Gauchos Top Niagara on Second Day of Citrus Classic II

Sierra Altmeyer (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Sierra Altmeyer (Photo by Tony Mastres)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On the second day of competition at the Citrus Classic II, the UC Santa Barbara softball team dropped an early morning contest to Notre Dame, 10-2, before salvaging the day and snapping a three-game skid with an 8-5 victory over Niagara at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday.

Game 1
After travel complications due to inclement weather halted Binghamton's ability to make the trip, UCSB rescheduled their game to take on the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame struck first in the bottom of the opening frame with a solo homerun, but the Gauchos bounced back with a run in the second and third innings to take an early 2-1 lead. An RBI double from Alyssa Lazatin cashed in a leadoff single from Sierra Altmeyer in the second while an Alyssa Diaz sac fly in the third gave UCSB a temporary lead.

A big seven-run inning on six hits and a UCSB error in the fourth allowed the Fighting Irish to pull away for good, and another run in the fifth ended the game early.

The Gauchos got a hit apiece from Sammy Fabian, Melanie Menor, Altmeyer, Lazatin and Kayla Krantz, but were outhit 12-5 overall.

Lena Mayer (3-3) picked up the loss after pitching three innings and allowing four earned runs on six hits. Felisha Noriega, Lilliana Rodriguez and Veronika Gulvin also saw action in relief.

Game 2
UCSB bounced back with their first win of the tournament in its afternoon matchup against Niagara.

The Gauchos brought a run home in the first inning after Fabian was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a sac bunt from Menor, and scored on a Diaz double.

The Purple Eagles scored twice in the third, on a sac fly and a solo homerun, but Altmeyer hit a solo homerun of her own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Niagara scored again in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead, but an RBI triple from Lazatin and an RBI single from Samantha Lujan in the fifth inning allowed UCSB to regain the lead, 4-3.

Lazatin and Lujan struck again in the sixth inning, this time with two-RBI hits each to highlight a four-run inning that pushed the Gaucho advantage to five runs, with an 8-3 lead.

Niagara added two in the seventh but that was as close as they would get as Gulvin closed out the game to seal the win for UCSB.

Gulvin (3-4) tossed the final 3.1 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out four to earn the win. Emily Schuttish started the game and went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts while picking up the no decision.

At the plate, seven different Gauchos picked up a hit, led by Lazatin and Lujan who both finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

UCSB (8-11) rounds out Citrus Classic II action tomorrow, Mar. 4 at 6:00 a.m. PT against Massachusetts.