The Cathedral City Classic ended in a 3-3 split for the Gauchos, with two of the team’s losses coming to national top-20 teams.
[media-credit name=”Lance Chu” align=”alignleft” width=”161″][/media-credit] In the first of the two games on Sunday, UCSB (9-5 overall) beat Utah 4-2, coming from behind to mark the first Gaucho victory against the Utes in seven tries. Against Loyola Marymount in the final game of the tournament, the Gauchos fell behind early and were never able to recover despite outhitting the Lions 14-7, falling to them 9-4.
“I think that had we been playing our best game, the outcome would’ve been different,” junior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “They’re a really good hitting team and that’s hard to stop, especially in the sixth game of the tournament.”
In the first game of the tournament on Thursday, the Gauchos suffered a loss to #19 Oklahoma State by a score of 9-1. After tying the game up at one run apiece in the third inning, the Cowgirls hit a grand slam and never looked back. The same day, the Gauchos fell to #8 Tennessee, their fourth consecutive loss.
“They were a semifinalist at the World Series last year, but we played our game and made adjustments,” DePompa said. “We were pushing them to their limit. Everyone contributed, which allowed us to attack and let us play with a top team in the nation.”
In the 9-5 Long Island game Friday, UCSB snapped its losing streak, scoring early and never allowing the Blackbirds to come within four runs.
“Both teams were hitting, but our team did a good job of not being affected by the other team hitting back,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “Even if there was a lull, [we] were able to recognize that and pick it up.”
On Saturday, UCSB beat Ohio State 11-3 in five innings. Seven Gauchos scored as the Buckeyes went through four pitchers trying to find an answer for the Gauchos’ lineup. Junior right fielder Allison Taylor led the way for the offense, going three for three with four RBIs in the game.
“[Players] one through nine [for us are] tough,” Galicinao said of her team’s depth. “The more everyone can hit, the better pitches the team’s going to see, because the opposing pitcher is going to have to pay attention to all nine.”
The Gauchos finish off 15 games on the road at the DeMarini Invitational in Fullerton next weekend, where UCSB is slated to play Oregon State, Indiana University–Purdue, University Fort Wayne, #16 Stanford and Southern Miss.