May 9, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Trailing 6-0 halfway through the sixth inning, the UC Santa Barbara softball team staged a comeback, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth before pouring on three more in the seventh. The rally fell short though and the Gauchos ended the regular season falling victim to a Big West Conference sweep at the hands of Cal State Fullerton at Cal Poly's Bob Janssen Field.
UCSB fell to 26-25 on the season and concludes Big West play with a 9-12 conference record. The Titans improved to 29-19 and 17-4 in league games, good for a second-place Big West finish. Cal Poly finished league play in first with an 18-3 conference record and will earn the automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.
Down by six runs, in the bottom of the sixth inning, Tiffany Wright hit a one-out single up the middle to tally just the third hit of the game for the Gauchos. Jessica Beristianos followed with a single to right field and then a pitch hit Amanda Ziegler, loading the bases.
Katie McWhirter was next up and the sophomore delivered, hitting an RBI single to right field. Kelsey Anderson grounded out during the next at-bat, driving Beristianos home on the play and cutting the Fullerton lead to 6-2.
Fullerton got two batters on base with a pair of singles at the top of the sixth with one out, but Krista Cobb struck out the next two batters to keep the Gaucho deficit at four runs.
Jackie Conlin got things rolling at the top of the seventh with a single up the middle and Christine Ramos followed suit, recording a base hit to left field. A fielder's choice hit to the pitcher by Jessica Ziegler loaded the bases for UCSB with no outs.
Wright hit a sacrifice fly during the next play, driving Conlin home. Fullerton then decided to pull pitcher Ari Cervantes and replaced her with Krystal Heinle. During the next at-bat, Heinle threw a wild pitch that Ramos was able to score on, cutting the Fullerton lead to 6-4. One walk by Beristianos later, Amanda Ziegler grounded out to the pitcher but sent her sister home in the process to put the Gauchos within one run with two outs. With the tying run in scoring position, McWhirter grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.
For Fullerton, Torrie Anderson led the way going 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI. Courtney Martinez was 2-for-2 with two runs and two walks and Cervantes provided two singles and an RBI.
In the circle, Cervantes (19-10) got the win after tossing 6.1 innings. She allowed five earned runs on eight hits and walked one. Heinle got the save.
For the Gauchos, Beristianos was 3-for-3 with one run while McWhirter went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
In the circle, Tami Weston (2-4) took the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings of work. She walked six and struck out three. MeLinda Matsumoto gave up two earned runs on three hits in one thirds inning of work. Cobb closed the game and gave up two hits while striking out two.
The NCAA Selection Show will air on Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. The Gauchos will have to wait till then to see if they made it into the 64-team field.
- UCSBgauchos.com -