UCSB Sweeps Doubleheader to Complete Gaucho Classic II

Keilani Jennings (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Keilani Jennings (Photo by Tony Mastres)

UCSB swept tournament play with back-to-back wins in the final day of the Gaucho Classic II on Sunday at Campus Diamond. 

Shelby Wisdom highlighted the Gauchos' play with two homeruns and pitching a complete game shutout. The standout sophomore earned her ninth win of the season, allowing only two hits and fanning eight batters.

Overall, the Gauchos went 5-0 to sweep the Gaucho Classic II and improve to 14-5.

In their first game of the day, UCSB faced South Dakota State. As the away team, the Gauchos batted first and they were more than happy to wake their bats up early on Sunday morning.

In the top of the first, Jessica Soria got the UCSB offense rolling with a lead off single. With the next at bat, Arianna Palomares hit safely for a single, while Soria made a swift effort and made her way safely to third base. Palomares followed suit and made her way to second while the Jackrabbits were preoccupied with the speedy Soria. 

Now with both runners in scoring position, Shelby Wisdom came through as she belted a single to right field, sending Soria and Palomares across home plate to give UCSB the 2-0 lead.

The Jackrabbits' starting pitcher Kori Seidlitz kept the Gauchos quiet through the next two innings, only having to face seven batters during that span.

In the fourth inning, the Gauchos made up for lost time by putting up four runs off four hits. With Wisdom on second base, McKenzie Kane knocked the ball down the middle for an RBI single. As Wisdom was on her way to home plate, South Dakota State center fielder Devon Reick committed a throwing error, allowing Kane to reach third.

Sami Stark hit a sacrifice fly to allow Kane to score and increase the Gauchos lead to four runs.

Now with two outs and two runners in scoring position, Kathryn Pilpil put the exclamation point on what was already an eventful fourth inning with a double RBI single to left field that put UCSB up with the controlling 6-0 score.

South Dakota State answered back with a run in the bottom of the fourth when Marlee Petersen hit a chopper up the middle to send Sammy Bingham home for their first run of the game.

Later in bottom of sixth, Bingham was the one who ran batters in with a towering homerun over the left field wall, sending herself and Lauren Chirnside home to move the score to 7-3.

The offensive surge, though, would prove to be too little too late as Shelby Wisdom iced the win for UCSB with a homerun of her own at the top of the seventh. The solo shot over the left field wall gave UCSB the 8-3 lead, which would go on to be the final score.

Alex Pingree started in the circle for the Gauchos and earned her second win of the season. The freshman put in five innings of work, giving up three earned runs, while recording two strikeouts. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Andriana Collins was called in for relief and finished the job Pingree started. The junior only gave up three hits and also had a strikeout. 

After taking down the Jackrabbits, the Gauchos still had the task of wrapping up the Gaucho Classic II with a matchup against Seattle University.

UCSB previously won two closely contested games with Seattle earlier in the tournament, but Shelby Wisdom's shut out made it easier for the Gauchos to put the Redhawks away in their third meeting. 

Santa Barbara jumped out with the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Arianna Palomares doubled to left center to get in scoring position for Kathryn Pilpil, who went on to drive Palomares home off a single.  

With UCSB still leading 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, the Redhawks were able to get on base for the first time since the first inning because of a Jessica Soria error. With the tying run on the bags, Shelby Wisdom maintained the Gauchos' slim lead by striking out the next three batters to retire the side.

UCSB's offense got back on track in the bottom of the fifth inning as Soria knocked in an RBI single up the middle, which sent Jessica Tetzlaff racing home and advanced Jessica Reichner to second base.

Just as well as Wisdom was in the circle for the Gauchos at that point, she did not record a hit in the game. That all changed in the bottom of the sixth when she smashed the ball over the left field wall and crashed it off the roof of the baseball training facility for a two-run dinger, giving UCSB the 4-0 lead.

Appropriately, Wisdom finished the game with two strikeouts to earn her third shutout of the season.

The Gauchos will continue their season next weekend in Long Beach State where they will be playing in the Mayfair Invitational.  They will not return to Campus Diamond until March 23rd when they will open Big West play against Cal State Fullerton.