Gauchos End MNCC Tournament with 4-1 Win Over Bethune-Cookman

Samantha Stark (Photo by Scott Quintard)
Samantha Stark (Photo by Scott Quintard)

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – UCSB (4-6) closed out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on a high note with a 4-1 win over Bethune-Cookman (3-7) on Sunday.

Seven Gauchos recorded a hit in the game, as Emily Brucelas supplied the team with its lone extra base knock with a double in the sixth inning.

The Wildcats scored first, but were held scoreless through the final five innings thanks to Ashley Ludlow's performance in the circle. The senior came into the game with two outs in the second inning and went on to strike out a season high 10 batters, while allowing six hits.

Freshman Veronika Gulvin started the game and faced just four batters in the opening inning. In the second inning, though, the Wildcats tallied three singles to load the bases, which ended Gulvin's day. Ludlow went on to walk the first batter she faced to send in Bethune-Cookman's one run, but later forced Mariah Davis into an inning ending groundout.

UCSB's offense was quick to respond in scoring the equalizer in the third inning. The Gauchos saw two batters reach first and second base with a leadoff single from Kristen Clark followed by an Arianna Palomares single to right center. Sierra Altmeyer then delivered the game-tying run with a single to left field.

The run was the first of four straight for the Gauchos, as the team went on to tally two more runs in the fourth inning. Brucelas first drew a walk and later advanced to second courtesy of a sacrifice bunt from Jacqueline Hinojosa. On at bat later, Samantha Stark hit a single up the middle and advanced to second with Brucelas beating out a throw to third base.

With a pair of runners in scoring position, a fielding error from second baseman Sophia Ortega sent both Stark and Brucelas across home plate.

The Gauchos later added an insurance run in the sixth inning, which opened with Brucelas's double. The junior did not wait on base long, as she scored on the next at bat with Hinojosa delivering an RBI single up the middle.

Facing a 3-0 UCSB lead in the seventh, Bethune-Cookman threatened to score after its first two batters reached base. With both runners on first and second, the Wildcats attempted a double steal, but Mariah Davis was tagged out at home after she looked to stretch the play.

Then Brianna Sanders hit an infield single to put runners on the corners. However, the Gauchos were able to hold the Wildcats scoreless with Ludlow striking out Kaitlin Alamprese and Stark throwing out Sanders on her attempt to steal second base.

UCSB will be back in action next weekend with the Gaucho Classic. The tournament will last from Feb. 26-28 and will feature Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Southern Utah. Tickets for single day and all-session passes are available now and can be purchased at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), and online.