FRESNO, Calif. -- UC Santa Barbara's Arianna Palomares' walkoff sacrifice fly drove home Stacy Cavazos with the winning run in the eighth inning of the Gauchos' 3-2 victory over Sacramento State on Friday afternoon.
The Hornets (0-2) were playing the first of five games during the three-day Fresno State Softball Kickoff. Sacramento State will play later this evening against tournament host Fresno State, two more games tomorrow and one on Sunday.
Both teams were tied, 2-2, after seven innings and the tiebreaker rule went into effect allowing teams to begin each inning with a runner at second base. After the Hornets failed to score in the top of the eighth, the Gauchos (4-2) received an infield single from Kristen Clark to put runners at the corners with no outs before Palomares drove a ball into left-center field that was deep enough to score the winning run.
The game could have easily been a 2-1 Hornet victory, but a pair of Sacramento State errors on the same play in the bottom of the fifth inning allowed the Gauchos to tie the score at 2-2. With one out in the inning and no one on base, a Clark bunt was fielded by Hornet third baseman Alyssa Vanderdrink, but her throw sailed into the right field corner. Clark sped all the way to third base and stopped, but took off for home after right fielder Paige Martin's throw back to the infield was errant.
Both Hornet losses this year have come by one run, and both were impacted by defensive play, including a mishandled ground ball that allowed the lone run to score in a 1-0 loss to UC Davis on Wednesday.
After the Gauchos scored a run in the first inning, the Hornets scored single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings on RBI-singles from Martin and Alexa Chattleton, respectively. Later in the fifth, Sacramento State eventually loaded the bases with one out but could not push another run across.
The game was another tough-luck loss for Hornet starter Caitlin Brooks who has now allowed just two earned runs in 13.1 innings this year, but has picked up the loss in both games. Today, she allowed six hits and three runs (only one earned) while walking none and striking out eight batters.
For UC Santa Barbara, Shelby Wisdom (2-1) went the distance for the win, allowing eight hits and two runs over eight innings. Sacramento State left at least one runner on base in every inning but the third, and stranded nine runners on base during the game.
Seven different Hornets had hits in today's game, including Chattleton who went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
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