The UCSB softball team concluded its season-opening 11-game road trip this past weekend, losing all five of their games in the Campbell/Cartier Classic, which was hosted by the University of San Diego and San Diego State. The Gauchos have lost 10 of their first 11 games and are on a six-game losing streak heading into the team’s opening day in the Gaucho Classic tournament.
“We’re not too concerned with the results right now,” senior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “We’ve been playing the best competition in the country and it’s only our second weekend out; we’re still kinda getting everything situated and we’re still making adjustments.”
The Gauchos scored only one run in the first day of the tournament, losing 7-1 to Boise State and suffering a 6-0 loss against Oregon State.
In the first game of the tournament, Boise State jumped out to an early lead; the Bronco bats exploded in the second inning, as freshman pitcher Shelby Wisdom loaded the bases and gave up a grand slam to allow a 5-0 lead. Four errors and seven runners left on base prevented the Gauchos from mounting a comeback, with their lone run coming in the fifth inning on a single by sophomore second baseman Kathryn Pilpil.
UCSB did not get off to a better start in the second game of the doubleheader. Oregon State jumped on the Gauchos in the first inning, scoring a run against sophomore pitcher Andriana Collins. The Beavers scored two more runs in the third and three in the fourth off Collins, who gave up six runs on nine hits in her seven innings of work.
“We knew these teams were going to get us early and punch us and try to score,” Pilpil said. “We just needed to bounce back and punch them back but we obviously didn’t do that.”
The Gauchos had the tough task of playing against No.7 Washington in Saturday morning’s game. The Huskies drove Collins out of the first inning, scoring three runs before the first out was recorded. Santa Barbara was only able to muster one hit, striking out four times in five innings as Washington scored three runs in both the second and fourth to end the game on the mercy rule.
“I think it’s important to realize these are really good teams and that they will put runs up on the board,” DePompa said. “We just need to keep focusing on execution and getting the little things.”
UCSB had its best performance offensively against Notre Dame in Saturday evening’s game. The Gauchos drew even with the Fighting Irish in the second inning when DePompa drove in freshman shortstop DeJanee Moore on a sacrifice fly. After a poor pitching performance earlier in the day, Collins allowed four runs in the third before being relieved by Wisdom.
Two errors in the top of the fourth allowed UCSB to counter with three unearned runs. Sophomore right fielder McKenzie Kane brought home Pilpil on an error in left field and a throwing error by the pitcher allowed DePompa and Kane to come home. The Gauchos were left scoreless in the fifth before the Irish put the game out of reach with a run in the sixth to secure the 6-4 win.
Santa Barbara lost to No. 12 UCLA in the final day of competition. Collins came on in relief and gave up three runs in the sixth inning, ending the game 8-0 by the mercy rule.
“It’s obviously kinda frustrating and disappointing because everyone wants to win,” Pilpil said. “We just have to take it as a learning process and focus on getting better each time. I think after these two weekends we realized what we need to do; hopefully now that we’re home this weekend we’ll bring it all together.”
The Gauchos now head home to host the Gaucho Classic, playing six games in four days. The first game versus Houston is scheduled to begin on Thursday at noon.