Down a run in the decisive seventh inning of its season opener against Northern Colorado, the UCSB softball team did not panic Thursday night. Instead, the Gauchos coolly put three runners on base and then sent them home for a 6-4 win. And who was the mighty bat that knocked in the runs? None other than freshman designated hitter Kelly McDonald, playing in her first career game as a Gaucho.
McDonald’s grand slam sent home fellow freshman Keilani Jennings to tie the game, junior infielder Jessica Beristianos to win it, and senior catcher Kelsey Anderson and herself for good measure. It was McDonald’s second hit of the game and notched her second run to go with four RBIs.
Sophomore pitcher Krista Cobb notched a complete game, allowing 10 runners and three earned runs in seven innings of work. She also struck out eight batters.
Jennings reached base in every plate appearance, recording two hits and two walks in her first UCSB game.
Santa Barbara’s star senior, first baseman Jessica Ziegler, went 2-4 but did not get on the scoreboard.
Today, UCSB will take place in game two and three of five in the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. The Gauchos will take on Tulsa and BYU before tomorrow’s games against Maine and Utah Valley.