This weekend, the UCSB women’s softball team looks to continue its season on the road in Tallahassee, Florida by competing in the Unconquered Classic Tournament. There, the team will play five games against four different schools.
After playing in two tournaments so far this season, the Gauchos find themselves with a record of 6-3. Their performance in the Fresno State Kick-Off tournament was enough to earn them second place.
Much of the team’s success has come from the dominance of its pitching. In the games that the Gauchos have won, they have only allowed 2.5 runs and have given up a batting average of just .261 in all games. Junior Shelby Wisdom leads the pack with an ERA of 2.13.
Sensational starts from some of Santa Barbara’s young players have made a crucial impact on the team’s success. Freshmen outfielder Kristen Clark has the second most hits on the team with her .371 batting average, which also ranks second. The four freshmen — Clark, infielder Emily Brucelas, and outfielders Stacy Cavasos and Jaqueline Hinojosa — have combined for 28 hits, 16 runs, 10 RBI and three homeruns.
As a team, the Gauchos have had a very consistent performance on the offensive end. They have achieved an on base percentage of .385, which has powered their “small ball” offensive approach to earn runs more efficiently. They have been able to capitalize on their opportunities from their plate discipline by scoring 39 runs in just nine games.
This weekend the team will play against a variety of teams in their third tournament of the season. Northern Iowa will be the Gauchos’ first and third matchup and they come in with a matching record of 6-3. The second team they will play will be Wichita State, whom Santa Barbara beat 7-1 in their matchup in 2013. They will then play the sure tournament favorite and host, Florida State, who comes in with a record of 10-1. The Gauchos’ last matchup will be against Florida A&M which is currently riding a six-game skid.
Santa Barbara’s first game will take place on Friday at 9 a.m. and the second at 11:30 a.m. The team will also have two games Saturday at 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. They will wrap up their tournament play with their last game on Sunday at 6 a.m. PST.
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Photo by Dustin Harris of The Daily Nexus.