Some things don’t mix, and one of those things is rain and softball.
In a series of games drenched by puddles and rainouts, the UCSB softball team ended up only playing two of their three scheduled games, splitting the games 1-1.
Rain forced the games to be moved from Elings Field to Campus Diamond, due to the horrible field conditions and swamp-like pools in the infield.
After breezing by Loyola Marymount, Santa Barbara embarked on a formidable challenge: The #3 team in the nation and undefeated UC Berekely. The Bears, a dominating team with skillful pitching and loads of power with the bat, stomped over the Gauchos. The game wasn’t close at any point as Cal came ready to play, beating UCSB 7-2. Scoring three runs in the first, Cal showed why the Bears are ranked #3 in the nation. Junior pitcher Kelly Anderson got her second win in as many days, pitching seven innings and allowing just three hits. The Golden Bears were just too much for the inexperienced Gauchos, who haven’t seen a team nationally ranked in the top-five all season.
“We made too many mental mistakes this weekend; base running, and covering bases when people were supposed to be there was the problem. A mixture of the weather and mental mistakes made us lose the game,” freshman outfielder Jessica Hejna said. “We have two different teams that came out to play, and we didn’t have our winning team today. If we improved on some of the little things we easily could have competed with a team of Cal’s caliber.”
In their first game, UCSB faced LMU on a very wet field. Santa Barbara didn’t appear to be fazed by the weather and, coming off a Thursday loss to Brigham Young University, the Gauchos came out with fire, scoring two runs in the top of the first. The game saw two homeruns from Gaucho players, freshman shortstop Kendra Singley (4th of the season) and junior first baseman Lindsey Herrin (5th of the season). Senior leftfielder Davis Beck continued her onslaught of hitting, going 2-3 and improving her average to .421 to lead the team. The Gauchos ended the game, winning 6-1 thanks to the excellent hitting and strong outing from freshman pitcher Lindsey Sommer, who only allowed one run of five hits.
“We played really well on Friday all around,” Hejna said. “We hit the ball well and our pitching was excellent. If we played like we did on Friday, we could beat any team we face.”
Santa Barbara will head to Los Angeles next week for the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, where they will face #1 UCLA in a double-header on Saturday. UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder feels the Gauchos can compete with UCLA and that UCSB just needs to play better defensively and cut back on the mental mistakes.
“We have got to play defense, and mental errors and not being focused when we need to be can cause us to lose a game,” said Schroeder.