Feb. 18, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara stretched its season-opening win streak to six games on Friday morning before suffering its first loss of the season on the opening day of the San Diego Classic at the USD Softball Complex. The Gauchos (6-1) posted an 8-0 win over Howard (0-1) before being edged out by Sacramento State (1-3), 6-5.
Freshman pitcher Andriana Collins posted her second consecutive shutout of the season after tossing a complete game against Howard. She allowed just four hits and posted a career-best eight strikeouts. She did not allow a walk during the outing.
UCSB got on the scoreboard early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead at the top of the first. With one out, Kathryn Pilpil drew a walk and then advanced to second on a fielder's choice by Jessica Beristianos. Keilani Jennings' double through the left side during the next at-bat drove Pilpil home. An RBI single up the middle by Lauren Boser quickly sent Jennings home and gave the Gauchos a two run lead.
The Gauchos stretched their lead to four over the next two innings as they capitalized on Bison misplays. At the top of the third, UCSB loaded the bases and an error by the third baseman with two outs allowed Beristianos to score the third run of the game. The Gauchos then added another run in the fourth when Brooke Putich scored on a passed ball.
UCSB continued to pound away in the fifth. With two outs, Allison Taylor hit an infield single and then Kendall Gill walked. A single by Putich sent Taylor home before McKenzie Kane loaded the bases with a base hit to third. An error by the Howard second baseman allowed Gill to score and an RBI single by Beristianos scored Putich, putting the Gauchos up by seven.
The Gauchos added one more run in the seventh. Lainey DePompa led off with a double down the left field line and then moved to third when Kane grounded out to the pitcher. A single by Pilpil through the left side sent DePompa home and gave UCSB its 8-0 lead.
Offensively, Pilpil, Beristianos and Putich had two hits apiece in the win. Five different Gauchos drove in runs for UCSB.
For Howard, Emily Johnson (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits in 3.1 innings of work.
The second game of the day proved to be a bigger battle.
Sacramento State got off to a strong start at the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff single from Alyssa Nakken. Jessica Abelia followed with a walk and then both runners stole. A Gaucho error during a pickle allowed both runners to come home and gave the Hornets the early lead, marking the first time this season that UCSB did not get on the scoreboard first.
Two outs later, Megan Schaefer hit a solo home run over the left field fence to put Sac State up 3-0. Collins came in to relieve starter Krista Cobb and earned the last out of the inning.
UCSB fought back at the top of the second as Boser led off with a single through the right side. Tiffany Corder came in to pinch run for the first baseman and was able to reach second when Kelly McDonald grounded out to third base on the next play. A double to center field from Amanda Ziegler followed, putting two Gauchos in scoring position. One out later, Putich singled through the right side sending Corder and Ziegler across home plate and cutting the Gaucho deficit to just one run.
Sacramento State tacked on two more runs in the fourth when another UCSB error allowed Nakken and Shannon Kaufman to score.
The Gauchos rallied back in the top of the sixth inning behind a three-run triple from Putich that tied the game up at 5-5. The Hornets answered at the bottom of the same inning. Paige Martin earned a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second base by Kelly Shepard. One strikeout later, Nakken sent a two-out double to center field to send Martin home for the game-winning run.
Putich led the Gauchos in the loss going 2-for-3 with all five RBI. UCSB out-hit the Hornets, 8-7.
In the circle, Collins (4-1) picked up her first loss of the season, throwing 5.1 innings in relief. She allowed five hits and three runs (one earned) while walking two and striking out three.
Taylor Stroud (1-1) got the win for Sac State after tossing four innings of relief. She allowed two hits and three unearned runs.
"Our team is continuing to get better with each game," head coach Brie Galicinao said. "Sac State pushed us defensively, but our team is only going to be better because of it. It was great to see our team punch right back offensively - it made for an exciting ballgame. AC (Collins) was tough in both games."
The Gauchos will continue action at the San Diego Classic on Saturday - weather permitting - with a game against No. 15 Cal at 2 p.m. at the USD Softball Complex.