The UCSB softball team traveled to offensive powerhouse Long Beach State University this past weekend for three games against the 49ers and came away with just one win.
The Gauchos are now 7-8 in Big West play with a 26-19 overall record. LBSU is now second place in the Big West at 12-6 and 30-19 overall.
The final game of the weekend ended up as the Gauchos’ only win of the trip as their defense came through once again on the way to a 2-1 victory.
With the offense struggling to put up runs as it has for most of the last month, the Gauchos turned to sophomore Shelby Wisdom to pitch the final game after not throwing a pitch in the previous loss.
Wisdom put together an outstanding effort, giving up just four hits and one run against the second best offensive team in the Big West. She also pitched in on offense, going 2-3 in the game. She improved to a 14-12 record as starting pitcher this season.
After a scoreless first four innings, Santa Barbara got on the board off the second home run of the season by junior first baseman Lauren Boser.
Taking a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning, UCSB was able to add to their lead with an RBI from senior centerfielder Jessica Soria. Soria reached on a fielder’s choice to bring junior third baseman Jessica Reichner home and give her team a 2-0 lead.
Wisdom was able to silence the 49ers offense until the bottom of the seventh. LBSU finally got on the board when, with two outs, sophomore infielder Ashley Holmes knocked a single to right center to bring in junior utility Sarah Carrasco. Nevertheless, UCSB’s defense was able to stop Long Beach from there, earning the 2-1 victory.
UCSB’s second game Saturday saw the Gauchos fall behind early and UCSB was unable to catch up on the way to a 5-2 loss.
Down three runs in the sixth inning, sophomore infielder Jenessa Jeppesen trimmed the 49ers lead to just one with a two-run homer.
In the bottom of the sixth though, junior pitcher Andrianna Collins was unable to keep UCSB close and LBSU tacked on two more runs to go up 5-2. The Gauchos were held scoreless in the final inning.
The first meeting between the two was the most one-sided. A couple of three-run home runs, first by senior infielder Nalani St. Germain in the second inning and next by Carrasco in the sixth inning, buried the Gauchos on their way to a 6-0 loss.
Sophomore pitcher Amanda Hansen shut out UCSB, despite giving up nine hits on the day.
After scoring just four runs in three games this weekend, the Gauchos’ offense showed that they still haven’t gotten out of the offensive slump that has seen them score just 13 runs in their last 11 games.
Whatever the case, the Gauchos will need to be sharp offensively for their next game at No. 19 UCLA Wednesday.
A version of this article appeared on page 9 of April 22nd’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Mark Brocher of the Daily Nexus.