After winning three games down in Florida, the UCSB softball team will journey south to compete in The Louisville Slugger Invitational today.
Santa Barbara will head into this weekend’s tournament in Long Beach with a record of 9-4 overall.
While on the road this season the team has shown a pattern in its victories — starting off every tournament dominant, and only losing the last matchup of each weekend. In its first two away appearances, this team has gone 4-0 and 3-0 before dropping the final game. Needless to say, this team can and has played consistently so far this season.
The winning streak the Gauchos have put together are a direct result of their strong defense which has guided them through the tough opponents that they have faced. They have recorded a third of their wins in shut-out fashion and have allowed 3.5 runs per game. Performances from the team’s pitchers have been a crucial component.
Leading the way for this substantial four-player pitching staff is junior Shelby Wisdom, whom has started in all eight of her appearances for the Gauchos. In her 55.2 innings pitched, she has allowed just 19 earned runs, giving her a team leading ERA of 2.39 and fueling this Gaucho defense. She is definitely a player that opposing teams will have to watch out for this weekend.
The team’s offense has not slouched a bit with the additions of their freshmen players. Infielder Emily Brucelas and outfielder Stacy Cavazos have combined for five of the team’s eight home runs so far this season. Alongside them, outfielder Kristen Clark continues to succeed at the plate with her team leading .346 batting average. These young players have adapted to the NCAA level at a rapid pace to help this Santa Barbara team.
This weekend, the team will face a variety of opponents in its five scheduled games. The Gauchos will play two games today against Nevada and Utah Valley. On Friday, they will have one matchup with Oregon State and they will wrap up the tournament on Saturday facing Louisville and Northwestern.
The team’s first game today is set for 11:30 a.m.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Dustin Harris of The Daily Nexus.