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Feb. 26, 2016

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A two-out rally in the seventh inning by UC Santa Barbara (5-6) led the Gauchos to a 4-3 win over South Carolina (9-2) in the first game of the Gaucho Classic at the Campus Diamond.

The Gauchos came back with two down and one runner on in the seventh. Pinch hitter Ashley Wright singled down the third-base line, and Kristen Clark followed with another single to load the bases. Arianna Palomares made it a one-run game with her single to right. Consecutive walks tied the game, the last to Sierra Altmeyer forcing home the run. Emily Brucelas ended the contest with her hit through the middle.

South Carolina owned the lead early in the contest. Sophomore third baseman Kamryn Watts came through with a two-out RBI single in the second, scoring senior catcher Jordan Bizzell from second after the stole the bag to reach scoring position, to put South Carolina on top 1-0.

The Gamecocks added two more after loading the bases with two outs in the sixth. Senior centerfielder Ansley Ard lined one off Gaucho starting pitcher Ashley Ludlow’s shin, allowing sophomore pinch runner Krystan White to score. Senior left fielder Alaynie Page drew a walk to end Ludlow’s day and force in the third run.

Gaucho Claudia Puente (1-0) gained her first collegiate win with a hitless 1.1 innings of relief. Junior Nickie Blue (3-2) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and five walks in 6.2 innings. She struck out three.

Game Changer:
The Gauchos never quit, with Ashley Wright’s pinch-hit single, just the fourth allowed by Blue in the game, sparking the comeback.

Key Stat:
South Carolina left nine runners on base.

– Bizzell scored two Gamecock runs and stole a base.
– Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer doubled, the only extra-base hit in the contest.
– Page drew two walks and went 1-for-2.
– Gaucho Jessica Johnston was never retired by the Gamecocks, walking twice, getting hit once while going 1-for-1.
– Clark and Palomares both went 2-for-4.
– Jacqueline Hinojosa also walked twice.
– The loss ended the Gamecocks’ nine-game winning streak.