After starting its season by breaking even in The Gaucho Classic, the UCSB softball team looks to go over .500 this weekend in the Fresno State Kick-Off Tournament. There, the Gauchos will face some similar and some new opponents in their five games in Northern California.
The Gauchos dropped two losses in their own tournament this past weekend, both coming by a very powerful opponent in No. 11 Texas A&M. They sandwiched these losses with two wins over Dayton University and Cal State Bakersfield, a team they will face again twice this weekend.
“We know exactly what we need to do and how to do it,” junior Shelby Wisdom said. “We are very strong right now, and we will only get stronger.”
Santa Barbara has already seen some tough competition in its first few matchups that have allowed the team to quickly shake off the rust and identify its weakness as Wisdom explained. Seeing as the Gauchos’ only losses have come from the same top-ranked team, it shows where the team stands before getting back into the flow of things. The fact that they are getting this experience early and playing well will without a doubt translate to the rest of the season.
“We are getting a chance to figure out who we are as a team, what works for this group,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “We did an amazing job of figuring out the other teams this past weekend which helped in more ways than one.”
If the Gauchos continue to do the little things this season and play despite conditions and the name on the other teams’ jerseys, then they will surely be looking at a successful season. After this tournament, the Gauchos will play in five more games before opening up conference play so time is still on their side at this point. Look for this team to head for top this year behind its valuable pitching staff, backed up by the big bats of the infielders.
Santa Barbara’s first game on Friday will take place at 9:30 a.m. against CSU Bakersfield, followed by a matchup with Sacramento State at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, they will once again play CSU Bakersfield at 11:45 a.m. and then Southern Utah at 4:15 p.m. Their last tournament game will be Sunday at 3:45 p.m. against the hosting Fresno State Bulldogs.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.