After a disappointing start to the season last weekend, the UCSB women’s softball team will hit the road again to play in the Campbell/Cartier Classic, hosted by the University of San Diego and San Diego State, starting today. The Gauchos will continue their tough early season schedule, playing five games in three days, including games against two opponents ranked in the top 12 in the country.
“We’re playing really good teams but to me it’s just nine other girls,” sophomore second baseman Kathryn Pilpil said. “We don’t really care about the name on their chests.”
The Gauchos (1-5 overall) enter today’s matches looking to improve on their performance in the Kajikawa Classic, where they lost five of six, with three of the losses coming at the hands of the mercy rule. UCSB began the season losing 7-0 to Tennessee in a complete-game one-hit shutout and had disappointing showings against top-ranked Oregon and Stanford, not being able to extend the match past five innings in each of those two games.
The bright spot of the tournament for the Gauchos came against Utah. With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning and two outs with a runner on second base, Pilpil delivered the game-winning hit for the only Gaucho win of the tournament.
Santa Barbara will start the first day of tournament play versus Boise State (4-1) and Oregon State (3-2), followed by another doubleheader on Saturday against No. 7 Washington (5-0) and Notre Dame. UCSB will play No. 12 UCLA (5-0) on Sunday to wrap up the tournament. The Gauchos will have a tough road ahead of them, but are more focused on improving their quality of play than their results.
The Gauchos will need a better performance from their pitching staff, which is coming into the tournament with a 6.42 ERA. Sophomore pitcher Andriana Collins (0-3) struggled in her four starts, giving up 32 runs in 14.2 innings of work. Freshman pitcher Shelby Wisdom (1-2) fared much better, going the distance in a 2-1 loss versus Bradley and earning the only win for Santa Barbara in the tournament.
Offensively, the Gauchos combined for a .201 batting average with an on-base percentage of .238 in six games.
“We will be ready after this past weekend and working out this week,” Pilpil said.
Santa Barbara is scheduled to play at 10 a.m. at the USD Softball Complex.