Just when the UCSB softball team got its bats swinging on the first day of the UCSB/Easton Invitational, the stormy weather forced the remaining two days of the tournament to be cancelled.
Santa Barbara won both games of the opening doubleheader on Friday. The Gauchos glided to a 10-4 victory over Santa Clara in the initial game before edging out the University of Virginia 4-0 in the following contest.
The offensive bats for the Gauchos broke loose against Santa Clara in a game where they racked up 12 hits. After relying heavily on their consistent pitching and steady defense in the earlier part of the season, the team believes that they reached an offensive turning point this weekend.
"The Santa Clara game was awesome, especially when you compare the offensive statistics to our other games this season," junior second baseman Kim Sawyer said. "We all were able to either hit, get on base, or score. Everyone contributed in some way."
Senior co-captain Teresa Tolson further explained the improvement in the offensive production for Santa Barbara with the team swinging for hits with runners in scoring position.
"We weren’t getting timely hits earlier this year, so it was exciting to see it all come together," she said.
Sophomore outfielder Natalie Adame had a stellar offensive performance for the Gauchos in the first game. She went 2-4 at the plate, including knocking out a two-run homer in the third inning to make the score 6-1. In addition to Adame, four other Gaucho starters nailed multiple hits in the game, while two other starters added a hit apiece.
Freshman Ashley Carrol put in a solid performance on the mound in 6.1 innings of play for her second win of the season.
In the second game of the doubleheader, sophomore right-hander Sylvia Santos led the way for UCSB by tossing a complete game shutout, allowing only four Cavalier hits.
"Our pitching has been consistent this year," Sawyer said. "I feel bad because they have more losses than they should because we haven’t been able to produce."
This time, junior catcher Stacy Bolton went for the fences in the sixth inning to secure the second win of the day for the Gauchos.
"The [Virginia] pitcher was dominating in the beginning of the game, but we were able to adjust and hit her after the first few innings," Sawyer said.
Though the team was disappointed that they didn’t get to play out the tournament in its entirety, they are inspired by the weekend’s performance.
"We definitely gelled together and I think that we’ll be able to win a lot of games if we continue to play like this," junior infielder Julia Tamai said.