In its second home stand of the young season, the UCSB softball team returned to form with a 5-0 sweep in the Gaucho Classic II, defeating Seattle three times and South Dakota State twice.
“We played really strong; we had some roller coaster games but we ended up getting wins,” sophomore pitcher Shelby Wisdom said.
With the undefeated weekend, the Gauchos improved to 14-5 on the season. Seattle finished 1-4 in the Classic, falling to 8-9 on the year. South Dakota State finished 1-3 and is 7-11 this season.
The final game of the weekend against Seattle was the story of Wisdom. Wisdom dominated the Redhawks, pitching a complete game, throwing eight strikeouts and giving up only two hits and no runs.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wisdom showed her two-way dominance by blasting a home run over left field to bring senior shortstop Keilani Jennings home and extend the lead to 4-0. She then cleaned up the next three batters she faced to finish a clean weekend sweep of the competition.
In the previous game against South Dakota State, the Gauchos’ offense was as formidable as it was all weekend. Wisdom opened up the scoring with a two-run single in the first inning and the Gauchos eventually pushed the lead to 6-0 .
Wisdom picked up her third RBI of the game with an exclamatory solo home run in the seventh to seal an 8-3 UCSB win.
In Saturday’s game against South Dakota, UCSB pulled out its third straight down-to-the-wire win, defeating the Jacks 5-4. South Dakota started to pull away after a two-run homer by junior catcher Sammy Bingham in the fourth inning to push the lead to 3-0, but the Gauchos began answering back with a big fourth inning of their own, scoring three runs to tie the game at 3-3.
After the Jacks took a 4-3 lead in the fifth, the Gauchos again responded with a two-run double by Wisdom and did not relinquish their lead.
Saturday’s first game against Seattle was the longest of the season for UCSB, as they headed into the ninth inning tied at four.
Both teams would trade blows again in the eighth, after Wisdom took home on a Redhawk error and Seattle answered back with a sacrifice fly to tie it at 4-4 and send the game into the ninth. In the 10th, freshman outfielder Arianna Palomares came up with her biggest play of the year; a two-run homer to put UCSB up 6-4 and seal the win.
The opening game of the Classic against Seattle was another close one, with the Gauchos trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Stark came up clutch just as she did in the previous UCSB home game, knocking a double up the middle to bring in Boser and Jennings and give the Gauchos a 3-2 win.
The Gauchos’ next game will be against Weber State on Thursday in the Mayfair Invitational in Long Beach.
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of March 4st, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.