STOCKTON, Calif. - Despite taking an early lead through three innings, UCSB was defeated by Nevada, 6-5, in the first round of the inaugural NISC Tournament.
Sophomores second baseman Sierra Altmeyer and shortstop Melanie Menor led UCSB (31-27, 11-10) with two hits apiece. The Gauchos went on to record 11 hits as a team - the most they've had in their last 18 games - but it was not enough to stop a Wolfpack side that had four home runs over the final four innings.
Santa Barbara struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. With two outs on the board, Johnston recorded the first hit of a day with a single down the left field line. On the following at bat, Altmeyer fired a home run to left center, giving UCSB an early 2-0 lead. It was Altmeyer's tenth home run of the season and the first in her last 20 outings.
UCSB would extend its early lead in the top of the third, adding two more runs from senior Jacqueline Hinojosa and Altmeyer. With both players already reaching base, freshman Alyssa Diaz stepped up to knock a single down the middle, bringing Hinojosa home and making it to second herself.
For the second time in the first three innings, the Gauchos would score on consecutive plays, as Menor then hit a single of her own to left field, this time scoring runs by both Altmeyer and Hinojosa to make it 5-0.
Nevada began to cut into the UCSB lead in the bottom of the fourth, as its first two batters notched a pair of solo home runs. In the following inning, the Wolfpack picked up three more runs, two of which came on a two-run homer by freshman Kenzi Goins to tie the game at 5-5.
Things would remain knotted up until the bottom of the seventh, when Nevada freshman Mele Tausinga put the game away with her second solo homer of the day, giving the Wolfpack a 6-5 victory.
Both teams finished with 11 hits. UCSB also managed to seven innings without an error, compared to two for the Wolfpack.
The Gauchos will be back in action tomorrow when they will play either Big West foe Cal Poly or regional host Pacific at 1 p.m.