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The UCSB softball team traveled a long way this weekend, making its way across the country to Tallahassee, Florida to compete in the Unconquered Classic.
The Gauchos made the road trip worthwhile, winning three of their four games. They were scheduled to play in five games, but the fifth was cancelled due to weather.
Santa Barbara improves to 9-4 overall after its impressive 3-1 mark in the tournament, winning their first three matchups.
The team won its first game 2-1 against Wichita State, which entered the matchup with a record of 6-4. This game was won in the circle with stellar performances from both sophomore pitcher Alex Pingree and senior pitcher Andriana Collins. Collins started the game and pitched four innings, only giving up one run in the process on a wild pitch. Pingree would then come into relief to pick up her first save for the team, recording four strikeouts in her two innings of play.
The team’s next matchup was the first of a back-to-back with the University of Northern Iowa, which owned a record of 7-4. Santa Barbara put on a defensive clinic by once again only allowing one run in this 15-1 victory. Junior Shelby Wisdom would pick up the win and improve her ERA to 1.97.
Along with great defense, the Gauchos performed incredibly on offense with a 10-run seventh inning. Freshman outfielder Kristen Clark continued to show her young talent as she led the way with three hits and three RBI’s.
The Gauchos had another strong defensive outing in their rematch with UNI on Saturday morning. They would again beat Northern Iowa, but this time it was no easy win, taking eight innings to put away the Panthers.
Pingree was the starter and the finisher in the game, earning her third win while allowing only two runs in eight innings. Santa Barbara found itself down 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but was able to capitalize in clutch time by evening the score with a double from freshman infielder Emily Brucelas. Then in the eighth inning, senior infielder Kathryn Pilpil would seal the deal with a walk-off single into left scoring the runner from third.
Santa Barbara headed into its fourth game with a tournament record of 3-0, ready to take on No. 10 Florida State, the tournament’s host. The Gauchos dropped this matchup 5-2 as the Seminoles improved their record to 13-1. This was Florida State’s 13th straight win with the help of pitcher Lacey Waldrop, who carries a microscopic ERA of .50. Waldrop picked up her seventh win as she handled the Santa Barbara offense.
Next up for the Gauchos will be the Louisville Slugger Invitational, which begins Thursday.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Anna Kodelashvili of the Daily Nexus.