Gauchos knock off Big West champ in preseason tourney

SAN DIEGO UCSB (5-4) defeated defending Big West Conference Champion Long Beach State (3-4), 8-3, in eight innings to highlight action on Saturday at the Campbell/Cartier Classic being hosted by No. 24 San Diego State (4-2). Unfortunately, the Gauchos dropped their final contest of the tournament to the host Aztecs, 5-1.
In the first game of the day against Long Beach State, the Gauchos were tied 3-3 with the 49er’s after seven innings forcing a tiebreaker. At the top of the eighth, sophomore Katie McWhirter was placed on second base. Freshman Lainey DePompa and senior Jackie Conlin each earned walks, loading the bases with no outs. Senior Christine Ramos hit a two-RBI single through the right side, breaking the tie and giving UCSB a 5-3 lead.

Junior Jessica Ziegler hit a sacrifice fly to center field during the next at-bat, bringing Conlin home. One out later, sophomore Jessica Beristianos hit a two-run homer over the left field fence, giving UCSB an 8-3 advantage.
Long Beach’s Jodi Nakawatase earned a walk to put two runners on for the 49ers at the bottom of the eighth. The next batter fouled out and the Gauchos were able to end the game with a double play during the next at-bat to take the 8-3 nonconference victory. 
Beristianos led the squad going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Senior Tiffany Wright was 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and a run. 
In the circle, freshman Jenny Liepman (1-0) picked up her first win of the season after shutting out the 49ers in the final 5.2 innings of the game. She did not allow a hit while walking four and striking out two. 
The following game, UCSB got on the scoreboard first when freshman Keilani Jennings hit a solo home run over the left field fence. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, that would be their lone run of the game. 
At the top of the fifth inning, Erin Floros hit a two-out, RBI double to left field tying the game at 1-1. Felicia Reifschneider then reached on a wild pitch before Tonye McCorkle hit a RBI triple to right center field, giving the Aztecs their first lead of the game. 
A home run by Taryin Casillas stretched San Diego State’s advantage to 4-1. A RBI double from Brittany Knudsen at the top of the sixth gave SDSU its final run of the game. 
Ramos went 2-for-4 at the plate and was the only Gaucho to have multiple hits against SDSU. In the circle, Krista Cobb (2-2) took the loss after pitching 4.2 innings and allowing four earned runs on six hits. She walked three and struck out three. MeLinda Matsumoto closed the game and allowed one run on three hits. She walked one and fanned one batter. 
The Gauchos’ final game of the Campbell/Cartier Classic against Stanford on Sunday has been cancelled. Sunday’s tournament schedule was altered due to a rained out game on Friday evening.  UCSB will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 19 when they head to the Cathedral City Classic. The Gauchos will take on NC State and Maryland on the first day of that tournament.