With the season coming to an end, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos hosted the UC Riverside Highlanders for their final home games of the season. The results did not go as planned, as the Gauchos won the opening game but lost the next two.
On Friday, May 5, the Gauchos and the Highlanders were set to play a doubleheader. In the first game of the day, both teams found themselves in a pitchers’ duel.
Junior pitcher Camryn Snyder took the circle for the Gauchos as she looked to keep the winning streak alive and get her 13th win of the season.
Through 3 innings of work, Snyder kept the Highlanders scoreless as the Gauchos struck first in the bottom of the third inning. Junior catcher Ashley Donaldson put UCSB ahead, as she hit a sacrifice fly to score junior outfielder Lauren Lewis.
Pitching with a lead, Snyder kept her foot on the gas, as she continued to keep UCR off the board. The Gauchos pushed one more run on the board as Donaldson earned another RBI off a single in the bottom of the fifth inning.
With a 2-run lead, Snyder pitched a complete game shutout, only allowing 3 hits while striking out 4 to give herself her 13th win.
The Gauchos found themselves behind early in the following game, as the Highlanders scored first. In the top of the second inning, UCR put their own rally together, as 4 hits in the inning resulted in an RBI single to give them the early 1-0 advantage.
Roles flipped from the first game, as the Gauchos struggled to get anything going on the offensive side. UCSB did have a small opportunity to score multiple runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, as they found themselves with bases loaded but with 2 outs.
UCSB did not score in the sixth inning, but they finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh as senior infielder Korie Thomas hit an RBI single. However, the Highlanders added 3 more runs to their total before the bottom half of the inning. The Gauchos did not score after the one run, as they split the doubleheader losing 4-1.
In the final game of the series, both teams remained scoreless through 3 innings of work. In the bottom of the fourth, Thomas gave UCSB the early advantage, as she hit an RBI single to make it 1-0 Gauchos.
It did not take long for the Highlanders to respond, as in the top of the fifth, UCR went to the long ball to tie it up at 1-1.
The game remained tied, resulting in both teams dueling it out in extra innings. In the top of the eighth inning, UCR broke the tie after UCSB hit a batter with bases loaded, resulting in an RBI hit by pitch.
UCSB limited the damage to one to give themselves to tie it or win it in the bottom half of the inning. The Gauchos continued to battle, as sophomore outfielder Alexa Sams hit an RBI single to tie it up again.
The Gauchos had a chance to win it, as Sams was on second base with only 1 out in the bottom half of the inning. UCSB could not take advantage of the situation, as they headed into the top of the ninth inning.
UCR blew the game open from there, as an error from UCSB proved to be costly. The Highlanders scored 3 runs to give themselves a 5-2 lead. The Gauchos went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, resulting in a series loss.
The Gauchos will travel to California State University, Northridge next weekend, May ___ for their last conference matchup. A doubleheader is scheduled for Friday, May 12, and a single game on Saturday, May 13.
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