SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Charleston Southern fell in both games of the doubleheader on the road at UC Santa Barbara to open up their California trip this weekend, falling in the first game 3-2, and the nightcap 6-3.
The Buccaneers led in both games, but were unable to hold off the Gauchos in their final at-bats in each game as UC Santa Barbara pushed across a combined six runs over the final inning in each game to take the wins.
Charleston Southern fell to 16-10 overall with the pair of losses to the Gauchos. The Bucs continue their road trip at the Easton Tournament tomorrow afternoon as CSU takes on Nebraska and DePaul at Cal State Fullerton. First pitch against the Cornhuskers is set for 12:30 p.m. EDT, while the Bucs will take on DePaul at 3 p.m. EDT.
Game One: UC Santa Barbara 3, Charleston Southern 2
The Gauchos pushed across three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to hold off Charleston Southern in the opener despite a strong pitching performance from Cheyenne Gandara as UC Santa Barbara strung together five consecutive singles in the comeback win.
Gandara (11-6) put the Bucs ahead with a two-run single in the top of the first, but the sophomore ace was unable to overcome giving up 12 hits in the contest in falling for the sixth time in the 2015 season. Gandara, the Big South strikeouts leader by a wide margin coming into the contest, added eight more to her totals on the season in 6.1 innings.
Alex Pingree (5-4) recorded the win on the afternoon, scattering six hits while giving up two runs and striking out four in the complete game effort.
Gandara wasted little time in putting the Buccaneers on top in their first at-bats. Amanda Matsumoto led off the frame with a single to left and Stevi Johnson followed with a double to put two on with none out. Gandara followed with a single to center, scoring both runners to give the Bucs the 2-0 lead.
The game settled into a pitching duel between Gandara and Pingree before the Gauchos threatened in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. Gandara escaped the frame with a strikeout, but UCSB pushed across the winning runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Shelby Wisdom connected on a two-run single up the middle, while MeShalon Moore followed with the walk-off base hit scoring Arianna Palmares to end the game.
Johnson and Gandara led the Bucs with two hits apiece in the loss.
Game Two: UC Santa Barbara 6, Charleston Southern 3
Brooke Lein had a pair of RBI doubles to lead the Buccaneers offense in the second game of the afternoon doubleheader, but it was not enough for Charleston Southern to earn the split on the day as the Gauchos scored two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth for their second come-from-behind win of the day.
Similar to the first game, CSU jumped ahead early as the Bucs utilized back-to-back doubles in the second inning and an RBI single by Matsumoto in taking the 2-0 lead. Georgi DeLio connected on a one-out double down the right field line before Lein connected on her first extra-base hit of the contest to straightaway centerfield for the first run of the game. Lein came around to score two batters later on Matsumoto's single through the right side of the infield.
Wisdom drove in UCSB's first run of the game in the bottom of the third as Wisdom doubled in Palomares against CSU starter Jennifer Giles (4-5).
The Gauchos tied the contest up in the bottom of the fifth on a Moore RBI single and a run scoring on a CSU error, before taking the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth with Moore driving in two on a two-out single.
Giles went the distance in the contest, taking the loss in allowing 11 hits and six runs (five earned), while striking out four.
Matsumoto led the CSU offense going 3-for-4 from the plate with an RBI single, while Lein's two doubles were tops between both teams.