SFT: Moore, Wisdom carry Gauchos to sweep

RIVERSIDE – Behind MeShalon Moore’s big hits and Shelby Wisdom’s performance in the circle, UC Santa Barbara completed the series sweep at UC Riverside with a 5-3 win on Sunday.

Wisdom put in a complete game while only allowing two earned runs off three hits. The victory was her 21st of the season and 62nd of her career, which ties Sandy Ortigies for the most in program history. Ortigies has held the record since 1987.

The Gauchos have tied Long Beach State for first place in the league with a 13-5 record, while they improve to 33-18 overall. UC Riverside drops to 22-29 and 3-15 in conference play.

Out of the gates, Moore got UCSB’s offense firing, as she ran in the game’s first run with a double to left field in the first inning. Wisdom picked up a walk with two outs to get on base and was sent home on the next at bat thanks to her batterymate’s double. With Moore on second, Kathryn Pilpil continued the scoring and dropped a single into center field to give the Gauchos a 2-0 lead.

Wisdom kept the Highlanders quiet on offense early, as she mowed through the first six batters through two innings. At the top of the third, Wisdom kept UCSB’s offensive momentum going with a one out double. Again, Moore delivered an RBI and, this time, belted a single to right field to put Santa Barbara on top 3-0.

Riverside mustered up one run to get on the board by the time the fifth inning rolled around. However, the Gauchos continued to find success at the plate. Facing one out and both runners in scoring position, Emily Brucelas recorded a sacrifice fly to bring Moore in for the score, while Samantha Stark remained at second base. She wouldn’t wait much longer, as Stacy Cavazos’ single during the next at bat gave her the green light to cross home plate and give UCSB the 5-1 advantage.

The Highlanders tried to put together a late comeback, but the Gaucho defense proved too much. In the bottom of the seventh, Sommer Wilson led off with a single to left field. She eventually advanced to second on a groundout and scored off a double from Kris DeAnda. The run moved to 5-3, but that’s as close as UCR would get.

With two runners in scoring position, Wisdom retired the final two batters of the game on back-to-back fly outs to seal the win.

UCSB will host Long Beach State next weekend in the final week of the regular season, as the teams will bout for the 2014 Big West title. The series will open with a doubleheader on Friday May 9 starting at 12 p.m.