HONOLULU, Hawaii – UCSB (17-31, 4-11) claimed the series victory over Hawaii (27-21, 8-7) with back-to-back wins in Saturday's doubleheader, as the Gauchos held the Rainbow Wahine to just three runs through both games.
Both Lena Mayer (5-7) and Ashley Ludlow (5-17) registered complete game victories in clinching the series. In opening the twin bill, Mayer allowed three earned runs off eight hits, while Ludlow followed her performance with a gem in holding Hawaii to just one run while also striking out four batters.
In both games, home runs invigorated UCSB's scoring efforts, as Shelby Wisdom opened a five-run sixth inning in the first game with a solo shot, while MeShalon Moore connected on a grand slam to put the Rainbow Wahine out of reach in the night's second game.
Aside from winning the series, the doubleheader sweep also ended UCSB's eight game losing skid.
During the first game, Hawaii went out ahead early in scoring runs in the second and third inning to take a 2-0 lead. After those innings, Mayer contained Hawaii as they yielded just four more hits for the rest of the game.
After being shutout for the first four frames, UCSB's offense exploded in the fifth for five runs to take a 5-2 lead. Shelby Wisdom ignited the scoring affair with a leadoff homer blasted to deep centerfield, while Samantha Stark followed her with a double to right field. DeJanee Moore singled to center in putting runners on the corner, as a fielding error by second baseman Dori Ann Sugai gave UCSB its second run of the inning. Another fielding error from Sugai loaded the bases on at bat later, which eventually put one more Gaucho home following a wild pitch. Hinojosa kept the scoring going with a single sprayed to left field in giving UCSB a 3-2 lead. That scoring play ended Aina Cabrale's night in the circle, as Heather Morales came in. She came out on a slow start in walking Arianna Palomares and allowing a sacrifice fly from MeShalon Moore for the Gauchos' fifth run of the inning.
In closing out the game, Mayer made sure a runner at third never crossed home in the sixth inning, while she picked up the final three outs through four at bats in the seventh.
The Gauchos took control of the series rubber match behind the pitching performance of Ashley Ludlow who held the Rainbow Wahine to an RBI single through the entirety of the game. The scoring play came in the bottom of the third when Heather Morales dropped a single to left to send Keiki Carlos home from second.
While the Gaucho offense was stalled early on, MeShalon Moore picked up the slack in a big way with a crushing grand slam hit to left field in the top of the fifth. The Gauchos opened the inning with consecutive outs, but a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for their catcher who delivered the game-winning shot.
However, Moore was not done yet, as two innings later she singled to right field to send in another Gaucho run, as UCSB took hold of a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ludlow took care of business in retiring three batters through four at bats to close out the game and clinch the series.
UCSB will be back at home next weekend to host UC Riverside starting with a doubleheader on May 2nd. Tickets for the games are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805-893-UCSB (8272), or online here.