Gauchos beat Ducks, Shockers to open season

TEMPE, Ariz. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team got the 2009 season off to a great start on Friday as they posted wins over Oregon – a team receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Poll – and Wichita State on the first day of the Kajikawa Classic being hosted by Arizona State this weekend in Tempe, Ariz. The Gauchos (2-0) defeated Oregon, 4-2, before posting an 8-5 victory over Wichita State. 
Against Oregon, sophomore third baseman Jessica Beristianos led UCSB going 2-for-3 with three RBI, a double and a home run. Senior first baseman Christine Ramos went 3-for-4 with a run. 
At the bottom of the third, Ramos led off with a single and one out later, Tiffany Wright singled putting two runners on. Beristianos followed with a double to center field driving Ramos and Wright home. 

The Ducks followed suit and scored a pair of runs off of Kelsey Chambers’ double to tie the game at 2-2.
UCSB regained the lead at the bottom of the fourth when pinch runner Jackie Conlin scored an unearned run on a two-out infield single from Ramos. The final run of the game came during the fifth inning when Beristianos hit a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Gauchos a 4-2 advantage.
Junior MeLinda Matsumoto (1-0) picked up the win in the circle after pitching a complete game allowing two earned runs on six hits. She walked one and struck out one. 
Freshman Samantha Skillingstad threw a complete game for the Ducks, striking out six, walking one and allowing eight hits. Three of the four runs she allowed were earned. 
While the veterans stepped-up against Oregon, it was the freshmen that dominated in the second win of the day. Shortstop Keilani Jennings led the squad with a 3-for-4 showing with two homers, five RBI and an additional run. Her classmate Amanda Ziegler went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Catcher Lainey DePompa rounded out the standout rookie performances, going 2-for-3 at the plate. 
The four home runs against Wichita State ties the UCSB school record for homers in a game.  
UCSB got on the board first at the top of the fourth inning when Jennings hit a two-out, two-run homer to center field. Amanda Ziegler was up next and she followed with her first home run of the game to put the Gauchos ahead, 3-0.
The Shockers cut the lead at the bottom of the same inning with a pair of RBI singles from Tiffany Dahlquist and BreAnna Brown. A solo home run by Kiersten Dixon at the bottom of the fifth tied the game and a two-run homer from Jamie Hull gave Wichita State its first lead of the game at 5-3.
Down, but not out, UCSB responded at the top of the sixth when Jennings hit a one-out single to get on base. A home run from Ziegler followed, tying the game at 5-5. 
At the top of the next inning, Wright hit a two-out single up the middle before Beristianos walked putting two runners on. Jennings homered for the second time giving the Gauchos an 8-5 advantage. Two Shockers got on base in the bottom of the inning, but UCSB escaped unscathed and with the victory. 
Freshman Krista Cobb (1-0) picked up the win after pitching the final two innings, allowing just one hit and no runs. She struck out three. Senior Lindsey Correa started and played 4.1 innings. She allowed five earned runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out two. 
For Wichita State, Kasha Kolb took the loss after allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits in her 6.2 innings of work. She walked two and struck out one. 
“It was a solid start to the season,” said head coach Brie Galicinao of the two victories. “Mel (Matsumoto) finished her game and was able to shutdown the top of Oregon lineup (at the end of the game). Against Wichita State, the pitchers did a good job of working together. The team remained composed and played a good small game and when we needed them, we had big timely hits. 
“Having the freshmen contribute was great,” she continued. “It was good to see them step-up and perform on the big stage.”
UCSB will continue action at the Kajikawa Classic on Saturday when they take on McNeese State and Wagner. They are scheduled to face McNeese at 2:30 p.m. (MT) and Wagner at 5 p.m.