April 8, 2006

Gauchos Split Conference Doubleheader with Tigers

April 8, 2006

Game One
Game Two

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Kendra Singley went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and two runs, leading UC Santa Barbara to a 4-3 comeback victory over Pacific in its Big West home opener Saturday afternoon at Campus Diamond. Tiger starting pitcher Briana Santos limited the Gauchos to just three hits and UCSB fell 8-0 in five innings in game two.

The Gauchos, who had won a school record 14 straight games at home dating back to last season before dropping the nightcap, are now 16-12 overall and 2-3 in the Big West with the split, while the Tigers` record is 20-15 (1-1 Big West).

For the second consecutive weekend, junior pitcher Jennifer Davis earned the decision in both contests for the Gauchos. She started both and is now 11-9 on the year after going 1-1.

"We hit the ball well today in the first game," head coach Kristy Schroeder said. "Pitching was obviously an issue for us in game two, but once we figure a few things out with our pitchers, we will be fine."

Pacific struck first in game one, taking a 1-0 lead on a double by first baseman Jennifer Curtier with a runner on first in the top of the first inning.

Center fielder Gina Carbonatto's RBI double in the third gave UOP a 2-0 advantage.

UCSB responded in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, freshman second baseman Christine Ramos slapped a single to left field and junior left fielder Jessica Hejna followed with a bloop single to left of her own. The next batter was Singley, who sent a 2-0 pitch just out of reach of the Tiger center fielder's glove and over the right center field fence, giving the Gauchos a 3-2 lead.

Santa Barbara added another run in the bottom of the fifth. After Singley reached base on a fielder's choice, freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright doubled to left center and the Irvine, Calif. native came around to score for the 4-2 advantage.

Shortstop Lizzie Hagen brought the Tigers to within a run an inning later when she homered off the left field foul pole.

After the Gauchos went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Pacific put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh. Davis then retired the next two batters and UCSB held on for the 4-3 win.

Davis notched her 11th victory of 2006 after allowing three runs on eight hits in seven complete innings of work. She struck out five and walked three.

Kristen Allen went the distance and took the loss for the Tigers, allowing four runs on nine hits. She fanned two and walked none, falling to 2-4 on the year.

Game two was a different story for the Gauchos, as UOP jumped on Davis early and never looked back. After Carbonatto and Allen drew walks, starting pitcher Santos helped her own cause with a three-run homer to dead center field, giving the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.

Davis had an error and walked two in a four-run second inning for Pacific that put the game out of reach at 7-0. With the bases load, left fielder Brittany Hyams walked for the first run of the frame and the next batter, Curtier, cleared the bases with a double to left center.

Santa Barbara responded with back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the second by sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen and junior shortstop Brittany Putich, but Santos retired the next three batters to close out the inning.

Freshman Tami Weston came on in relief in the second inning and allowed one run on two hits in 3.2 innings of work. A bases loaded walk in the top of the fourth gave the Tigers their final 8-0 lead.

Santos was brilliant in the circle for the visitors. She retired nine of the final ten batters she faced to preserve the mercy rule victory. The freshman improved to 9-3 on the year after allowing just two hits, while striking out six and walking one.

The Gauchos' only other hit came in the first inning on a single to right field by Hejna.

The 8-0 loss was the worst of the year for UCSB and the first mercy rule defeat since UCLA won 10-0 in six innings February 28, 2004.

Davis took the loss after allowing seven runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks in just one and one third innings pitched.

The Gauchos and Tigers wrap up their three game series with the rubber game Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at Campus Diamond.

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