April 30, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Three errors led to all three Oregon State runs and UC Santa Barbara's last stitch effort in the bottom of the seventh came up short in a 3-2 loss to No. 13 Oregon State Monday afternoon at Campus Diamond. A day after belting a season-high 15 hits in Sunday's win over Cal Poly, the Gauchos were held to just four in the loss to the Beavers.
With the victory, OSU improves to 36-18 overall this season, while UCSB falls to 26-19. Monday's game was Santa Barbara's seventh contest against a ranked opponent this season and the Gauchos own a 3-4 mark in those games.
Freshman right-hander MeLinda Matsumoto got the nod for Santa Barbara and limited the high-powered Oregon State offense to just five hits. The native of Union City, Calif. tossed seven complete innings, allowing three unearned runs with three strikeouts and a walk, but took the loss to fall to 9-6 on the season.
OSU's Ta'Tyana McElroy was equally impressive, allowing just three hits with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings of work. The senior right-hander worked a no-hitter through 4.2 innings and faced just three batters over the minimum.
The Beavers took advantage of two UCSB errors in the top of the second inning to score their first two runs. Center fielder Dani Chisholm was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give OSU its first run and right fielder Alana Ford came home on a passed ball as the visitors took an early 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos struggled against McElroy for most of the afternoon as she retired the first 14 batters she faced. UCSB's first base runner did not come until junior catcher Ericka Hansen dropped a ball into shallow right center field with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Oregon State added another run in the top of the seventh when Chisholm reached on an error to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a single to left center by first baseman DeAnn Young.
UCSB came roaring back with two runs in the top of seventh on three consecutive hits to start of the inning. Senior first baseman Jessica Hejna got things going with a double to left center and junior third baseman Tisha Duran picked her up with a double to the gap in left center, as well. After right-hander Brianne McGowan came on in relief, senior designated player Jennifer Davis kept the rally going with a single to right that scored Duran, pulling the Gauchos to within one at 3-2.
Davis was then called out at second on a fielder's choice, sophomore center fielder Tiffany Wright was thrown out attempting to steal second, and McGowan got Hansen to ground out to short as Santa Barbara's comeback bid was thwarted and Oregon State held on for the 3-2 victory.
McElroy, who celebrated her 22nd birthday Monday, picked up the win and improved to 14-8 this season. McGowan tossed one inning of scoreless relief to earn her fifth save of the year.
UCSB returns to Campus Diamond this weekend in its final home series of 2007. The Gauchos will take on UC Riverside beginning with a doubleheader Saturday, May 5 at 12:00 p.m.