April 29, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Brittany Putich finished the day 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI and Kendra Singley turned in a 3-for-7 effort that included her team-leading sixth homerun of the season, but UC Santa Barbara was unable to hold the Cal Poly offense in check and dropped both games of a Big West Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Campus Diamond.
The Gauchos, who have lost seven of their last 11 games, are now 19-18 overall and 3-8 in the Big West, while the Mustangs improve to 24-19 (9-3 Big West).
Pitching, a strong point for UCSB earlier this season, was the squad's Achilles heel once again Saturday.
Junior Jennifer Davis got the nod in the opener and allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits. She struck out seven and walked four. Game two starter Tami Weston also allowed six runs on eight hits with two coming unearned. The freshman punched out seven and walked five.
"We definitely need better performances from our pitchers," head coach Kristy Schroeder said. "We can't continue to give up six runs a game and make some of the mental mistakes we made in the field. I thought we hit the ball well...we just couldn't come up with the big hit all day. "
In game one, Melissa Pura connected for a three-run homerun in the top of the first inning and Cal Poly never looked back. After Lisa Modglin and Cristen Lee singled to start the game, Davis retired the next two batters but Pura got a hold of one and sent it deep over the left field fence for the 3-0 lead.
The Mustangs added two more in the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Stephanie Tam and Jackie Gehrke-Jones.
Santa Barbara got on the board in the bottom of the fourth to cut into the deficit, 5-1. With Davis on first freshman Tiffany Wright on third, junior right fielder Liz Walters reached on a fielder's choice and Wright came home to score on the play.
Chelsea Green's sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning made it 6-1. The Gauchos then added a run in the last of the seventh for the final 6-2 score. Putich and freshman second baseman Christine Ramos led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Both runners advanced on a fly out to center field by junior left fielder Jessica Hejna and then Putich scored on a sacrifice fly by Singley.
Robyn Contra went the distance for the Mustangs and allowed two runs on seven hits in the win. She struck out four and walked two.
Davis, who notched her 21st complete game, dropped to 13-13 on the year with the loss.
Offensively, Pura led the way for Cal Poly, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI.
Ramos had three hits for UCSB.
Game two was much closer as each team held the lead twice before the Mustangs took the final 6-4 advantage.
Cal Poly jumped out to an early lead again in the first inning on an RBI single to center field by Green that scored Lee from second.
Singley promptly tied the game in the bottom of the inning with her 17th career homer, this one a rocket to right center field.
Sophomore third baseman Danielle Meyers then led off the second with a single to left. Freshman Jackie Conlin, who came on to run for Meyers, advanced to second on a perfect bunt by Davis and stole third. She scored on a single by Putich, giving the Gauchos a 2-1 lead.
The visitors responded with back-to-back solo homers by Green and Pura an inning later to reclaim the lead, 3-2.
Santa Barbara scored twice in the last of the fourth when freshman pinch runner Lauren Augino came home on a passed ball and Ramos picked up Putich with an infield single to the shortstop.
The Gauchos' 4-3 lead did not last long as the Mustangs tied the game in the fifth on Green's third RBI of the game. After Sarah Iwata tripled down the left field line, Green singled to second for the tying run.
Two UCSB errors in the sixth led to two more runs for Cal Poly. With Ana Antonetti on first, Gehrke-Jones laid down a sac bunt and, when catcher Ericka Hansen's attempt to get the lead runner at second sailed into center field, both runners advanced. Antonetti scored when a failed attempt to pick her off third base got by Meyers. Kelly Comstock later singled and Gehrke-Jones scored for the final run.
Kontra, who came on in relief in the fifth inning, earned her second straight win. She allowed just one hit in three innings of scoreless relief. Jenna Maiden started the game for the Mustangs and allowed four runs on six hits while striking out one and walking two.
Weston took the loss for the Gauchos and fell to 2-3 on the year. She turned in her second career complete game performance.
UCSB will look to bounce back when the Gauchos and Mustangs wrap up their three game series Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at Campus Diamond.