Daily 49er

Long Beach State sweeps UC Santa Barbara in season finale

LBSU ended the season on a six-game win streak, but fell just short of catching CSUN in the Big West.

LBSU+finished+second+in+the+Big+West%2C+one+game+behind+Cal+State+Northridge.++The+49ers+swept+the+final+six+games+of+the+season+to+finish+13-6+in+the+conference.++
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Long Beach State sweeps UC Santa Barbara in season finale

LBSU finished second in the Big West, one game behind Cal State Northridge.  The 49ers swept the final six games of the season to finish 13-6 in the conference.

LBSU finished second in the Big West, one game behind Cal State Northridge. The 49ers swept the final six games of the season to finish 13-6 in the conference.

Bobby Yagake

LBSU finished second in the Big West, one game behind Cal State Northridge. The 49ers swept the final six games of the season to finish 13-6 in the conference.

Bobby Yagake

Bobby Yagake

LBSU finished second in the Big West, one game behind Cal State Northridge. The 49ers swept the final six games of the season to finish 13-6 in the conference.

Josh Barajas, Staff Writer

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The Long Beach State softball team ended its season on a six-game win streak after sweeping UC Santa Barbara at the 49er Softball Complex over the weekend.

The 49ers (28-24, 13-6) overpowered the Gauchos (19-35, 6-15) in all three games to clinch second place in the Big West. Kim Sowder, who nabbed her 300th win as head coach of the 49ers on Saturday, said she was excited by the way her team closed out the season.

“Our goal in this series was to stay consistent and not let up because sometimes, you can relax a little,” Sowder said.

In Friday’s double-header, the 49ers scored in 10 of the combined 12 innings between both games.

Five LBSU hitters notched two hits each in an 8-2 victory in game one. Sophomore right-hander Christina Clermont tossed her tenth complete game in a row and had four strikeouts on her way to a league-leading 13-1 record.

In game two, senior shortstop Kimbrough, junior infielder Darian Tautalafua, sophomore catcher Lauren Lombardi and freshman outfielder Hannah Cookson each went 3-4 in a 10-2 stomping of the Gauchos.

Tautalafua hit her 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning. The solo shot moved her past current assistant coach Jessica White for most RBIs in school history with 116.

“To even be mentioned in the same category as Jessica is an honor,” Tautalafua said. “She told me that when I [broke the RBI record], I had to point at her, so I did.”

Senior right-hander Amanda Hansen made her final start as a 49er in game two. After giving up two runs in the first, Hansen settled in and pitched five scoreless innings to end her career on a positive note.

“It was a little nerve wracking and obviously that showed in the first inning,” Hansen said. “But I just worked hard for the team because I knew this would probably be my last start. I just gave it everything that I had.”

Game three on Saturday was a much closer affair than the first two matchups. Santa Barbara got on the board first with a towering three-run home run from Shelby Wisdom in the fourth inning to go up 3-0.

With UCSB up 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Tautalafua stepped up to the plate with two runners on and crushed a three-run shot of her own to put the 49ers up 5-4. Clermont closed the Gauchos out for her 19th complete game of the season.

LBSU’s strong finish puts them in the conversation for an at-large bid for the NCAA Regionals. Sowder said her team would be ready if they get in.

“I would love to get into the postseason, obviously,” Sowder said. “And I think if we did, we’d do real well. The way Christina [Clermont] is pitching, and the way we’re playing right now, I think we can compete with anybody in the country.”

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