Gauchos Nab First Victory Against Santa Clara, Fall to Sacramento State

Rayna Cohen (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Rayna Cohen (Photo by Jeff Liang)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team (1-4) split its pair of games on the final day of the NorCal Kickoff, defeating Santa Clara 2-0 before coming up short in its tournament finale against Sacramento State, falling 5-1, at Shea Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

UCSB 2, Santa Clara 0

Sophomore Alyssa Molina pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing seven hits over seven innings while walking two batters and striking out three, en route to the Gauchos' first win of the season.

Sammy Fabian had a pair of hits in four plate appearances and seven other Gauchos recorded a hit for a total of nine, matching the season-high in Friday's season opening loss against Idaho State.

All of the action happened in the top of the third inning, in which UCSB managed to load the bases with no outs after back-to-back singles from junior second baseman Maci Fines and junior left fielder Sammy Fabian and junior centerfielder Rayna Cohen reached base after she was hit by a pitch.

In the next at-bat, senior shortstop Carissa Felix scored Fines while reaching on a fielder's choice, though Cohen was put out at second base.

Redshirt senior first baseman Sierra Altmeyer followed that up by driving in Fabian on a single to left field to put the Gauchos up 2-0.

Santa Clara had runners in scoring position in each of the remaining innings, but the Gauchos played mistake-free defense and sealed the deal for their maiden victory of the 2020 season.

Sacramento State 5, UCSB 1

Santa Barbara went down early against Sacramento State and couldn't find a way back into the game, falling to the Hornets in its final game of the weekend.

With one out on the board in the bottom of the first, third baseman Lewa Day singled through the left side to bring in centerfielder Charizma Guzman, getting the Hornets on the board first.

Sacramento put on two more runs before the inning ended, first from an RBI triple off the bat of first baseman Alondra Mejia that scored Day and then from an RBI groundout by second baseman Katie Vretzos which scored Mejia for a 3-0 lead.

Two RBI singles in the fourth inning from left fielder Haley Hanson and pinch hitter Mo Spieth strengthened the Hornets' grasp on the game, putting the hosts up 5-0.

In the top of the fifth, the Gauchos' Cohen scored Fabian across the plate with a single through the 6-4 hole, pulling one back to cut the lead to 5-1, but that would be the last run scored in the game.

Next weekend, the Gauchos will take place in the 2020 Susan Craig Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., hosted by the University of New Mexico. In the three-team tournament, they will face both New Mexico and Northern Colorado, beginning with a matchup against the latter on Friday at 3 p.m. Live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.

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