After losing the first game by two in an exciting 13-11 loss, the Gauchos seemed lost out on the field in the last two games. They seemed to let the 9-3 loss yesterday affect their play, as they came out of the gates Sunday seemingly unprepared to face a newly confident Highlander team.
Right off the bat, the Gauchos seemed to be outmatched. After the Gauchos only got one hit in the first inning, the Highlanders came out ready to swing, getting three hits, one short of UCSB’s total on the day.
The three hits helped bring in a run, and Hannah Rodriquez also came home off of a wild pitch. After a second inning where the Highlanders scored two runs off of a double by Hannah Rodriquez double, the Gauchos were still within striking distance. However, the Highlanders put the game away in the bottom of the third.
With the Gauchos still scoreless, the Highlanders started to roll, and circled through their whole rotation while also bringing in 6 runs. From there, both sides seemed to sense the inevitability of the contest, and two innings later, it was over.
The Highlanders were buoyed by their starting pitcher Taylor Misfeldt, who allowed only 4 hits on her way to earn her 17th win on the season, the most on her team.
On the Gaucho side, sophomore Felisha Noriega took the start for the day. Unfortunately, she didn’t get very far, letting up 4 runs in the first and second inning, and was relieved by junior Veronika Gulvin. With this loss, Felisha dropped below .500, going 6-7 on the year.
The substitutions didn’t fare much better, as both Veronika and her replacement, senior Lena Mayer, let up 5 runs. Veronika was pulled during the third inning, after her fifth run came in on a wild pitch.
With Lena now pitching in the bottom of the third, she let up a wild pitch, which brought in a run, but was able to end the inning. However, she let up an additional four more runs in the fourth inning, and with head coach Brie Galicinao electing not to put in any more pitchers, Lena ended the game for the Gauchos.
On the offensive side of the ball, there weren’t many bright spots for the Gauchos. One of the lone positives for the Gauchos was sophomore infielder Genesis Ramirez, who continued to swing well, getting two hits. However, with 6 of her Gaucho teammates going hitless, the offense was absent.
For the Highlanders, no one individual stood out, but the team as a whole hit well. Three people had two hit games, and four people had two runs. Danielle Ortega did seem to shine brightest amongst the stars, with a triple in the third inning that cleared three runs in and seemed to seal the game. The Highlanders were simply much more potent on offense, and the Gauchos did not seem to have an answer.
Ending the series on a 14-0 loss, the Gauchos hope to recover against Cal Poly this weekend, where they play a Mustangs team that is 8-10 in conference play and coming off a Cal State Fullerton win. The Mustangs should get some confidence from that, considering that was only Fullerton’s second loss of Big West play.
Cal Poly comes to UCSB this weekend, with the first game on Friday, and the doubleheader on Saturday. This will be the Gauchos last series of the year, and we’ll see if they can go out on a good note.