Gauchos Drop Rubber Match at CSUN 6-2

Sierra Altmeyer (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sierra Altmeyer (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Despite an early 2-0 lead, UCSB (21-22, 4-5) fell in Sunday's rubber match against CSUN (25-19, 5-4) 6-2 at Matador Diamond.

Sierra Altmeyer's perfect 2-for-2 day at the plate led the Gauchos, as she connected on the team's biggest hit of the game with  an RBI double in the second inning. Joining the freshman with two hits as well was Jessica Johnston, who was batting in the leadoff spot.

Ashley Ludlow (7-11) pitched the first 4.1 innings of the game, but allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits with three strikeouts. Freshman Veronika Gulvin threw the final 1.2 innings and limited the Matadors to just one hit.

UCSB struck first in the game thanks to Altmeyer's double to left center in the second inning. The table was set for the freshman with Melanie Menor reaching second base thanks to a pair of CSUN errors. After delivering the RBI, Altmeyer herself later scored from second with the help of another Matador error, which also brought Stacy Cavazos safely to first base. But after Johnston put runners on first and second for UCSB following a single up the middle, the Gauchos would not score either of them as a fielder's choice ended the inning.

The Gauchos held on to that two-run edge for one inning, as Savannah Horvath gave her Matadors their first lead of the game after clubbing a three-run shot over the left field fence. Ludlow burned through the final two outs to limit the damage as she forced a groundout and a strikeout to end the frame.

Later in the fifth, CSUN tacked on three more runs to grab a 6-2 lead heading into the sixth inning when the Gauchos gave themselves a fair shot at putting more runs on the board.

Menor led off the inning with an infield single and was immediately followed by an Altmeyer walk to put two Gauchos on base with no outs. However, CSUN's defense managed to get the next three batters out to avoid any damage and maintain its four-run lead down the stretch.

UCSB will return home to Campus Diamond next week to host Cal on Wednesday April, 20. The team will later hot Long Beach State in a three-game series starting on Saturday. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), and online.