SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – On the final day of the Gaucho Classic I, the UC Santa Barbara softball team fell 3-2 to San Diego after the Toreros rallied late to force extra-innings and ultimately prevailed with the game-winning run in the eighth on Sunday afternoon at Campus Diamond.
One day after an extra-inning, one-run victory of their own against San Diego, UCSB fell in similar fashion and moves to 7-8 on the year while the Toreros are now 9-8.
USD took an early lead after a walk, stolen base and RBI single to left brought Katie Vretzos around in the top of the first inning.
The Gauchos put together a two-run third inning, highlighted by a Sierra Altmeyer RBI double to drive in Melanie Menor, who singled earlier in the inning. Genesis Ramirez followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Alyssa Diaz, giving UCSB a 2-1 lead.
The lead would hold until, with two outs in the top of the seventh, San Diego would load the bases and score the tying run on a wild pitch.
With a runner placed on second to start the eighth inning, USD capitalized on its chance, sacrificing the runner to third before singling the eventual winning run home.
In the bottom half of the eighth, the Gauchos successfully sacrificed the runner to third, but were unable to score the tying run.
Veronika Gulvin (2-3) was tagged with the loss after pitching the final 1.1 innings while Delaney Heller (2-3) picked up the win after holding the Gauchos scoreless through 4.2 innings on four hits. Felisha Noriega started in the circle for UCSB and pitched a strong six innings, scattering six hits while allowing two runs and striking out five.
The Gauchos are back in action next weekend, Mar. 2-4 at the Citrus Classic II in Kissimmee, Fla. UCSB begins play on Friday, Mar. 2 against Florida International at 11:30 a.m. PT.