Riverside softball finishes disappointing season with a victory against Santa Barbara

Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER
Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER

May 10, 2013

Gauchos 1 – Highlanders 0

The Riverside softball team was looking to bounce back from a sweep at the hands Cal State Northridge last weekend when they hit the field in Santa Barbara on Friday. The Gauchos, however, had a different plan, defeating the Highlanders 1-0 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The lone run of the game was scored in the bottom of the first inning when Santa Barbara’s Jessica Teztlaff singled a 1-2 pitch into left field with the bases loaded for an RBI. Riverside would get out of the inning without conceding any additional runs, but that turned out to be the only one necessary as superb pitching on both sides led to a scoreless final six innings.

Pitcher Alyssa Razo started the game for the visiting Highlanders. She was pulled after an inning and a third of work, however, when a wild pitch allowed a walked runner to advance to second.

Riverside showed life in the seventh inning, getting Dionne Anderson all the way to third via a single and an error. However, she was called out at the plate, trying to score on a ball hit to shortstop by Ashley Ercolano, who reached second due to the fielder’s choice on the play. Alexis Pickett was next at bat, earning a walk. Unfortunately, that’s all the magic the Highlanders could muster up as Natalie Sanchez struck out swinging, ending the game.

May 10, 2013

Gauchos 5 – Highlanders 1

In the nightcap of the doubleheader versus the Santa Barbara Gauchos, UC Riverside once again fell behind early and could not come back, losing 5-1. Three of those runs came in what turned out to be the game’s most important inning: the first.

Santa Barbara managed to get runners on the corners with only one out when Keilani Jennings doubled into center, scoring both runs. Kathryn Pilpil was at bat next and also doubled off Highlander pitcher Sophie Slagle, batting in Jennings.

Slagle’s struggles continued, finding herself with the bases loaded with two outs, then walking the next batter, scoring another run and ending her night. They would end the inning otherwise unscathed, but nonetheless in a four run hole.

Once again, Riverside managed to string together a couple of hits in the seventh, starting with an Ariel Shore single off Santa Barbara pitcher Shelby Wisdom, the same pitcher who held the Highlanders scoreless just hours earlier. An out later, Dionne Anderson doubled to center, scoring Shore. Wisdom then promptly forced two fly outs, ending the inning and the game.

 

May 11, 2013

Highlanders 9 – Gauchos 3

The UC Riverside softball team ended the series and the season on a high note, beating Santa Barbara 9-3 and improving its all-time record versus the Gauchos to 5-39.

Following a similar trend, the Highlanders found themselves behind in the first inning, giving up a run off of two hits and a walk. The rest of the game was all Riverside as the team outscored the Gauchos nine runs to two.

In the second inning Dionne Anderson eventually came out to tie the game at one a piece off of a Brittanie Akey sacrifice fly to right.

The third inning opened up with a bang as Kayla White tripled to right center field. She was then batted in by a sacrifice fly to left field by Ariel Shore, giving UCR a 2-1 lead.

The advantage ballooned in the fourth inning, where the Highlanders scored three runs on two hits. The spurt was helped by two Gaucho errors, which allowed Natalie Sanchez to cross home plate from third.

Despite closing the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth, Santa Barbara could never reclaim the lead from pitcher Ashley Ercolano. Riverside poured on some insurance runs in the sixth with six singles and a stolen base from both Alexis Pickett and Anderson.

With the win, UC Riverside ends the season with a record of 20-35 and a 4-20 mark in Big West conference play. Santa Barbara finishes 31-24 and 12-12, respectively.

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