UCSB Goes the Distance to Sweep Twin Bill with Bakersfield

Shelby Wisdom (By Randall Lamb)
Shelby Wisdom (By Randall Lamb)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team defeated visiting Cal State Bakersfield in a pair of non-conference games on Tuesday afternoon at Campus Diamond. After posting a 3-1 victory in game two, the Gauchos used an extra inning to capture the game two win, 4-3. 

With the wins, UCSB improves to 18-25 on the season while Bakersfield drops to 10-30.

The Gauchos jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jessica Soria led off with an infield grounder hit to the pitcher and Putich followed with a single that she popped up over the third baseman, just inside of fair territory. With two runners on-base, Keilani Jennings walked and one out later, Lainey DePompa hit a ground ball down the left field line, sending a pair of runners home.

In the second, Shelby Wisdom reached base on balls and was able to move to second one out later when Soria grounded out to third base. A timely triple hit deep to the left field warning track by Brooke Putich scored Wisdom and put UCSB ahead, 3-0.

The Roadrunners were able to get a pair of runners on-base with two outs in the third inning off of a Gaucho error and a fielder's choice, but DePompa was able to pick off a runner at second to keep Bakersfield off the scoreboard. 

Wisdom carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, but with two outs, Sarah Smith hit a home run over the left field fence with a full count to cut the Gaucho advantage to two runs.

Each team managed just one more hit during the game as UCSB held on for the win.

Wisdom captured the win after allowing just one run on two hits during a complete game effort. She walked one and struck out seven. Putich and DePompa led the offensive effort going 2-for-3 at the plate. Putich had an RBI and a run scored while DePompa drove in a pair of runs. 

While the first win came easily, game two proved to be more of a dogfight. The Gauchos got off to a shaky start as pitcher Andriana Collins walked leadoff batter Karissa Veiga, who was able to steal second base. A single hit to right field by Laura King moved the runner to third and a wild pitch gave Veiga the time to come home.

One out later, King stole third base and as the Gauchos attempted to catch her, the throw went too far allowing her to dash home to give the Roadrunners a 2-0 lead.

UCSB got runners on-base in each of the following four innings and loaded the bases in both the second and the fourth, but Bakersfield got out of each jam to preserve its edge.

With their time for a comeback narrowing, the Gauchos put together a rally in the sixth inning. Jennings led off with a solo home run hit over the left field fence. One out later, Lauren Boser gave the ball a ride and tied the game with a solo homer hit to center field.

With two outs, DeJanee Moore drew a walk and was able to beat the throw to second on Soria's ensuing fielder's choice. With two runners on, Putich hit a grounder through the right side to drive home Moore and give UCSB its first lead of the game at 3-2. 

The advantage was short lived. Adrianna Cardoza opened the seventh inning with a double to left field and was bunted over to second by Veiga. One out later, Amy Ricciardi hit a double to deep left center field, which sent the runner home and tied the game. 

DePompa led off in the bottom of the inning with an infield base hit, but the Gauchos were unable to get their runner home and the game was forced into extra innings.

With clouds rolling in, darkness was imminent, so it was decided that the tiebreaker rule would be used. Pinch runner Nicole Sanchez was placed on second base and the Roadrunners were able to move her with a sac bunt by Shay Fryer. Wisdom, who came in to relieve Collins in the circle, got the next two outs with a strike out and an infield ground out to keep the game deadlocked.

McKenzie Kane was placed on second for the Gauchos and Wisdom bunted her to third. On the play, the Roadrunner third baseman overthrew the ball to first and Kane came sprinting home to seal the victory for UCSB.

Wisdom (13-12) got the win after tossing the final inning. Collins tossed seven innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits. She walked four and struck out five. Putich once again led the Gauchos in hits going 2-for-4 with an RBI.  

UCSB will resume Big West Conference play this weekend when it heads to UC Riverside. The series will open with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.