LONG BEACH, Calif. – UCSB (13-10) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Friday, as the team was dealt a pair of loses by Iowa State (12-8) and Mississippi State (18-3). First, the Cyclones held the Gauchos scoreless at 2-0 and later the Bulldogs continued their strong start to the season in taking the 5-2 decision.
Kristen Clark paced the team with four total hits and now has 14 multi-hit games already this season, including the past five straight.
The Gauchos mustered four hits in a game where Iowa State pitcher Savannah Sanders led her team to a 2-0 victory following her complete game shutout. UCSB had some good pitching performances itself with Veronika Gulvin (4-5) and Ashley Wright allowing a combined five hits and two runs, both unearned. Gulvin was credited with the loss after starting the game and tossing the first three innings.
The Gauchos reached scoring position once during the game after Clark led off the first with an infield single. She was later moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Arianna Palomares, but she never made it to third. Jessica Johnston later in the same inning gave UCSB its second runner after a hit-by-pitch, but Sanders retired the side with a fly out and a pop up.
After two scoreless innings, the Cyclones brought home their first run with a sac fly in a bases loaded scenario. Gulvin, though, was able to limit the damage by forcing a line out to left.
Through the next three innings, the Gauchos came up with a pair of hits and a walk, but were unable to bring any of their runners past first base.
Meanwhile, Wright was keeping Iowa State's offense in check and allowed just two singles through three innings. She made good use of her infield, as five of the nine outs were recorded on groundouts.
However, the Cyclones would go on to load the bases again in the seventh inning and tacked on their second run on a wild pitch.
Looking for a spark in the bottom of the seventh, the Gauchos used two pinch hitters, but ultimately came up empty handed after three straight outs.
The Gauchos dropped their second game of the day at LBSU Louisville Slugger Invitational to Mississippi State 5-2.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs during the second inning after a single to left field, a hit by pitch, and a walk. Ashley Ludlow was able to strike out the next two batters but another hit by pitch brought in the first run of the game.
All three outs against Mississippi State in the second inning came from Ludlow strikeouts, which ended up totaling five in the game.
UCSB answered in the top of the third after back to back singles and a sacrifice bunt moved Stacy Cavazos and Kristen Clark into scoring position. With two outs in the inning Sierra Altmeyer hit a double into right center, putting the Gauchos on top 2-1.
Altmeyer leads the team with eight doubles on the year so far, and leads all Big West conference with twenty runs batted in.
Mississippi State threatened to score in the fifth inning after a single into center from Mackenzie Toler sent Caroline Seitz towards home but were stymied when centerfielder Stacy Cavazos threw Seitz out at the plate.
Small ball allowed the Bulldogs to score four more runs in the sixth inning. After two bunt singles to start off the inning, an RBI single into center field left runners on the corners for Mississippi State. A ground out, error, and another single into center capped off the scoring for the Bulldogs.
Though the Gauchos got runners on in the top of the seventh inning after a Jessica Johnston double moved Arianna Palomares to third base, they could not push any runs across; ending the game with a score of 5-2 in Mississippi State's favor.
Kristen Clark led the offense for UCSB going 2-3 during the game. Clark is hitting .506 on the year leading the Big West in batting average.