UCSB softball’s winning streak increased to six with an 8-0 win over Howard before losing 6-5 to Sacramento State and 2-1 to #15 Berkeley this weekend at the San Diego Classic.
The 6-2 Gauchos were scheduled to play two more matches against Northwestern and San Diego on Sunday, but inclement weather forced two games to be cancelled and the Berkeley game to be postponed to Sunday.
UCSB dominated Howard in the first game of the tournament, with eight of the 11 players in the lineup scoring runs.
“They hit the ball on the ground and forced the other team’s defense to work,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said about her team’s situational hitting. “Errors came from pressure from our offense.”
Freshman pitcher Andriana Collins recorded her second consecutive shutout and a career-best eight strikeouts.
“She’s been very consistent,” Galicinao said. “It’s good to see she had the same composure against the team we beat 8-0 and then a ranked team that has the ability to put up a lot of runs.”
Later that morning, the Gauchos fell behind for the first time this season against Sacramento State. UCSB recovered from a three-run deficit and tied the game up at five, but gave up a run at the end of the sixth to lose its first game of the season 6-5.
“This weekend was the first time we’ve had to come from behind, but [we] battled back, even against Cal,” Galicinao said. Offensively [we] continued to battle and were unaffected by the opponent taking leads. [We’re] getting better every game.”
Yet the Gauchos believe the victory should have been theirs.
“[We made] a couple simple mistakes,” junior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “I think we learned a lot from that game. It could’ve been a totally different game if you took out a couple plays.”
In Sunday morning’s 2-1 loss to Berkeley, UCSB found itself in a similar situation, rallying from behind to get within one run in the sixth inning, but the team was unable to find the equalizer at the end.
“We don’t like to look at the name on the jersey,” junior utility Amanda Ziegler said. “We play each game just as hard. Cal is ranked and very good but we were mentally ready for that game. We just went out and played hard.”
The key for UCSB in keeping the game close was defense. The Gauchos allowed only two runs, which was much lower than Cal’s average of about five runs per game.
“There were a couple opportunities for us to take the game away,” DePompa said. “It was nice to see what we’re capable of playing against a team of that caliber.”
The Gauchos are on the road again next weekend, playing six games in the Cathedral City Classic, beginning on Thursday. Opponents will include #18 Oklahoma State, #12 Tennessee, #47 Long Island, #30 Ohio State, Utah and Loyola Marymount.