March 27, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team used a three-run second inning to upset No. 11 ranked UCLA 3-1 at the Bruins' own Easton Stadium in a non-conference match-up Tuesday afternoon. The victory not only broke UCLA's 12 game win streak, but also marked the Gauchos' first win over the Bruins since 1991.
With the win, the Gauchos are now 20-8 on the season and 3-2 on the road. Today's game marked Santa Barbara's third upset over a team ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Poll this season, it previously took down then-ranked No. 23 Massachusetts on February 9 and No. 2 Arizona State on March 2. UCLA drops to 24-7 and 7-2 at home.
Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis (4-6) picked up the win after throwing 5.1 innings allowing only one hit while walking two and striking out six. Freshman MeLinda Matsumoto started the game and gave up one run on four hits while walking three and fanning one in 1.2 innings of work.
At the plate, junior third basemen Tisha Duran was 1-for-4 with the two run single that brought home the game-winning run. Sophomore Christine Ramos went 1-for-3 with a run to extend her current hit streak to seven games while Jessica Hejna was also 1-for-3 with an RBI. Sophomore Tiffany Wright and senior Brittany Putich each helped out with two hits and one stolen base apiece.
For the Bruins, pitcher Whitney Baker took the loss after giving up three runs on five hits while walking three in 2.1 innings of work. Baker is now 3-2 on the season. Lisa Dodd led UCLA at the plate with a 1-for-2 performance driving in the lone Bruin run of the day. Kaila Shull was 1-for-3 with the run and Krista Colburn went 1-for-4 with a double, the only extra-base hit of the game.
UCSB got rolling at the top of the first with Hejna and Wright each getting a base hit, both runners advanced to scoring position before the Bruins were able to shutdown the Gaucho offense leaving both stranded.
At the bottom of the inning, a single off the bat of Dodd brought Shull in for the first run of the game putting the Bruins up 1-0. With two outs, UCLA managed to load the bases on a walk followed by a single to center field by Jaisa Creps, but Matsumoto earned the third out when she struck out Whitney Holum swinging to put a damper on the Bruin rally.
At the top of the second, with Nicole Churnock and Liz Walters already on base, Ramos singled to load the bases for the Gauchos. Hejna walked on the next play to bring in the first Gaucho run of the game and tie things up at 1-1. A single to center field by Duran drove in two more UCSB runs before the Bruins earned the third out, giving the Gauchos the 3-1 lead.
With two outs at the bottom of the inning, the Bruins once again loaded the bases before Davis took over in the circle. A fly to left field ended the inning with the Gaucho lead intact.
The next five innings were a defensive battle on both ends as Davis allowed only one Bruin hit and struck out six batters and UCLA's Anjelica Selden held UCSB to just two hits while fanning five. UCSB took the win with a final score of 3-1.
The win is the first over UCLA in sixteen years and the first ever by more than one run. The victory also marks head coach Kristy Schroeder's first win versus her alma mater. The series record between the two teams now stands at 59-3.
"We are really excited about our win. Jennifer Davis had a stellar performance and Brittany Putich came up with some great hits as did Tisha Duran with her couple of RBI. I thought we had great at bats today. We didn't score later on but I thought we had more opportunities than UCLA did," Schroeder said.
"We played a solid game all around. Jen Davis did a great job hitting her spot and the team did a good job jumping out and scoring especially when we were down by one run. It was a great win for us and hopefully we can carry this momentum into conference."
The Gauchos will return home this weekend to open their Big West Conference schedule against defending league champions Cal State Fullerton in a three game series to be played on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will feature a doubleheader starting at noon followed by a single game on Sunday also scheduled for a noon start, the entire series will be played at Campus Diamond where the Gauchos have posted an 11-2 record so far this season.