UCSB Splits Opening Day Games at Campbell/Cartier Classic

Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A 4-1 win over Grand Canyon on Friday morning at the Campbell/Cartier Classic awarded the UC Santa Barbara softball team its first three-game win streak of the new season, but the streak would end later in the day with an 8-0 defeat to Northern Illinois. The Gauchos are now 3-2 through their first five games in 2019.

Santa Barbara would claim both its third straight win and third win of 2019 against GCU, 4-1, thanks to its ability to get out of innings unscathed. The Gaucho defense left 11 Lope runners on base, at least one in every inning.

The Gaucho offense meanwhile was able to convert when it needed to, scoring its four runs off of nine hits. Sophomore left fielder Sammy Fabian would tie teammate Melanie Menor for game-high honors with two hits. Menor also added her fifth run of the season in the sixth inning, tied for the most of any Gaucho.

Pitcher Felisha Noriega meanwhile improved to a 2-0 record to open her junior season, while sophomore Emily Schuttish would close the game out to record her first save of the year. Both pitchers tallied three strikeouts as they managed to hold the Lopes to just one run despite seeing at least two runners get on base in four different innings.

Outfielders Rayna Cohen and Tyler Goldstein led the Gauchos with two RBI apiece in the win. Cohen's single to center field in the bottom of the first helped open the scoring, bringing home Maci Fines and Genesis Ramirez to make it 2-0. Fines and Ramirez had first reached base with singles of their own.

Grand Canyon would score its only run of the day in the top of the third with a one-run double from Kaileigh Holland, cutting the deficit in half at 2-1.

Neither side would add to the scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth, when Goldstein knocked a two-run double down the left field line. Menor and freshman Teah Thies both scored to double UCSB's run total.

Cohen (5 RBI) and Goldstein (4) are now second and third on the team in RBI, respectively, behind Thies (6).

Unlike in the win over the Lopes, UCSB wasn't able to keep Northern Illinois off the board in its second game of the day as the Gauchos fell 8-0 in five innings.

Five Gauchos registered a hit, including Fabian and Cohen, who both extended their run of five straight games with a hit to open the 2019 season. Also picking up a hit were Fines, Ramirez, Altmeyer.

On the defensive end, Noriega finished with three strikeouts for the second straight game and Schuttish added one as UCSB utilized three pitchers. However, the eight runs given up were the most UCSB has conceded so far this year. The Huskies came out firing with two runs in the first inning and five more in the second.

Both teams finished with a single error and seven runners left on base.

Originally scheduled for just one Saturday game, the Gauchos will now have two, as they are now scheduled to face Middle Tennessee at 9:00 a.m. and San Diego State at 4:30 p.m. At this point, Sunday's game against Grand Canyon is still set for an 11:30 a.m. start time.