Behind gritty pitching from freshman Carly Harmon, the Gauchos defeated Riverside 3-1 at Campus Diamond on Tuesday. The win was Santa Barbara’s 34th of the year, tying the school record for most wins in a season.
The last time a UCSB team won this many games was the 1982 team that went 34-22.
“You know, I don’t think anyone is surprised,” Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “This is a very good team.”
More importantly, the Gauchos now sit at 9-6 in the Big West and are one game behind third place Cal State Northridge. Santa Barbara appears to be climbing the ladder at just the right time. UCSB has now won four straight games and nine of their last 12.
Harmon, flirting with a record of her own, went the distance for the Gauchos. The diaper dandy is just one win away from tying the school record for most wins in a season.
“She’s always ready to go. For this being her freshman year, I’m very pleased,” Schroeder said.
The Gaucho hitters made things easy for Harmon, striking for three runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Senior center fielder Natalie Adame instigated the rally, while senior catcher Jami Trinidad picked up her sole RBI to put the Gauchos up for good.
Freshman first baseman Kristen Mann collected two hits to improve her batting average to .349, second best on the team.
The win provides Santa Barbara with desperately needed momentum going into the most crucial weekend of the season.
If the Gauchos are serious about a postseason bid, the time to produce is now. Long Beach State, who sits in second place just in front of UCSB, comes to visit this weekend for a three-game series at Campus Diamond.
“We beat them pretty easily earlier this year at the Early Bird Tournament, so hopefully that will be fresh in their memories,” Schroeder said. “If we play our game, I think we’ll be fine.”