March 30, 2008
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team posted a 3-1 win over Big West foe UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon to capture a sweep of the conference series with the Highlanders at Amy S. Harrison Field. UCSB had posted a 7-6 and 6-2 win over UC Riverside in a doubleheader on Saturday.
With the win, UCSB improves to 20-14 on the season and 3-0 in the Big West. Riverside falls to 14-22 overall and 0-3 in conference.
At the bottom of the first inning, UCR's Marissa Alvidrez singled with two outs and her teammate Kristie Martinez followed suit in the following at-bat. With two runners on-base, Taylor Thomas walked to load the bases for the Highlanders. A single from Katie Curtis sent Alvidrez home and put Riverside ahead, 1-0.
After three hitless innings, the Gauchos returned to the top of their order in the fourth inning. Three consecutive singles from Christine Ramos, Jessica Ziegler, and Tiffany Wright loaded the bases. UCSB senior Tisha Duran stepped-up and hit a double to left center field driving home a pair of runs, giving UCSB a 2-1 lead.
A single from freshman Katie McWhirter two outs later brought Duran across home plate and stretched the Gaucho advantage to 3-1. The lead was enough as UCSB shut down the Highlanders over the next four innings and took the victory and series sweep.
The Gauchos were led by Duran who went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Senior Ericka Hansen and Ramos each tallied two hits in the win.
In the circle, junior Tami Weston (7-2) picked up her second win of the weekend after pitching six innings, allowing no runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto pitched the first inning, allowing one run on three hits with a walk.
UCSB will continue Big West action next weekend when they host Cal Poly for a three-game series. The first game will start at noon on Saturday, Mar. 5 at the Gauchos' Campus Diamond.