Beach Splits Opening Doubleheader At UC Santa Barbara
Haley Tobler hit a grand slam to cap a big win in game two.
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Long Beach State recovered from a difficult loss in game one at UC Santa Barbara with an explosive offensive effort in game two, splitting two games against the Gauchos on Saturday.
The Beach lost the first game 3-2 before seizing a 14-6 win in the second game of the doubleheader. Haley Tobler set an individual game high with six RBI, making four hits on the day, her fellow senior Alley Perkins also had four hits and freshman Kelli Finan hit three doubles, including two in the game two win.
Long Beach State (25-17, 5-6 Big West) jumped out to a quick lead as the first three batters of the game each had hits. Perkins singled to get things started, and after another single from LT Torres, Nichole Fry doubled to give the Beach a 1-0 lead.
UC Santa Barbara (22-24, 5-6 Big West)) evened the score in the bottom half. Kristen Clark walked with one out, and after getting pushed to second on a sacrifice, the junior came around to score on an RBI single from Samantha Stark.
The Beach moved back out in front in the fifth inning, as the top of the order came through once more. Perkins and LT Torres hit back-to-back singles to put two on. An infield single from Julia Lombardi loaded the bases, and then Perkins was able to score on a ground ball from Tobler as Torres won the race to third base for safety.
The Gauchos made a move in the sixth, taking the lead for the first time. Kristen Clark reached on an error, and Arianna Palomares curled a home run just inside the foul pole as UCSB took a 3-2 lead.
Long Beach State had one final opportunity in the seventh, as Fry hit another long ball into the gap in right center with one out, but Stacy Cavazos made a diving catch to retire the freshman, and the 49ers were retired as UCSB held on for the win 3-2.
An error swung the tide of the second game after UC Santa Barbara took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run double from Stark.
Finan hit a double to put a runner on, but the Gauchos had two outs and looked to have three on a routine fly ball. Clark dropped the ball, allowing Finan to score and bringing the top of the order to the plate.
Long Beach State jumped on the UCSB miscue. Perkins singled to continue the two-run rally, and after a Torres walk, Fry singled to right field, scoring two and giving the Beach the lead. Singles from Darian Tautalafua and Tobler brought home two more runs as the Beach took a 5-2 lead.
The Gauchos struck back with another two-run double, this time from Cavazos to pull within one. The Beach would once again capitalize on a UCSB error in the top of the fourth. LT Torres reached on an error. With two outs, Tautalafua singled to keep the inning going, and then Tobler singled for an RBI. Doubles from Tierra Falo and Finan scored three more runs, and then Mattie Scheele drove in another run with an RBI single up the middle to make the score 9-4.
UCSB tacked on one more run in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Christina Clermont came on and closed out the inning. Clermont went on to finish off the game, allowing one run and picking up the win, pitching four innings in total.
Long Beach State added more runs in the seventh, as Haley Tobler hit a grand slam after another UCSB error, the fifth and final of the game for the Gauchos. It was the fourth home run of the season for Tobler and the 49ers' second grand slam in 2016.
The rubber game of the series will be held on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled at 1 p.m. in Santa Barbara.
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