Gauchos Split Doubleheader with UC Davis to End Skid

Veronika Gulvin (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Veronika Gulvin (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team split its Saturday doubleheader at Campus Diamond with UC Davis, closing the day with a 3-1 win over the Aggies after opening with a 3-0 defeat.

The Gauchos are now 7-29 overall and 1-4 in Big West play, their late afternoon win ending a 13-game skid. The Aggies, one of the hottest teams in the conference, still own the best overall record in the Big West at 28-7 and 3-2 in league play.

Game One
The Aggies opened Saturday with a 3-0 win, scoring all three of their runs in the top of the third inning. UCD finished with a 10-4 edge in hits and went without an error while UCSB had one.

Davis would get a runner onto second base in each of the first two innings, but didn't score until the third, when they opened with three straight singles. With the bases loaded, a Meghan Bradbury single to third would bring home the game's first run, as the throw from third to home couldn't beat Isabella Leon. Two more Aggies would pick up RBIs before the inning ended, giving them their 3-0 advantage.

The Aggies nearly doubled their lead before the end of the inning, as Riley Siegel appeared to hit a three-run homer over the center field wall. However, one Aggie runner accidentally passed her teammate on the way to home base, nullifying the runs.

Santa Barbara would string together three straight hits of its own in the following inning, but did so with two outs already on the board. Junior Genesis Ramirez started things with a single to third. Maci Fines hit a single through the left side, and Melanie Menor followed singled through the right. UCD pitcher Brooke Yanez struck out the next Gaucho batter though, ending what would be UCSB's best chance at putting some runs up. Yanez went on to finish with 12 strikeouts and no runs given up in a complete effort.

Game Two
UCSB would pick up its first win since Mar. 12 later in the day, pulling away with two late runs to down the Aggies 3-1. Sophomore outfielder Sammy Fabian led the offense with two hits, while senior pitcher Veronika Gulvin held the Aggies to just one run with two strikeouts in seven innings of work.

The Gauchos outhit the Aggies 6-4. The home side also went without an error, while UCD hurt itself with two in the decisive sixth inning.

With the game tied at 1-1, Genesis Ramirez and Maci Fines got on base via consecutive Aggie errors to open the sixth. A sacrifice fly from Menor would bring Ramirez home to put UCSB up by a run.

Junior Kayla Krantz then provided the Gauchos their only extra-base hit of the day, doubling to left center to bring Fines home and double UCSB's lead. Gulvin would go on to retire all three of UCD's batters in the top of the seventh, earning her first win of the season.

Santa Barbara's first run of the game came in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Alyssa Lazatin notched her third run of the year, scoring on a sac fly to left from freshman Teah Thies. The Aggies responded with a solo homer from Bradbury in the top of the sixth. With the win, UCSB improved to 6-3 in games where it scores first.

The Gauchos will close their second Big West series of 2019 tomorrow with a rubber match against the Aggies at 12:00 p.m. at Campus Diamond.