Gauchos Lose Tough Battle with No.16 UCLA

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

LOS ANGELES, Calif.Jessica Soria went 3-for-4 and Shelby Wisdom batted in three runs in UC Santa Barbara's losing effort on Wednesday at UCLA in a non-conference matchup.  The Gauchos' record stands at 26-20 after the 8-3 loss to No.16 UCLA, who improved to 31-15 with the win.

The Bruins took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Stephany LaRosa led off with a single to right field. She eventually came in to score on a sacrifice fly after being moved over to third by a walk that loaded the bases.  

UCLA increased its lead on Gaucho starting pitcher Shelby Wisdom in the second inning after Wisdom committed an error to let the first runner on base. The next batter singled and a groundout moved the base runners over to second and third, setting the plate for Bruins' B.B. Gates, who slapped a single to center to score both and make it 3-0.

The Gauchos made things exciting in the third inning and were able to tie things back up with just one swing of the bat. Soria earned one of her three hits in the third inning of the game by beating out an infield chopper for a single, and second baseman Kathryn Pilpil followed with a base hit to left. This set up Wisdom for the opportunity to tie the game with a 0-2 bomb to deep right, giving the underdog Gauchos new life against its non-conference opponents.

The celebration was short-lived, however, as Wisdom surrendered a two-run homer to UCLA's Bates in the next inning. She gave up three more runs in the fifth after allowing three hits and hitting a batter, while the Gauchos also committed its second error of the match on defense.

The Bruins' starter Paige McDuffee got the win to move to 6-2 on the year by allowing three runs, six hits and one walk in four innings, and Jessica Hall earned her third save of the season en route to the 8-3 win.

Wisdom dropped to 14-13 on the season with the loss, finishing with a line of six earned runs, 10 hits and four walks.

The Gauchos look to build on the solid effort against a good Bruin squad by locking in against Cal State Northridge at home in a big three-game series starting on Saturday at 12:00pm.