SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team picked up its first win of the season in its series finale against San Diego, defeating the Toreros 7-3 in eight innings at the USD Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Junior pitcher Emily Schuttish pitched all eight innings, shutting out the opposition in seven of them, in the circle for the Gauchos (1-5). She earned her first win of the season while allowing eight hits and striking out three.
UCSB got off to a good start in the top of the first when freshman shortstop Madelyn McNally singled to second and stole a base to get into scoring position. It looked like she was in jeopardy of being left stranded after the following two Gaucho plate appearances resulted in outs, but junior first baseman Rayna Cohen came to the rescue with a single to right field to get the Gauchos on the board first.
Freshman catcher Ashley Donaldson batted in a second run for UCSB in the subsequent at-bat with her first career triple, plating Cohen.
The Gauchos kept up the tempo in the second inning as McNally earned her second RBI of the day with another single, scoring sophomore centerfielder Tyler Goldstein to go ahead 3-0.
Schuttish kept the Toreros quiet throughout the game, but San Diego's offense felt the pressure and picked up the slack in the bottom of the seventh inning. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, a fielding error gave San Diego a pair of runs and put a runner on third to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Then, the Toreros tied the game on a bunt single by Halle Kyler that allowed Alys Micone to score.
However, the Gauchos were determined not to lose as the game headed into extra innings. UCSB tacked on four runs in the top of the eighth, thanks to Donaldson batting in another two runs on a double to cap off a three-RBI day and Cohen and sophomore right fielder Ally Nodohara earning a run apiece on a single and sac fly, respectively.
McNally, Donaldson, and Cohen all finished 3-for-5 at the plate on the day. McNally, Nodohara, and freshman outfielder Lauren Lewis each also picked up a stolen base in today's action.
The Gauchos head up north next weekend to take on Cal, BYU, and Stanford at the Stanford Classic. The team will play a pair of games on March 5 and 6 before a single game against the Cardinal on the 7th. Live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.