UCSB softball increased its winning streak to seven, sweeping Cal State Bakersfield in two nonconference wins 5-2 and 11-1 Wednesday at RR Softball Complex.
With the win, the Gauchos improve to 20-18 overall and 4-2 in the Big West while the Roadrunners fall to 14-22.
UCSB’s offense continued to dominate, sending four balls out of the park. The homers accounted for 10 of the team’s 16 total runs. UCSB is second in the Big West in batting average (.274), slugging percentage (.370), runs scored (157), hits (262) and RBIs (140).
The Gauchos were never threatened in the 11-1 victory, as the mercy rule was enforced in the fifth inning. Two strong innings to start the game propelled UCSB to an early 6-0 lead.
Finishing strong, UCSB racked up five more runs in the fifth. However, Bakersfield avoided the shutout with a run from junior pinch-runner Ashley Nahalein the final inning. Krista Cobb received the win after allowing one run on four hits with a walk.
UCSB sophomore shortstop Keilani Jennings, reigning Big West Player of the Week, led the team offensively. She went 2-3 with two runs and three RBI. Seven out of the 10 players who played scored at least one run and four players had two.
The first game of the doubleheader was not as easy for the Gauchos. Three singles eventually led to two Roadrunners crossing home plate, giving the home team an early 2-0 lead. UCSB quickly responded, closing the gap to one at the top of the third due to a homer by freshman first baseman Lauren Boser. In the fifth inning, UCSB found the equalizer on a double from Jennings that brought freshman centerfielder McKenzie Kane home.
The team’s comeback was completed in the sixth inning when freshman second baseman Kathryn Pilpil blasted a three-run homer to right field. The two freshmen Boser and Pilpil led the attack, combining for two runs, four RBI and hitting 3-5.
The Gauchos are back in action this weekend at home against UC Riverside with games begining at noon.