Gauchos Mark Campus Diamond Return with Split Against Utah Valley

Sam Denehy (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Sam Denehy (Photo by Jeff Liang)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team split its midweek doubleheader with Utah Valley as it played at Campus Diamond for the first time in 2021 on Tuesday afternoon.

Game one: UCSB 7, Utah Valley 3

UCSB (3-10) picked up its second-straight win in the opening contest of the day after defeating the Wolverines 7-3 thanks to yet another excellent performance in the circle from junior pitcher Emily Schuttish and a Gaucho offense that exploded for five runs in the fourth inning.

Junior first baseman Rayna Cohen gave the Gauchos their first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the first inning with a double to deep right center, scoring freshman shortstop Madelyn McNally.

Freshman DP Korie Thomas doubled in the following inning to get sophomore centerfielder Tyler Goldstein across the plate and put the Gauchos up 2-0.

Utah Valley scored a run in the top of the third, but it was all UCSB after that as the offense heated up in the bottom of the fourth. A Goldstein double scored freshman right fielder Sam Denehy, and junior left fielder Sammy Fabian was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put the Gauchos' third and fourth runs on the board.

Following Fabian's at-bat, freshman third baseman Ashley Donaldson kept the bases loaded by singling in a run, and an ensuing sacrifice fly by Cohen made it 6-1 to UCSB.

Then, sophomore catcher Teah Thies and Denehy were hit by a pitch in back-to-back plate appearances, with Thies' free base reloading the diamond, and Denehy's scoring the Gauchos' seventh run.

Utah Valley went on to score two runs on a single in the top of the seventh, but Schuttish was able to keep the Wolverines quiet otherwise.

Schuttish allowed just four hits and struck out five in her fourth complete game of the season, improving to 3-1 on the year. McNally finished 2-of-2 with a pair of walks, and Goldstein went 2-of-3 at the plate with two doubles, while also drawing a walk.

Game two: Utah Valley 11, UCSB 1 (5 innings)

The visitors turned things around in the second game, and they wasted no time in doing so.

Utah Valley scored two runs in both the first and second innings before adding five to their tally in the fourth, three of which came on a bases-loaded triple to deep right center by Linnah Rebolledo.

UCSB's Thies batted in UCSB's only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly that plated Fabian.

The game would end in the fifth inning due to the run rule.

The Gauchos face a short turnaround as they head to UCLA to play the third-ranked team in the country in a doubleheader on Thursday, before playing a single game at LMU on Friday. Information on the availability of a live stream and live stats will be posted on UCSBGauchos.com.