STOCKTON, Calif. – In its final game of the year, UCSB was defeated by Pacific by a final score of 6-3 in the second round of the NISC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
A pair of freshmen led the way for the Gauchos as first baseman and All-Big West Second Team selection Alyssa Diaz tied a career-high with a 3-4 day at the plate. Third baseman Kayla Krantz added two hits and one RBI. UCSB finished with ten hits, making it two straight games in double-figures.
The Gauchos (31-28), who all season had made it a habit to snatch late wins after trailing early on, nearly completed one more comeback against the Tigers (28-25). After trailing 4-0 through five innings, Santa Barbara got hot in the bottom of the sixth, going off for five hits and scoring three runs to cut the lead to 4-3.
With the bases loaded, Krantz got UCSB on the scoreboard with a single down the left field line, scoring a run from junior Jessica Johnston. On the following play, Diaz would score off a single to left field by senior Stacy Cavazos, making it 4-2. Redshirt freshman Whitney Pemberton would then step up to knock a single to right field, this time bringing home sophomore Melanie Menor to bring the Gauchos within a single run.
Unfortunately for UCSB, the Tigers would have a well-timed answer. The regional hosts, playing as the away team on their own field, added two more runs in the top of the seventh, both on a two-run single by Molly Bourne.
After extending its lead to 6-3, Pacific would hold the Gauchos to a single hit in the bottom of the seventh, leaving two runners on base before picking up the third out. Both teams finished the game with one error.
Seven Gauchos recorded a hit on the day, including senior Kristen Clark, who ends her career with 296 hits, good for No. 1 all-time at UCSB and No. 2 in Big West history. Her .378 career batting average also tops the Gaucho record books, while her 136 runs and 64 stolen bases both rank second.