May 19, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After holding the lead for five innings, the UC Santa Barbara softball team fell to Loyola Marymount 5-3 at the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Division I Championships on Saturday evening at UCLA's Easton Stadium. The Lions used a grand slam home run in the top of the sixth inning to overcome a two-run deficit and end the Gauchos' postseason run.
With the loss, UC Santa Barbara finishes the 2007 campaign with a 30-23 record while Loyola Marymount extended its record to 46-17. The Gauchos remain winless in postseason play as they have posted a 0-6 record at Regionals after dropping a pair of games in both 2004 and 2006.
Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis threw a complete seven innings allowing five runs on six hits with just one walk and eight strikeouts. The Big West Pitcher of the Year finished her senior season with a 14-16 record and finished her four-year career with UCSB 61-61 overall, just one win shy of the Gaucho record for career pitcher's victories.
At the plate, junior center fielder Tiffany Wright led the way with a solo home run and an additional run scored. Junior third basemen Tisha Duran was 1-for-3 with a run and a stolen base. Davis and sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos accounted for the Gauchos' additional two hits.
Melissa Dykema (26-7) earned her second win of the season over the Gauchos after pitching a complete game allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. At the plate, Megan Ackerman led the way with her grand slam home run while Margo Pineda contributed a 2-for-4 performance with a run scored.
The Gauchos went 1-2 against the Lions this season after splitting a doubleheader at Campus Diamond on March 25.
With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Davis hit an RBI single to left field bringing Duran home from second base for the first Gaucho run of the game. After allowing no hits in the next three innings, UCSB added another run to its count when Wright led-off with a home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth to gain a 2-0 lead.
At the top of the sixth, LMU loaded the bases with one out, Christine Foley then earned a walk to bring home the first Lion run of the game. Megan Ackerman was next up and with a 1-1 count, the shortstop hit a grand slam home run over the right center field fence to put LMU in the lead, 5-2.
At the bottom of the same inning, Wright was driven home for the second run of the game on a Lion error to cut the LMU lead to 5-3 heading into the final inning of the game.
In the seventh, MiaSarah Cesena hit a single to left center with two outs, but it was the last hit of the game as Davis took out the last Lion batter and the last three Gaucho batters went down in order.
"(In order to win) we had to pull it all together. If we could have had Jenn's (Davis) performance yesterday and today's hitting, it would have been great. I think everyone needs to go into these games knowing we're capable of winning," commented head coach Kristy Schroeder.
"Jenn pitched a heck of a tournament and I am proud of the way the team handled themselves."
Loyola Marymount faces UCLA in Saturday's night cap and the winner of that game will face-off with Hawai'i in the Los Angeles Regional Championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Today's game marked the final game for four Gaucho seniors: starters Davis, Jessica Hejna, Brittany Putich and Liz Walters. Each of the UCSB seniors has made all three postseason appearances with the Gauchos and has led the team to a 112-98 four-year record.