The UCSB softball team faces a tough home series against fellow Big West member Long Beach State this weekend.
Santa Barbara is coming off of a disappointing weekend in San Luis Obispo, where it coughed up the series to a Cal Poly squad that was previously winless in the Big West. The Gauchos are using that lackluster performance as motivation for the rest of the season.
“We are a good team,” sophomore outfielder Natalie Adame said. “We are all very capable of getting things done. We just have to come together and find it within to get the job done.”
Santa Barbara is looking to target LBSU this weekend to avenge its losses to Cal Poly. Long Beach State carries a 17-22 overall record, including a 6-3 record in the Big West, while Santa Barbara is collectively 13-25 and 1-8 in conference. The 49ers had been undefeated in the Big West before being swept by Cal State Fullerton last weekend. Despite its recent slump, UCSB knows better than to take LBSU lightly.
“Long Beach is a really good team,” sophomore outfielder Ashley Groefsema said. “They took second in conference last year, but lost their best pitcher. They still have a good team because they have other solid returners.”
Against the 49ers, UCSB will look to improve on its production in the batter’s box, especially when it has runners in scoring position.
“We have the defense, but we also need to have the bats,” Adame said. “We just have to be able to adjust to the pitchers. We do better against pitchers with speed, but we struggle against pitchers that are slower but have a rise or a curve to their ball.”
The Gauchos will meet Long Beach on Friday in a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. The two teams will then take the field Saturday at noon to finish the series.