After an eight-game losing streak characterized by inconsistency and mental lapses, the UCSB women’s softball team got back on the winning path with a 6-1 victory over visiting Wisconsin on the second day of the Gaucho Classic.
The Gauchos earned their first home win of the season in five games, while producing their largest run total since their season opening win over Northern Colorado. The Santa Barbara lineup has been in hibernation for the majority of the early season, but sophomore Brooke Putich gave life to the struggling unit going 3-3 with two runs and an RBI against the Badgers.
Senior pitcher Melinda Matsumoto earned the win after tossing 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of sophomore Krista Cobb, as Santa Barbara took until the fifth inning to break the game open using small ball to get it done. Putich and senior Jessica Ziegler began the inning with back-to-back singles, and Ziegler scored when the Wisconsin catcher overthrew the first baseman on sophomore Keilani Jennings’ attempted sacrifice bunt. Junior Jessica Beristianos followed with a sacrificial fly to left which scored Putich. Sophomore catcher Lainey DePompa then doubled to left field to score Jennings and give the Gauchos a 4-1 lead.
The Gauchos tacked on one run in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to secure the 6-1 victory. The final two days of the Gaucho Classic were rained out forcing Santa Barbara to cancel three games against North Dakota State, Wisconsin and Memphis.
Santa Barbara will retake the field on Thursday at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational against Arizona State.