HONOLULU, Hawaii – UC Santa Barbara (7-14) was unable to hold onto an early lead against No. 20 Florida State (17-2), falling to 13-4 in a run-rule loss to the Seminoles on Sunday morning at the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational.
The Gauchos will play in the tournament's third-place game on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) against the loser between No. 22 Hawai'i and Radford.
Pitcher Shelby Wisdom ran into some early trouble at the bottom of the first inning when with two outs, she walked Shayla Jackson, hit Mallory Borden with a pitch and then walked Briana Hamilton to load the bases. A wild pitch during Courtney Senas' at-bat gave Jackson the chance to score and gave the Seminoles a 1-0 lead. Wisdom was able to avoid any further damage as the Gauchos got the next two batters out on a pair of pop ups.
UCSB battled back at the top of the second inning. Lainey DePompa led off with a single hit to shallow left field. DeJanee Moore followed with a walk before Kathryn Pilpil hit a ground ball past diving third baseman Hamilton and through the left side to load the bases. Florida State was able to earn the first out of the inning at home when Keilani Jennings hit into a fielder's choice, but a sacrifice fly from Jenessa Jeppesen during the ensuing at-bat scored Moore from third base to tie the game.
Wisdom retired the side at the bottom of the inning and the Gaucho offense went back to work. Jessica Soria was able to take advantage of both a fielding and throwing error by Hamilton to reach first and then advance to second. McKenzie Kane followed with a walk before Wisdom cleared the bases with her second home run of the season, hit over the left center field fence to give UCSB a 4-1 advantage.
The Seminoles cut the Gauchos' lead to just one run at the top of the third. Tiffani Brown led off with a bunt single and then stole second. Two outs later, Hamilton hit a home run over the right center field fence to score a pair of runs.
In the fourth, Putich led off with a walk and was sacrificed over to second by Soria. A passed ball allowed Putich to reach third before Kane and Wisdom, respectively, loaded the bases on a walk followed by a fielder's choice bunt. Relief pitcher Bailey Schinella was able to take down the next two batters swinging, leaving the three Gaucho runners stranded.
Erika Leonard opened the bottom of the inning with a single hit to deep center field. With a full count, Maddie O'Brien gave the ball a ride over the right field fence to give the Seminoles their second lead of the game at 5-4.
Pilpil opened the fifth inning with a hit that ricocheted off of second baseman Brown's glove and into the outfield. The Gauchos were unable to capitalize on the leadoff hit though as Florida State grabbed the next three outs to escape the inning unscathed.
Florida State's Mallory Borden led off with a base hit to center field at the bottom of the fifth before Hamilton reached base on balls. UCSB decided it was time to bring in Andriana Collins to relieve Wisdom. The sophomore got the first out when Senas hit into a fielder's choice, but she walked Leonard during the next at-bat to load the bases with two outs.
O'Brien followed with a high chopper that Jennings failed to field, giving Leonard and Senas time to score.
The Seminoles loaded the bases again when pinch hitter Monica Perry sent a base hit to left field. A single through the right side from Morgan Bullock on the next play sent home another run. UCSB was able to throw out O'Brien at home on the play to get the second out of the inning, but Brown's ensuing single to left center field drove in two more runs to give Florida State a commanding 10-4 lead.
In the sixth, Borden led off with a single to left field and two outs later, Leonard singled to right field to put two runners on. With a 1-2 count, O'Brien hit a home run over the left field fence to seal the run-rule win for the Seminoles, 14-3.
Wisdom (4-6) suffered the loss after tossing the first four innings and allowing seven earned runs on six hits. She walked three and struck out two. Collins threw 1.2 innings and allowed six runs – four earned – on six hits. She walked one and struck out one.
At the plate, Pilpil led the way going 3-for-3. UCSB left eight runners on base during the loss.
Schinella (2-0) got the win for the Seminoles after throwing three shutout innings in which she allowed just one hit and one walk. She fanned four batters.