Riverside Knocks Off Gauchos in Season Finale
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In the final game of the season the Gauchos were unable to complete the sweep as UC Riverside's bats came alive late to trump UCSB 9-3. They finish the year at 31-24 and 12-12 in conference play while UC Riverside's first road victory of the year marks their final record at 19-35 and 3-20 in conference.
Playing in their final games at Campus Diamond, Jessica Soria and Keilani Jennings looked to leave a mark in the first inning. Soria led off the inning with a single then advanced to second on a sac bunt by Arianna Palomares. After a walk to Shelby Wisdom, Jennings stepped in and singled to right to score Soria.
UC Riverside would answer right back in the top of the second when their leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch. After a single and a sac bunt, they would bring the runner home on a sac fly to even up the score 1-1.
Another sac fly in the third inning, after a leadoff triple, gave UCR the lead 2-1.
In the fourth inning, UC Riverside would capitalize on two Gaucho errors as well as adding two hits of their own to take a 5-1 advantage.
It was the Gauchos answering back this time in the bottom of the fourth inning as they tried to get back in the game. Lauren Boser led off the inning with a double to center field. Samantha Stark then singled up the middle to cash in Boser. McKenzie Kane entered the game to pinch run for stark and she advanced to second on an infield error off the bat of Soria. Palomares came up to the plate and singled to load the bases leaving way for Wisdom to bring in Kane on her groundout to third. UCSB was able to bring the score a little closer leaving it 5-3 after the inning.
Just when the Gauchos were getting back into the thick of things, UCR compiled six hits, including five straight, in the top of the sixth inning to score four more runs putting the game out of reach at the final of 9-3.
In the circle, Wisdom allowed four hits and four earned runs in four innings of work and saw her record fall to 17-16 for the year.
For UCSB they will graduate seniors Soria and Jennings from two key positions at shortstop and centerfield. Both seniors went 1-3 on the day to end their successful Gaucho careers.