CATHEDRAL CITY, CALIF. – UCSB (3-6) dropped both of their decisions to a pair of top-25 teams on the second day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. First, the Gauchos fell 13-5 to Texas A&M in five innings and later lost a competitive 5-2 contest to No. 4 LSU.
The Gauchos are now 1-2 in the tournament and will close the weekend in a match up with Bethune-Cookman tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Though UCSB scored in three of the five innings played, but the eight runs the Aggies put up in the first inning was too much for the Gauchos to overcome, as they lost 13-5 during their third game of the weekend.
Lena Mayer started in the pitching circle but was relieved by Veronika Gulvin after giving up two hits and two walks with no outs. Gulvin was later replaced in the same inning by freshman Claudia Puente who struck out Cali Lanphear for the last out of the inning.
The Gauchos got a rally going in the second inning to score three runs. Senior catcher Samantha Stark scored both Emily Brucelas and Sierra Altmeyer with a double to left center field and would come around to score after a single into right center by Stacy Cavazos.
Texas A&M answered UCSB's three runs with a three run blast by Samantha Show into right field raising the score to 11-3.
UCSB tacked on one more run in the third by an RBI single by Emily Brucelas scoring Jessica Johnston.
Puente and the Gaucho defense held the Aggies in the third, but Texas A&M would score two more in the fourth inning with an RBI by April Ryan as well as a RBI double by Hailey Rebar.
The Gauchos started the top of the fifth with both Jessica Johnston and Sierra Altmeyer getting on base by walks. Junior Emily Brucelas singled to right field scoring Johnson, and picking up her second RBI of the game.
The Gauchos put up a tough fight with No. 4 LSU, but the Lady Tigers' four-run fifth inning made the difference in the 5-2 decision.
UCSB tallied 11 hits in the game – the most hits any team has had against LSU this season – with Kristen Clark going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Arianna Palomares also came up with three hits and a team-high two RBIs.
Ashley Ludlow (0-1) pitched all six innings for UCSB and allowed five runs (three earned) and nine hits, while recording four strikeouts.
The senior held the Lady Tigers to just one run through the first four innings, only giving up four hits in that span.
The Gauchos threatened to score in the first inning with runners on second and third. Clark led off the inning with an infield single and moved over to second after Palomares hit a single up the middle. Jessica Johnston then cleanly laid down the sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, moving both runners into scoring position.
With just one out, however, LSU starting pitcher Sydney Smith was able to get out of the jam by striking out Sierra Altmeyer and getting Emily Brucelas to fly out to centerfield.
After the Lady Tigers scored with an RBI single in the bottom of the second, the game fell into a gridlock until the Gauchos found the scoreboard in the top of the fifth.
Clark got the inning started with a single to left center and promptly stole second base. Palomares then came through again with a base knock up the middle to send Clark in for the score. Johnston kept the inning going with a single to center field, which prompted a pitching change for LSU.
With a fresh arm in the circle, LSU forced UCSB into a fielder's choice and a groundout to preserve the 1-1 tie.
The Lady Tigers later came through with the game-changing fifth inning when they brought in four runs. The first two runs came through with an RBI single and a sac fly, but a Gaucho fielding error brought across the third run. Ludlow, though, was able to limit the damage and struck out Shemiah Sanchez for the third out.
The Gauchos managed to stay within four runs heading into the seventh, but were unable to pull off the late game comeback. Palomares kept UCSB going with her second RBI of the game, poking a single through the right side, but Clark was called out on the play in trying to advance to third base. With just two outs to go, LSU pitcher Walljasper picked up a punch out and pop up to end the game.