In a tune up for this weekend’s Softball by the Beach Invitational, the UCSB softball team downed Brigham Young 4-2 at Campus Diamond[[?]].

The win was much needed for the Gauchos who were losers in nine out of 10 of their last games, including eight in a row leading up to Thursday’s showdown with the Cougars.

“This was a great win for us to get going for the weekend,” junior pitcher Loren Thornburg said of the win. “It was really nice for us to come out and do the little things well today.”

Santa Barbara (7-10 overall) didn’t waste any time on Thursday, attacking early by tacking up two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior designated hitter Jami Trinidad doubled into left-center, allowing Leslie Simien to score. Senior catcher Stacy Bolton returned the favor two hits later as she drove in Trinidad on a single to center.

The Gauchos next scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the third inning with two outs.

Most of the time in softball you have to work hard to score runs, rarely are they handed to you. However, every once and a while, they are handed out like Christmas presents. Such a gift was given to the Gauchos as BYU committed a wild pitch and Cougar pitcher Cynthia Fallowfield committed two balks.

Thornburg was on the mound for the Gauchos. The hurler tallied her fourth win in this young season in a nearly flawless performance by tossing a complete game. The native of Laguna Niguel surrendered only two earned runs on four hits, while tallying seven strikeouts.

Thornburg improved to 4-5 on the season.

“I felt good,” Thornburg said. “I was hitting the corners well and I was just letting the defense do the work. Plus it makes it a lot easier to pitch with runs on the board. I just tried to go out and pitch my game, which is easy to do with runs to back you up.”

Coming up this weekend for the Gauchos is the Softball by the Beach Invitational, which will be held at Elings Park. Santa Barbara’s first game will be on Friday at 4:30 p.m. against the University of Illinois. A game against Providence College will immediately follow the Illinois contest. The invitational continues through Sunday and will include BYU, Cal, Cal Poly, Illinois, Iowa State, Providence, Sacramento State and Santa Clara.

“Being in Santa Barbara is going to be important,” senior captain Kim Sawyer said. “There are going to be a lot of people there supporting us and we are going to have to take all of these games very seriously. There are a lot of good teams here this weekend but Cal is really good and we will be looking out for them. That should be the biggest game of the weekend for us.”