Santa Barbara, Calif. - For the second time on the weekend the Tigers suffered a setback in their Big West title defense as Pacific fell in five innings, 11-2, to UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, April 22. The loss dropped the Tigers into a four-way tie for first place in the Big West at 8-4 while falling to 29-16 overall on the year. The Gauchos improved to 8-4 in the conference and 23-26 overall. The Tigers find themselves in a tie with UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and Long Beach State after all three second place teams took home series wins over the weekend with wins on Sunday.
A game that initially appeared as if it would be a back-and-forth battle between the two teams quickly turned into a one-sided affair as the Gauchos used a nine-run third to take apart the Tigers. In the third, the Gauchos sent 13 batters to the plate, produced nine hits and plated nine runs to take a 2-2 game to the final 11-2 mark that the game would end on.
Prior to the huge inning for the Gauchos, the two teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning as the Tigers struck first before giving back the runs in the bottom half of the inning. In their first trip to the plate, the Tigers picked up their two runs on one big swing of the bat as junior Nikki Armagost shook off a rough first day with a two-run home run deep over the right field wall. Despite the advantage, Pacific's lead would be short lived as the Gauchos took advantage of a leadoff error by Pacific to post two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Overall, the Gauchos posted 13 hits in the contest, four coming outside of the third inning to hand freshman Dani Bonnet her sixth loss of the season. Bonnet lasted 2.1 innings while giving up six hits and five runs, only three earned. Her counterpart, Shelby Wisdom, took her second win of the weekend over the Tigers as she went all five innings to bring her weekend total to 20 complete innings. The freshman also added two hits and four RBI as it was her three-run home run in the third that started things for the Gauchos and ran Bonnet from the contest.
The run-shortened loss for the Tigers was just their second of the season as Pacific fell in six at UCLA in just the second game of the season.
The Tigers will look to get back on track on Saturday, April 28 when they host Cal Poly in a doubleheader at Bill Simoni Field. The first game of the day is scheduled for 12:00 pm.