Long Beach State won both games of a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Game 1: LBSU 6, UCSB 0
The Long Beach State softball team came out swinging Saturday against the visiting UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. After one scoreless inning, Karli Sandoval started the inning with a walk and moved over to second when Sarah Carrasco hit a sinking liner for a base hit into center field. St. Germain capitalized on the situation and extended her career homerun lead by sending a blast over the left field wall to get the 49ers on the board first.
The 49ers threatened to score again in the third when, after Shayna Kimbrough led off with a walk, Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi executed a perfect bunt single to put Kimbrough in scoring position. Hannah De Gaetano stepped into the box next and hit a chopper to the Gaucho shortstop, Keilani Jennings, whose only play was at second base leaving runners on the corners. Ultimately, they were unable to cash in those runs and left two on.
In the top of the fifth, UC Santa Barbara tested pitcher Amanda Hansen when, after two quick outs, she hit Kathryn Pilpil with a pitch. The next batter, Shelby Wisdom, hit a sharp double down the left field line moving Pilpil over to third. The 49er defense held strong and De Gaetano made a strong throw from third to end the threat and maintain the lead.
Tupua-Tautalatasi showed her power in the bottom of the fifth when, with two outs, she hit a long double to the wall in left center but was thrown out trying to extenfd it to a triple. The next inning, Long Beach State capitalized on the Gauchos' error as De Gaetano reached second on a throwing error by Jennings that rolled out of play. Darian Tautalafua was walked after battling in an 11 pitch at bat. After Sandoval hit into a fielder's choice that took Tautalafua out at second, Carrasco came through and hit her third homerun of the season and brought in Emily Gregorio, who was pinch running for De Gaetano, and Sandoval extending the lead to 6-0 where it would stay.
Game 2: LBSU 5, UCSB 2
The 49ers kept the momentum going from the first game when Tupua-Tautalatasi hit her second double of the day and her sixth of the season. De Gaetano followed up with a single past the diving third baseman, Jessica Reichner, moving Tupua-Tautalatasi over to third. After working the count full, Tautalafua was given first base when Gaucho pitcher, Alex Pingree, delivered an illegal pitch which moved all the runners up a base and brought Tupua-Tautalatasi around to score the first run of the game. Sandoval then hit into a double play to end the inning.
After two scoreless innings, Long Beach's offense came alive again. With Tautalafua on first, Carrasco sent a line drive over the glove of Jennings into left field and moved Tautalafua over to second. The Gauchos opted to get the lead runner at third on a grounder by St. Germain. Dana Garcia then loaded the bases with a bloop single to left for Gregorio to cash in St. Germain and Carrasco with a line drive single up the middle to bring the score to 3-0.
Despite remaining scoreless for the first game, Hansen allowed the Gauchos to score in the sixth inning when she came in in relief of Erin Jones-Wesley. Wisdom started out the inning with a single to right center and was able to make it to third with a couple of wild pitches from Hansen. Arianna Palomares then hit it back at Hansen who was able to stop Wisdom from advancing by throwing her out at third. The designated player, Jenessa Jeppesen, connected with a pitch and hit it off the scoreboard in left field to bring UC Santa Barbara within one. After walking the next batter on four straight pitches, Hansen settled down and was able to get Sami Stark to pop up to Kimbrough to end the inning.
The 49ers came back from that shaky inning when, after two quick outs, St. Germain went deep again and extended her career homerun lead to four and brought the score to 4-2. That blast also brought the team's 40th of the season which surpassed the school's previous record of 39 set in 2005. Garcia reached first on a passed ball after a strikeout and Gregorio followed up with an infield single to short that moved Garcia over to third. The next batter, Kimbrough, then singled to right and brought Garcia in to score and moved Gregorio to second bringing the final score to 5-2.