DAVIS, Calif. – In its first extra innings game of the young season, the UC Santa Barbara softball team put up five late runs to defeat Montana 11-6. The Gauchos improve to 2-1 through their first three games.
Despite being outscored 3-0 from innings three through seven, UCSB did enough damage early on to get into extra innings. The Gauchos opened the scoring in the top of the first with a run from sophomore Sammy Fabian, who scored on a single to left by sophomore Rayna Cohen.
After giving up three runs in the bottom of the first, UCSB would explode for five more in the second. Sophomore Maci Fines was the first to score, making it home from second on a double to right center by Fabian.
A two-run double by Cohen followed by a two-run single from freshman catcher Teah Thies would put the Gauchos up 6-3. All five of their runs came with two outs on the board.
Santa Barbara's offense would go quiet from there, tallying just one hit over the next five innings. Montana would tie the game at 6-6 with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, capitalizing on a couple UCSB errors.
Montana would have its chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh. However, pitcher Felisha Noriega would put together a nearly flawless final three innings. She allowed just one walk, but struck out six of the ten batters she face as she went on to earn her first win of the season.
In the top of the eighth, senior Melanie Menor opened the scoring on a Montana fielding error. A single from Fines would bring freshman Tyler Goldstein home from second to give UCSB an 8-6 advantage. Two at bats later, junior Genesis Ramirez stepped up to knock a big-time double down the left field line. That brought two runs in from Fabian and Fines, making it 10-6. Ramirez would advance to third and then score on two separate wild pitches for the final run of the game.
UCSB finished with an 11-9 edge in the hit department, reaching double-figures for the third straight time to open the year. Cohen led all players with three RBI. Fabian had team-highs of three hits and three runs.
Senior pitcher Veronika Gulvin also added six strikeouts of her own in just under five innings, giving the Gauchos an early season-high of 12 strikeouts as a team.
The Gauchos will be back in action tomorrow for games against Nevada (9:30 am) and Santa Clara (12:00 pm) to close out the opening weekend.