It was a frustrating weekend for the UCSB softball team after collecting just one win in the four games it competed in at the San Diego Classic II. The Gauchos lost their first three games of the Classic before pulling away with a win Saturday afternoon against Colorado State.

Jessica Johnston slides into third base right before the ball. Dustin Harris/Daily Nexus

Jessica Johnston slides into third base right before the ball. Dustin Harris/Daily Nexus

UCSB started out the action on Friday morning with a 4-3 loss to Colorado State. Starting pitcher Holly Reinke pitched a complete game six hitter for the Rams to pick up her seventh win of the season. She gave up three runs and struck out seven Gauchos.

Santa Barbara freshman starter Veronika Gulvin pitched through 5.1 innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. She gave way to freshman pitcher Ashley Wright who closed out the game in relief, giving up two more runs.

In the game, the Gauchos went ahead 1-0 in the first inning on a single by freshman first baseman Sierra Altmeyer, bringing in junior outfielder Kristen Clark for the score as she had singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a Colorado error.

The Gauchos led through the first six innings until the Rams came back to score four runs on two hits and an error in the sixth, earning a 4-1 lead.

UCSB tried to take the lead again in the seventh, but could only bring home two, resulting in the 4-3 loss. The Gauchos managed to put the tying run on second with 2 outs in the inning, but Reinke struck out Jennifer Johnston to end the game. The loss extended the Gaucho losing streak to three games.

In the Gauchos’ Friday night game against San Jose State, their losing streak was extended to four games as the Spartans crushed Santa Barbara 12-3.

The nine run margin is the largest deficit UCSB has endured since playing Texas A&M earlier in the season. San Jose starter Chantrelle Ladner pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on seven hits in seven innings, while striking out six to pick up her fourth win of the year.

For the Gauchos, second baseman Arianna Palomares and DP Jacqueline Hinojosa each collected two hits apiece in the game. The Gauchos scored all three of their runs in the second inning. The three runs were tallied by Palomares, senior Samantha Stark, and freshman Melanie Menor.

San Jose’s powerful lineup took its toll on the Gauchos’ pitching staff, as it recorded 12 hits on the day, with home runs by outstanding sophomore outfielder Brittany Abacherli and infielder Arissa Pinedo.  Abacherli went 2-4 with three RBI’s, while Pinedo knocked in four RBI’s with two runs scored.  Gaucho starter Ashley Ludlow lasted only one inning, giving up four earned runs while striking out two.

The Gauchos’ weekend only got worse when it took on the BYU Cougars on Saturday morning, losing 8-0 in just five innings. BYU starting pitcher McKenna Bull deserved all the attention in this one as she threw a masterful five inning no-hitter.  This was Bull’s second no-hitter of the year as she gave up just one walk.

She struck out seven Gauchos in the game, striking out the side in the fifth to close it out. Cougar DP Madison Merrell went 2-3 in the game with a home run and four RBI’s.

The UCSB pitching staff seemed to run out of steam when it allowed five runs in the fifth inning, all off Gulvin who had replaced Ludlow in relief.  Ludlow had a tough day giving up five earned runs in four innings.

The only Gaucho baserunner in the game came on a walk to Altmeyer leading off the second inning.  However, she was left stranded at first base as the Gauchos simply couldn’t find contact at the plate against Bull’s pitching.

Riding a five game losing streak, UCSB managed to turn things around in its Saturday afternoon game against Colorado State. After facing them the day before, the Gauchos knew what it would take to get a win, and that’s to score early as they won the game 11-7 in a slugfest.  Santa Barbara scored six runs in the third to break open its lead.

The Gauchos were paced by center fielder Stacy Cavazos who hit a home run and finished with four RBI’s. Second basemen Arianna Palomares also hit a home run and drove in two runs. Right fielder Jessica Johnston went 4-5 at the plate with two runs scored.

In addition, Altmeyer and third basemen Emily Brucelas each had 2 RBI’s a piece.

Gaucho sophomore starting pitcher Lena Mayer picked up her fifth win on the year, scattering seven hits and four runs while striking out two.

Rams’ starter Bridgette Hutton took her fifth loss of the season after giving up six runs on five hits in just two innings while striking out one batter.

In Sunday’s game, the Gauchos took on San Diego State again and lost in heartbreaking fashion 6-5 on a walk-off solo homer by Aztec third baseman Molly Sturdivant leading off the bottom of the seventh. It was Sturdivant’s only hit in the game.

The game started out well for the Gauchos as they scored three runs in the first inning capped by a two-run homer from second baseman Emily Brucelas.

Kristen Clark led off the inning with a single, and she was sacrificed to second by Palomares. While facing two outs, Altmeyer doubled home Palomares, followed by the Brucelas home run to make it a 3-0 Gauchos’ lead. Santa Barbara added an unearned run in the second to make it 4-0 and registered its fifth run in the sixth inning.

The Aztecs battled back however, with two runs in the second and a run in the fifth before tying it at five all with two more runs in the sixth on three hits when San Diego brought 9 batters to the plate.

In the top of the seventh, the Gauchos rallied, putting two runners on base.  They got as far as third base with two outs before UCSB’s opportunity to possibly score ended on a flyout to centerfield off the bat of Stacy Cavazos.

The Gauchos were led by Brucelas and shortstop Melanie Menor in the losing effort.

Brucelas went 2-4 in the game with the home run and two RBI’s, while Menor went 3-3 at the plate with a run scored.  Also contributing for UCSB was Clark who had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.

The Gauchos had 13 hits in the game. Starting pitcher Ashley Ludlow pitched well for the Gauchos giving up just three earned runs in 5.2 innings while scattering eight hits and striking out two.  Veronika Gulvin came on in relief in the 7th and took the loss.

UCSB will look to rebound next weekend when it returns home to host the Gaucho Classic II, and will take on Bakersfield, Seattle, Santa Clara and San Diego once again.