March 8, 2006
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Junior starting pitcher Jennifer Davis held the Nittany Lion offense scoreless through six innings, but finally cracked in the bottom of the seventh, allowing two runs and UC Santa Barbara fell 2-1 to Penn State in the second game of the Hawaii Spring Fling Tournament Wednesday afternoon in Honolulu.
The Lions improve to 10-3 overall with their eighth straight victory, while the Gauchos, who dropped their second game of the day and fourth out of the last six, fell to 9-9 on the year.
Both Davis and PSU starting pitcher Ashley Esparza has shutouts going through four innings. The Lions had one hit in the bottom of the second inning and two in the fourth, while Tiffany Wright recorded the Gauchos' only hit to that point on an infield single in the fourth.
UCSB scored its only run of the day in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, freshman right fielder Jackie Conlin reached base on a single to the shortstop. After advancing to second on a passed ball, she scored on an RBI single down the right field line by freshman second baseman Christine Ramos, giving the Gauchos a 1-0 lead.
After Davis retired the Nittany Lions in the fifth and sixth innings, Santa Barbara took its 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Jenn Reynolds led off the inning with a single to right field. Pinch-runner Sam Hovanec came on and advanced to second on a one out single up the middle by Danielle Kinley. The next batter was Jen Williams, who drove in Hovanec with an RBI single that tied the game at 1-1. After a two out sacrifice advanced Kinley to third and Williams to second, Jen Acunto hit a little flare over Ramos' head and the ball fell in scoring the winning run.
The Nittany Lions closed the game with two runs on four hits in the final frame.
Esparza picked up the win for Penn State after limiting the Gauchos to just one run on three hits. She struck out six and walked two, improving to 3-1 on the year.
Davis, who looked very strong for six innings, took the loss for UCSB and fell to 6-6. She allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking two.
The Gauchos will try to turn things around Thursday, March 9 when they square off with UNLV at 2:00 p.m., followed by a matchup with host Hawaii at 4:00 p.m. on day two of the Spring Fling Tournament.