SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The South Dakota State softball team split a pair of games on Saturday at the Gaucho Classic II in Santa Barbara, Calif., dropping Seattle 8-0 in the opener, before falling to the host UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 5-4 in the nightcap.
The split gives the Jacks a 7-10 record at the end of the day, while Seattle finished 8-8 and UCSB 12-5 on the season.
Jennifer Sutton tossed a two-hit shutout in the first game of the day against the Redhawks to improve to 3-2 on the season, she walked five, struck out two and got plenty of help from the offense, as the Jacks pounded out 10 hits in the six inning game.
The Jacks got all the runs they would need in the third inning with RBI hits from Reick and Kleppin to stake them to a 3-0 lead.
SDSU added three more in the fifth with RBI hits from Elyse Eitel and Huffman to put the Jacks up 6-0 before they ended the game via the run-rule in the bottom of the sixth on a 2 RBI double from Kleppin.
The hits kept coming in the second game of the day against the hot Gauchos, as SDSU finished with nine and got multi-hit games from Alex Landon, Sammy Bingham and Jessica Markanich, but a two-run fifth inning from UCSB made the difference in the 5-4 Jackrabbit loss.
SDSU took a 1-0 lead in the third, capitalizing on a leadoff double from Markanich, who scored on a Kleppin ground out later in the inning.
The Jacks tacked on two more in the fourth thanks to Sammy Bingham's second homerun of the season, and of her career, that also scored Eitel, who opened the inning with a double.
UCSB came back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3, only to see the Jacks go back on top at 4-3 in the top of the fifth on a bases loaded single from Huffman that scored Markanich.
The Gauchos came right back though, and scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-4 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Jacks get another chance at the Gauchos on Sunday, when SDSU plays its final game of the tournament against the hosts at 10 a.m. PT, noon CT.