meyers during the ensuing at-bats, loading the bases. Priscilla Perez then earned a walk, sending Hansen home and stretching the Gaucho lead to 3-0. The Tigers finally got out of the inning with three Gauchos stranded.
Neither team scored during the next four innings, but Alyce Jorgenson prevented the shutout for the Tigers with a solo homer at the top of the sixth. It was the final run for either team as the Gauchos held on for the 3-1 win.
Duran led UCSB at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, a run, and an RBI during Saturday's second game. In the circle, Tami Weston improved to 10-6 on the season after tossing seven innings and allowing just one run on five hits. She walked two and struck out five.
Pacific's Chelsea Engle took the loss after pitching six innings and allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. She falls to 14-17 this season.
The Gauchos will complete the series with Pacific and their 2008 home schedule on Sunday when they host a single game at noon at Campus Diamond. Prior to the first pitch, UCSB will honor its five graduating seniors: Dani Baltazar, Nicole Churnock, Tisha Duran, Ericka Hansen, and Danielle Meyers.