Cal, BYU Defeat UCSB on First Day of DeMarini Invitational

Teah Thies (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Teah Thies (Photo by Jeff Liang)

STANFORD, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team started the weekend with a pair of losses to Cal and BYU on Friday afternoon at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium.

Game one: Cal 7, UCSB 5

A Kacey Zobac grand slam broke open a tie game for Cal in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the Gauchos' rally in the seventh fell just short as the Golden Bears dealt UCSB its sixth loss of the season.

It was UCSB that struck first after freshman third baseman Ashley Donaldson scored on a passed ball on sophomore catcher Teah Thies' double, and then Thies was able to advance to third and then home on a fielding error by the Cal pitcher.

The Gauchos added a third run in the third inning when freshman designated player Sam Denehy rounded the bases after junior first baseman Rayna Cohen singled through the right side and Cal's right fielder committed a fielding error.

The Golden Bears scored their first run in the bottom half of the inning when Aleia Agbayani was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Makena Smith.

One inning later, Smith sent a solo home run to left to cut the Gaucho lead to one, and in the sixth Smith earned a walk with the bases loaded to tie the game at 3-3.

The Gauchos nearly got out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts, but then Kacey Zobac connected on a grand slam to grant the Golden Bears a 7-3 lead.

UCSB began to put together a two-out comeback bid in the seventh inning, as junior left fielder Sammy Fabian batted in freshman shortstop Madelyn McNally on a single to center field to pull a run back.

Denehy followed that up by plating Fabian, who had advanced to second on the throw and went to third on a wild pitch, on a single to cut the Golden Bears' lead to two, but that would be as close as the Gauchos would get to retaking the lead.

Denehy had two of UCSB's six hits in the game, while Denehy and Fabian each picked up an RBI. Senior pitcher Felisha Noriega and sophomore Ilona Sullivan allowed just six hits to the Cal offense.

Game two: BYU 4, UCSB 1

A three-run third inning and an additional run in the fourth was all BYU would need to get past UCSB in the Gauchos' second game of the day.

Rylee Jensen singled through the right side to score Kaylee Erickson to open the scoring for the Cougars in the third, and then Hannah Jo Peterson batted in both Jensen and Mallory Barber with a double down the right field line.

BYU's fourth run came in the fourth inning when Alyssa Podhurcak homered to left.

Thies put the Gauchos' lone run on the board in the bottom half of the fourth inning when she singled in Cohen, but BYU managed to keep the UCSB offense quiet for the rest of the contest to pick up the win.

UCSB plays tomorrow at Cal's Levine-Fricke Field in a single game at 1:00 p.m. Live stats will be available here.