SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—The University of Hawai'i softball team dropped the series opener at UC Santa Barbara, 9-3 on Friday afternoon at Campus Diamond in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Brittany Hitchcock suffered the loss, dropping her record to 9-14 overall. She gave up five runs--three earned--on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.2 innings. Kanani Aina Cabrales threw the final 3.1 innings, allowing four runs--one earned--on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
The Rainbow Wahine got on the scoreboard first, posting one run to start the game. Sarah Muzik led the game off with a single through the right-side of the infield. She however, was called for leaving the base early for the first out. Jennifer Iseri followed with an infield hit to third. After a flyout to centerfield, Keiki Carlos drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Heather Morales then drove in Iseri from second with a single hit back up the middle. Breanna Ojala then loaded the bases with the second walk of the inning, but the Gauchos got a inning-ending fielder's choice to stop the rally.
UCSB tied the game up in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Arianna Palomares to drive in Jessica Johnston. After one complete inning, the score was knotted at 1-1.
UC Santa Barbara then erupted for four runs in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff walk, UH got two outs on a sacrifice bunt that moved the runner to second and a ground out to short. But, UCSB then got back-to-back doubles followed by a throwing error on the shortstop—all which allowed a run each. The Gauchos went on to load the bases and added another run on a single by Jacqueline Hinojosa that scored Samantha Stark to close the day for Hitchcock. Aina Cabrales then entered and fanned the first batter she faced to end the inning.
The Gauchos added a run in the fourth on a two-out double by Palomares to drive in Johnston from third.
The 'Bows got one run back in the top of the sixth as Rachael Turner hit an opposite-field, sacrifice fly to left to drive in Sarah McAndrew who was pinch-running for Morales who had walked earlier in the frame.
UCSB responded and put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth, adding three runs on three hits and an error. In all the Gauchos scored seven of their nine runs on two-out rallys.
Hawai'i kept fighting, scoring one run in the top of the seventh on a Lopez double to the left-centerfield gap to drive in Muzik from first. Carlos followed with another double but Lopez was caught at the plate trying to score from second for the third out.
UC Santa Barbara's Ashley Ludlow improved her record to 9-13 to earn a complete game win. She gave up three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strike outs.
Hawai'i and UC Santa Barbara will square off in a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. PT on Saturday to end the three-game conference series.