SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sparked by a four-run, two-out rally in the third inning, UCSB (23-25, 6-7) coasted to a 9-3 win over Hawai'i (20-26, 4-9) to open their three-game series at Campus Diamond.
Ashley Ludlow went the distance in the circle for the 12th time this year, as she allowed just three runs (one earned) off seven hits. The senior also fanned seven batters, tying a conference season-high.
Palomares brought in the first Gaucho run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, but UCSB wouldn't take control until the third inning.
Jessica Tetzlaff led the inning with a walk and later advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Stacy Cavazos. The Rainbow Wahine would pick up another out on grounder to the shortstop, but the Gauchos rallied with back-to-back RBI doubles from Melanie Menor and Palomares. The co-middle infielders launched their shots to the warning track and ignited what ended up being a four-run frame for the Gauchos.
To keep the offense going, Samantha Stark poked a single through the left side and moved Palmores to third. With runners on the corners, UCSB tacked on another run thanks to a fielding error at shortstop, while a single from Sierra Altmeyer loaded the bases for Jacqueline Hinojosa.
With the table set, the junior connected on a single up the middle to give UCSB a 5-1 lead. The score prompted a change in the circle for Hawai'i, which helped to end the inning with the next at bat.
Continuing her standout day at the plate, Palomares scored in Jessica Johnston on another RBI double, this time belted to left center. The senior now has 10 doubles on the season overall, while she leads the Gauchos with eight RBIs in conference play.
Later with two outs and bases loaded, Brucelas came through with a two-RBI single to left field and gave UCSB a 9-2 lead, more than enough for the win.
The Gauchos will be back in action tomorrow to play Hawai'i in a double header starting at 1 p.m. The team will also celebrate Senior Day and will have a postgame ceremony honoring the seniors playing in their final game at Campus Diamond. Tickets will be available at the main entrance and can be purchased online.