SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Ashley Ludlow's no-hitter highlights the second day of the Gaucho Classic I, as UCSB (7-7) defeated Georgia Tech 4-0 and fell to South Carolina 6-1.
South Carolina won the second game against the Gauchos scoring five of their six runs during the first two innings.
Starter Lena Mayer was replaced in the circle after giving up a two run homer to Kennedy Clark into right center and a single into left from Kaylea Snaer. Mayer was relieved with one out in the first by freshman Ashley Wright who got the following two Gamecocks to ground out to end the inning.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the first the Gauchos loaded the bases with one out but ultimately could not touch home plate. After a sacrifice bunt by Arianna Palomares moved Kristen Clark to second, both Jessica Johnston's and Sierra Altmeyer's patience at the plate led to back to back walks by pitcher Jessica Elliott. Elliott worked out of the jam causing Emily Brucelas to fly out to left center and Jacqueline Hinojosa to pop up to shortstop to end the inning.
The Gamecocks started their second inning with a double down the third base line by catcher Jordan Bizzell and moved to third after a sacrifice bunt. Bizzell would come in to score after an RBI single, leading to a change in the pitching circle for the Gauchos. Senior Ashley Ludlow gave up a double and walk in the second, but ended the inning with a ground out to second base, the score 5-0.
Veteran Ludlow gave her offense a chance after she held South Carolina to only one runner in scoring position over the next three innings of defense for the Gauchos. Veronika Gulvin started the sixth inning in the circle for UCSB and did not allow a run until giving up a solo homerun to Kaylea Snaer into left field.
Though UCSB collected eight hits over seven innings none led to a scoring run until the last inning in which a two-out RBI single to center field by Jessica Johnston scored Jessica Tetzlaff, who also singled to center field to start the inning.
While the Gauchos (7-7) needed a come from behind effort to defeat Georgia Tech (0-8) on Friday, that was not was not the case in their second meeting in two days as pitcher Ashley Ludlow (2-1) threw her first career no-hitter to lead UCSB to a 4-0 victory.
Playing as the away side as they looked to bounce back from a 6-1 loss to South Carolina earlier in the day, the Gauchos got off to a quick start with junior outfielder Kristen Clark leading off and bouncing a base hit up the middle of the field. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, junior outfielder Jacqueline Hinojosa stepped up to knock a single towards third base that brought Clark home to put UCSB up 1-0.
From there, Ludlow began her dominance on the mound. The senior had a season-high 11 strikeouts on the day, including a run in which four consecutive batters struck out swinging between the second and third innings.
Santa Barbara was consistent on the offensive side, finding itself with the bases loaded in three out of the first four innings.
Sophomore outfielder Jessica Johnston was the Gauchos' top offensive contributor on the day, going 2-3 with 2 RBI, the first of which came in the second inning to score senior catcher Sami Stark. Clark scored her second run of the day in the fourth inning when Johnston hit her second straight single, this one towards the right side
With one out and the bases loaded once again, junior third baseman Emily Brucelas earned an RBI as she brought home senior second baseman Arianna Palomares despite a double play from the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech failed to find an answer the rest of the way, as Ludlow ended her near-perfect outing by striking out the last two batters she faced. She now has a 1.83 ERA in three starts this season.
As a team, UCSB recorded six hits for the day while receiving seven walks.