March 9, 2008

Gauchos Mercy North Dakota, Post 4-1 Victory Over Loyola Marymount

March 9, 2008

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team posted a pair of wins at the Loyola Marymount Round-Robin Tournament on Sunday. The Gauchos picked up 12-4 mercy win over North Dakota before defeating host LMU, 4-1 in the second game of the day at Smith Field. With the pair of wins, UCSB improves to 12-11 on the season.

The win over North Dakota marked the second mercy-rule win of the weekend for UCSB, the first was over Loyola Chicago on Saturday at Campus Diamond.

In the Gauchos' game against North Dakota, UCSB posted a season high 12 runs on a season-high 14 hits. Six players had multiple-hits in the game and three posted two runs apiece. Sophomore first basemen Jessica Ziegler led the team going 2-for-3 with a double, four RBI, and one run. Senior designated player Danielle Meyers was 2-for-2 at the plate with a homerun, an additional run, and an RBI. Senior Tisha Duran also posted a homerun, two RBI, and two walks.

Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (2-7) picked up the win in the circle after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing two runs (both unearned) on just one hit with six strikeouts and no walks.

Junior Christine Ramos led off with a single at the top of the first inning and advanced to third base on a sac bunt from Ziegler. A home run from Duran during the next at-bat put the Gauchos on the board at 2-0.

UCSB added two more runs in the next inning when Kelsey Anderson and Meyers opened the second with back-to-back singles. A sac bunt from Priscilla Perez pushed both runners over before Ramos walked and a single from Nicole Churnock brought home Anderson for the Gauchos' third run. During the same play, Ramos was out called out and Churnock was picked off, but not before Meyers came home, stretching the lead to 4-0.

In the third, a two-RBI double from Anderson and an RBI single from Perez pushed the Gaucho advantage to 7-0.

North Dakota's bats finally came alive in the third inning, when a two-RBI homerun to center field from Nicole Puerling put the Fighting Sioux on the board. The Gauchos fired back in the next inning as they posted a pair of their own on an RBI double from Ziegler and an RBI single from Tiffany Wright.

A pair of errors by the Gauchos in the fourth allowed North Dakota to tally two more runs, but they would be the last of the game for the Fighting Sioux. A solo homer by Meyers followed by a two-RBI single from Ziegler sealed the Gauchos' 12-4 victory in the top of the fifth.

The second match-up the day proved to be a pitcher's duel between sophomore Lindsey Correa and LMU's Tiffany Pagano. The match-up marked the first pairing between the two teams since the Lions ended the Gauchos' 2007 season at the NCAA Tournament.

Loyola Marymount scored first at the bottom of the second inning when Priscilla Satete hit an RBI single to center field putting the Lions ahead, 1-0.

UCSB trailed for the next two innings before Ziegler led off with a single in the top of the fifth. Duran then reached on a fielding error to put two runners on-base. A homerun from freshman Jessica Beristianos cleared the bases putting the Gauchos in the lead at 3-1.

At the top of the sixth, Churnock led off with a double to right center field and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ramos. A double from Duran one out later sent Churnock home to extend the UCSB lead to 4-1.

Correa (7-3) held the Lions scoreless, and hitless for that matter, in the final two innings, sealing the 4-1 victory. Correa picked up the birthday victory in the circle after allowing just one run on three hits in a full seven innings of work. She walked three and fanned three of the 27 batters she faced.

UCSB will return to Loyola Marymount's Smith Field next Friday for the Loyola Marymount Tournament. The Gauchos will face Illinois-Chicago and Bucknell on Friday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

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