The UCSB softball team claimed its first series win of the 2022 season after beating out UC Davis 6-2 in the rubber match. The Gauchos fell to the Aggies 10-2 just before the series finale. Santa Barbara played incredible defense in the final game of the series, helping them take the win and improve their record to 14-33 on the season and 5-16 in Big West Play.
Tyler Goldstein notched another multi-hit game, going two-for-three at the plate – including an RBI single to bring in a run from Alexa Sams.
Maci Fines recorded her 48th hit of the season, setting a new career-high.
The Gauchos’ three other hits came from first baseman Rayna Cohen, pitcher Lexy Mills, and right fielder Sam Denehy.
Alyssa Molina earned the start, tossing 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits while walking five and striking out three.
The first couple of innings were quiet for both teams and it was the Aggies who would get on the board first – scoring two runs on two hits in the bottom of the third.
UCSB responded in the fourth with two runs of their own from Alexa Sams and Sam Denehy, tying the game at 2-2.
Unfortunately, this would turn out to be the only two runs from the Gauchos. The Aggies had a late rally as they scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, six of which were unearned. The game ended then as Davis run-ruled Santa Barbara.
Lexy Mills tossed her sixth full game of the series and was the pitcher of record, improving to 4-11 on the season. Mills also had an impressive offensive game, going 3-for-4 at the plate, and notched a run of her own.
Tyler Goldstein extended her hit-streak to eight straight, setting a new season high. She recorded two hits, including an RBI double as Mills came home.
Ally Nodohara roped an RBI single, making it her 17th of the season and is now one away from breaking a new career high.
The remaining three hits came from catcher Teah Thies, third baseman Korie Thomas, and shortstop Chloe Stewart.
The Gauchos outhit their opponents 9-8 and struck out one.
Santa Barbara scored first in the top of the second inning, starting off with a Nodohara ground ball that popped right out of the Aggies’ shortstop’s glove, giving Lauren Lewis and Korie Thomas time to reach and take a 2-0 lead.
UCSB had a beautiful play in the bottom of the third as they got two Aggies stuck in a pickle, ultimately tagging both out after swift defensive shifts were made by the Gauchos.
Another Santa Barbara run came in the fourth after a Thomas walk and a Stewart sacrifice bunt put Thomas in scoring position. Nodohara followed it up with an RBI single to bring Thomas across the plate, improving their lead to 3-0.
The Aggies responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth.
The Gauchos had their best and last offensive run in the fifth. Lexy Mills kicked things off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third after an Aggie error that also put Thies on first. Wasting no time, Goldstein hit a 1-0 ball down the left field line, bringing Mills home. Thomas singled to shortstop as Goldstein advanced to third and Thies made it across the plate. Freshman Lucy Mogan then put up a sacrifice fly allowing Goldstein to score the final run for the Gauchos – putting the score at 6-1.
UC Davis found a late run in the sixth, but the Gaucho defense held strong for the final inning as they took the 6-2 win.
The Gauchos will continue their road stint with a non-conference matchup on Tuesday at Fresno State, followed by a three-game series at UC Riverside.
Britt Calvillo writes about sports for UCSB.