The UCSB softball team drove north to take on central coast rival Cal Poly this weekend in a three-game series.
The bad weather that has plagued California this early spring followed the Gauchos to San Luis Obispo and caused Friday’s game to be canceled. After an early delay on Saturday, Santa Barbara was able to play one game of its scheduled doubleheader. The result of the game was just as stormy as the weather as the Mustangs blanked UCSB in a 4-0 decision.
The sun came out bright on Sunday, but the day was bleak for the Gauchos as they came up empty in the rescheduled doubleheader. In the first game, Santa Barbara lost a tough 5-4 battle before being shut out again in game two, 8-0.
“We played a decent game [in game one of the double header,]” sophomore outfielder Ashley Groefsema said. “We scored first and were winning until the fourth inning. When we were behind we fought back.”
In the second game of the day, the Mustangs came out on fire from the start on their way to routing UCSB.
“The fact is that we aren’t hitting,” sophomore outfielder Natalie Adame said. “We all know what we are capable of doing, it’s just a matter of actually pulling it all together.”
As shown by this weekend’s results, Santa Barbara has resumed its early season form, showing an inability to produce offensively. Over the break, the squad rolled its way to a six-game winning streak with dominant performances over Riverside, University of San Diego, Brown, and Sacramento State. The Gauchos were a force at the plate during the streak, compiling numerous hits at opportune times. However, the inconsistency in the box is one of the main reasons for their dismal 13-22 overall record and 1-6 mark in the Big West.
“One of our main problems is that we cannot get RBI’s,” Groefsema said. “We get runners on base. We get hits, but not always at the right time. We haven’t been able to string enough hits together to get runs across the plate.”
This series was crucial for the Gauchos, making the result that much more disappointing. Cal Poly had endured its share of adversity on its way to a 13-20 overall record while remaining winless in the Big West. Santa Barbara was hoping to catch the team in a rut in order to bag a few easy victories.
Despite a tough weekend on the road, UCSB will continue to have faith for the remainder of the season, and the Gauchos remain confident in their ability.
“We are a good team with a lot of skill,” Adame said. “We just have to overcome our performance from last weekend and look forward to the next. This team is definitely capable.”