UCSB softball ended its season Monday with a sweep of visiting UC Davis 4-3, 3-2 and 2-0.
The wins snapped a six-game losing streak and gave the Gauchos their ninth winning season in the past 10 years. At 27-26 overall and 11-10 in the Big West, the Gauchos rank fourth in the conference standings, much higher than the seventh place they were expected to finish by the preseason polls.
“We call ourselves the ‘Gauch-show’ and we wanted to go out with a bang,” junior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “We wanted to end the way we started [winning] and play for our seniors.”
UCSB honored its two seniors, third baseman Jessica Beristianos and designated hitter Katie McWhirter, who ended their careers strong. In game one, McWhirter found the game-winning hit and Beristianos was the offensive backbone of the team, hitting 2-4 in game two and scoring the Gauchos’ first run in game three.
“They took advantage of every opportunity,” DePompa said. “It was a phenomenal way for them to finish out.”
The Gauchos were clutch all weekend, finding a shutout in the finale and a winning run in the first two games, which both went into extra innings.
UCSB also kept Davis’ senior pitcher Alex Holmes in check, who was a nonfactor on the weekend batting 1-11.
“We knew what she [could do], but Krista was able to execute through all her at bats,” DePompa said. “She really couldn’t touch us.”
Keeping Holmes off the bases was junior Krista Cobb, who pitched all 24 innings for the Gauchos. She only allowed five runs (three earned) on 19 hits, tallied 12 strikeouts and had her third shutout this season in game three.
“Krista did a good job hitting her spots and changing speeds,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “Pitching that much is physically demanding, and she stayed in it mentally too.”
While the seniors aided the Gauchos in getting on the board first, junior left fielder Brooke Putich also fueled the offense, batting 2-2 with a run.
Two double plays and no errors by UCSB contributed to the 2-0 shutout.
“They chose to play the last game hard and we left it all out there,” Galicinao said. “The last weekend is the culmination of your season, so we wanted to play good softball.”
It took the Gauchos eight innings to put away the Aggies in game two’s 3-2 win. The Gauchos came out with momentum, but Davis climbed back in, evening the score in the fifth with the help of two Gaucho errors. In the eighth, freshmen Kathryn Pilpil and Lauren Boser teamed up to secure the win. Boser hit 1-2 with two walks on the afternoon. For the Aggies, sophomore left fielder J.J. Wagoner hit 3-3 and scored both runs.
“We took on the pressure and knew that eventually our hits would find a whole,” Beristianos said. “We felt in control and weren’t going to let them take [the wins] away from us.”
Game one’s 4-3 victory saw a nine inning nail-biter in which the Gauchos jumped out to an early 3-0 lead due to four Aggie errors. UCSB watched their lead vanish in the sixth. With Davis knocking on the door, the Gauchos found clutch hits from DePompa, Beristianos, Boser and McWhirter, who singled the Gauchos to victory.