EUGENE, Ore. – After kicking off Big West play this past weekend, UC Santa Barbara (21-13) fell in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader at No. 16 Oregon (31-4), losing 2-1 in extra innings. After the best start in school history, the Gauchos have now lost six of their last seven games.
Despite the loss, Shelby Wisdom had yet another outstanding pitching performance, giving up just one run in her first seven innings while striking out seven batters. In the bottom of the eighth, with a Ducks runner placed at second due to NCAA extra inning rules, Wisdom allowed a bunt single before another single up the middle drove in the winning run for Oregon.
After bursting out for seven runs on Sunday against Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos were unable to muster up much offensively against the Ducks, scoring just one run on five hits in the eight-inning bout.
UCSB took an early lead in the top of the first, making use of a Kristen Clark single and an error by the Ducks second baseman to set the stage for MeShalon Moore's RBI single. Lauren Boser struck out to end the threat.
The Gauchos would not put another runner in scoring position until the top of the seventh inning, when singles by MeShalon and DeJanee Moore put two on with one out. Unfortunately for UCSB, Emily Brucelas and Jenessa Jeppesen struck out to end the inning.
The Ducks tied the score in the bottom of the fifth inning, hitting a solo home run to lead off the frame. Wisdom had held Oregon to just one runner in scoring position prior to the homer.
In the second game of the doubleheader, UC Santa Barbara (21-14) fell behind early after a hot offensive start by Oregon (32-4). The Gauchos allowed nine runs in the first two innings to the Ducks and would eventually fall by the final score of 10-4.
From the third inning on the Gauchos would outscore the Ducks 4-1, however a shaky start let the Ducks get out to a big lead.
Alex Pingree started in the circle for UCSB and has been tough on hitters all year, however, the Ducks would record three hits and bring home two runs while also capitalizing off of a UCSB error to take a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning Oregon recorded a walk and a single to prompt the Gauchos to change pitchers, bringing in Andriana Collins. Collins had trouble finding the strike zone and walked three batters and gave up a single making it 5-0 in favor of the Ducks. UCSB went to the bullpen once more, this time Ashlee Ludlow stepped into the circle although the next batter hit a grand slam to seemingly put the game away with a score of 9-0.
The Gauchos would not give up and they bounced right back putting up three runs in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Kristen Clark and Kathryn Pilpil recorded back-to-back singles to bring up Shelby Wisdom. Wisdom took a 3-2 pitch deep to left field for her fourth homer of the season.
Ludlow kept the Ducks bats quiet for the majority of her 4.2 innings pitched as she notched four strikeouts and only allowed two hits and one earned run.
Jenessa Jeppesen cleared the wall in the top of the seventh inning to give the Gauchos their final run and her third shot of the year.
UCSB will remain in Oregon for one more day to take on Oregon State on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. They resume Big West action at home Saturday, April 5th against Cal Poly.