SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team improved to 2-3 in Big West play with a split in its weekend-opening doubleheader at UC San Diego, winning 10-4 in the first game and falling 11-3 in six innings in the second on Friday night at Triton Softball Field.
Game one: UCSB 10, UCSD 4: The Gaucho offense took off with three runs in the third inning and five in the fifth as junior pitcher Emily Schuttish held UC San Diego to four runs and seven hits while striking out four.
UCSD's Sherriah Harrington hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, but the lead only held until the top of the third inning, when the Gaucho bats started to click.
In the next at-bat, junior first baseman Rayna Cohen hit the Gauchos' second home run of the season with a blast to right center field, a two-run shot that gave the visitors a 3-2 advantage.
Fabian tacked on another run for UCSB in the fourth with a single back to the pitcher, scoring freshman Lauren Lewis.
Then, the Gauchos piled on five in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Denehy singled in sophomore catcher Teah Thies to add a fifth run. After that, junior right fielder Ally Nodohara scored as McNally reached on a fielder's choice to make it 6-2. Freshman third baseman Ashley Donaldson brought in Denehy on a single in the ensuing plate appearance, and then Rayna Cohen did the same, but scored two as McNally and Donaldson came across the plate.
UC San Diego scored a third run in the fifth, but the Gauchos furthered their grip on the game when McNally slammed the ball over the fence in right field for a solo home run to make it 10-3.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh when UCSD's Keila Bosinger hit a solo homer.
Game two: UCSD 11, UCSB 3 (6 innings):
The Tritons put together four-run showings in both the first and fifth innings before walking off the game in the sixth inning due to the run-rule.
Cohen struck first blood for the Gauchos with an RBI single, scoring McNally, but then a fielder's choice bunt by UCSD's Bobbi Aguirre tied things up at one-all. Shortly afterward, Deena Pederson hit a bases-loaded triple, making it 4-1 to the hosts.
In the third inning, UCSB junior second baseman Maci Fines hit an RBI single that brought in Donaldson to cut the deficit to two.
UCSD's Kinley Kyro then hit a sac fly in the bottom half to the frame to lead 5-2.
The scoring dried up until the fifth inning, when McNally crossed the plate after Fabian reached first on an error by the second baseman as the Gauchos once again found themselves down by two.
After that, it was all Tritons as they scored four runs in the fifth and finished it off with a two-run home run in the sixth, walking off the contest and setting up the grudge match in tomorrow's first game of the day, the final Big West-countable game of the series.
The Gauchos finish their series at UC San Diego in a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.