The UCSB softball team had a disappointing weekend in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, losing three out of their four games and dropping to 9-5 on the season.
The Gauchos came into their final game of the weekend against Nevada (7-8) looking to leave the tournament with a .500 record, but a strong fifth inning from the Wolf Pack made the difference in the game. After a scoreless first four innings for both teams, Nevada reeled off a string of six straight hits to give them a 6-0 lead. UCSB wasn’t able to recover, eventually falling 7-1.
On Saturday against No. 4 Tennessee (13-2), the Gauchos came into the game knowing full well the challenge at hand in facing senior Ivy Renfroe, one of the top pitchers in the country. Right from the first inning, Renfroe lived up to the billing, retiring the first nine batters she faced and giving up only two runs in seven innings.
UCSB fell behind early after a two-run single by Madison Shipman in the first inning, and the Vols never looked back on their way to a 5-0 victory.
Saturday’s early game against BYU was perhaps the most exciting game of the season for both teams, as it was the Gauchos’ second extra inning game this year. Heading into the fifth inning with a 3-0 lead, the Gauchos pulled away with four more runs. The drama began in the bottom of the seventh, as BYU, trailing 10-3, began to rack up the hits. After the Cougars narrowed the gap to 10-6 and with the bases loaded, junior Katie Manuma stepped up to the plate and tied the game with a perfectly timed grand slam.
UCSB would keep their composure in the eighth inning, as junior infielder Jessica Reichner put the Gauchos ahead with a one-run triple. Senior outfielder Jessica Soria followed up by bringing Reichner in with a single to make it 12-10. Sophomore pitcher Shelby Wisdom put away three straight batters in the bottom of the eighth to clinch the Gauchos’ only win of the weekend.
Wisdom had a team-high three runs while freshman outfielder Jessica Tetzlaff led the team with three RBI on 3-5 batting, her biggest contribution to the team thus far.
Playing as huge underdogs in the tournament opener against No. 1 Oklahoma Friday, the Gauchos quickly found themselves with a mountain to climb, facing an early 4-0 deficit and last week’s Big 12 Pitcher of the Week Michelle Gascoigne. UCSB fought back, lowering the deficit to 5-2 on a two-run double by Wisdom in the bottom of the third, but neither team would score another run as Oklahoma improved to 15-0 on the season.
The Gauchos come back home for the Gaucho Classic II next weekend.