For the first time this season, the UCSB softball team was swept as Cal State Northridge took all three games this weekend.
UCSB lost back-to-back games on Saturday by scores of 9-4 and 4-0. Sunday’s finale did not provide any relief as the Gauchos lost 7-2.
Following the weekend, UCSB falls to 15-27 overall with a Big West conference record of 2-7. Cal State Northridge improves their overall record to 34-10 and holds an unblemished conference record of 9-0.
“[Cal State Northridge] is really good at taking extra bases, so to beat them you have to eliminate this by being crisp,” sophomore outfielder Kristen Clark said.
In the final game of the series on Sunday, Cal State Northridge jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Sophomore utility player Katie Hooper started the scoring for Northridge with an RBI triple in the top of the first.
Northridge would score two more in the top of the second and then add onto their lead with a four run top of the fifth to widen the lead to 7-0 heading into the sixth. UCSB would try their best to spark a late rally on an RBI sacrifice fly and an RBI double by Clark, but the deficit simply proved too much.
Freshman Lena Mayer took the loss for UCSB after giving up three earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched. Freshman Zoe Conley earned the win for Northridge, pitching four scoreless innings.
The Gauchos were completely shut down in Saturday’s late game as they only managed five hits through seven innings of play. Junior utility player Ariana Wassmer was responsible for Northridge’s early scoring as she hit a solo home run in the top of the second and hit an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
Northridge would solidify their lead in the top of the seventh with an RBI double by Hooper that would score two on a throwing error by the Gauchos.
Although she still was given the loss, Mayer pitched much better in this one for UCSB, giving up only three earned runs through seven innings. Senior Brianna Elder picked up her 15th win of the season for Northridge tallying seven strikeouts through seven innings pitched.
In Saturday’s opener, the Gauchos were able to climb to an early first inning lead before quickly falling victim to Northridge’s potent offense. After Northridge put up two in the top of the first, junior catcher MeShalon Moore hit a three run home run to push the gauchos in front 3-2.
The lead would be short lived, however, as Northridge would put up one run in the top of the third and three runs in the top of the fourth. UCSB would get one back in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI single by junior infielder Arianna Palomares, but that would be all for the day.
A two-run sixth and a one-run seventh sealed the win for Northridge. Junior pitcher Ashley Ludlow took the loss for UCSB after allowing six earned runs through seven innings. Conley earned the win after allowing just one earned run thorough five innings pitched.
“I think communication is a big thing for us,” Palomares said. “When we communicate and play together, we do a great job.”
UCSB will host UC Davis this weekend beginning Saturday at noon.