Softball team loses three against Santa Barbara

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The CSUN softball team had a difficult time in Santa Barbara this past weekend, losing three straight games to the Gauchos, 7-6, 3-1 and 9-0 to fall to 3-12 in the Big West Conference.

In game one, the Gauchos went ahead 1-0 on the first batter of the game when Brittany Putich homered to left field. CSUN came right back though, getting three runs in the second inning.

Junior Jan Moshier led off with a single and junior Janine Grund was hit by a pitch to put two on. Jennifer Davis retired the next two hitters before sophomore Erin Sigala hit her first collegiate home run over the right field fence to give the Matadors a 3-1 lead. CSUN made it 4-1 in the third when junior Emilee Moores led off with a walk and scored two batters later on a single by Moshier.

The Gauchos cut the lead to 4-3 in the third when Kendra Singley homered to right with Jessica Hejna on base. CSUN increased the lead right back to three in the sixth inning with a pair of runs. With two outs, Moores doubled to left to score freshman Jen Whitcomb and Sigala giving CSUN a 6-3 lead.

UCSB cut the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth when Danielle Meyers singled in Singley, then tied the game with two runs in the seventh.

Senior Kia Fennell, who entered the game in the sixth in relief of Sigala, walked four of the first five batters of the inning to force in one run and hit Lindsey Herrin with the bases still loaded to tie the game at six and send the game into extra innings.

The Matadors had chances to win it in extra innings, but stranded runners at second and third with two outs in the eighth inning and runners at first and second with one out in the 10th inning. Overall, CSUN left 11 runners on base for the game.

The Gauchos ended the three-hour, 40-minute game in the 10th when Hejna singled in Karyna Wilkerson with the game-winner giving UCSB the 7-6 victory.

Sigala went five-plus innings and allowed four runs on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Fennell went 4 2/3 innings in relief allowing three runs on three hits and six walks while striking out three.

In game two, UCSB got the first run, marking the eighth straight game that the opponent has scored first against the Matadors. In the fourth, Meyers drove in Hejna on a single to make the score 1-0. The Gauchos extended their lead to 3-0 in the fifth when Davis doubled home Putich and Hejna.

CSUN got on the board in the sixth when Martin led off with a double down the left field line and Grund walked. One out later, freshman Jackie Duree grounded a ball to shortstop Putich, who went to third to try and get Martin.

However, Putich’s throw hit Martin in the back and went into the UCSB dugout, allowing Martin to score and making it 3-1. CSUN would have runners at second and third with one out, but Lindsey Sommer got sophomore Lauren Allen and Dishner on groundouts to end the threat.

The Matadors got a pair of walks in the seventh, but left both, stranding nine in the second game.

In game three, which was played Sunday, for the second time in three games, Putich got the Gauchos off to a 1-0 lead with a lead off home run to center in the first inning. Hejna followed with a double down the right field line, and two outs later, came home when Jennifer Davis hit a homer to left making the score 3-0.

The Gauchos added an unearned run in the second inning. With one out, Nicole Churnock walked, Putich reached on an error and Hejna singled to right to load the bases.

That was the end for Sigala, who was relieved by Fennell. After Fennell struck out Kendra Singley, Lindsey Herrin singled to left to score Churnock to give the Gauchos a 4-0 lead.

UCSB scored another run in the third after two more Matador errors. Karyna Wilkerson and Brenda Lira reached on back-to-back CSUN errors to start the inning. One out later, Fennell issued consecutive walks to Putich and Hejna to force in Wilkerson and make the score 5-0.

UCSB added two more runs in the fourth on the third homer of the game. Herrin led off with a single, and one batter later, Danielle Meyers hit a home run over the right field wall to make the score 7-0.

The Gauchos enforced the mercy rule in the fifth inning. With Putich on first, Hejna hit Santa Barbara’s fourth home run of the game to right to give UCSB the 9-0 victory and the series sweep.