Do you ever want to forget some parts of your past and just start over? The UCSB softball team has just such an opportunity as the preseason becomes a thing of the past and Big West Conference play dawns on the horizon.
This weekend, the UCSB softball team (16-22) will face Cal State Northridge (19-10) in a triple-header at Matador Diamond. This will be the first conference game for the Gauchos, who are coming off a dominating performance against Portland State last Saturday.
“We finished on a good note during Spring Break facing Portland State, but I just think that winning depends on whether or not everyone shows up to play and is ready,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I feel that everyone is headed in that direction, but we are going to need a lot of help from our pitching staff to win games.”
Tribulations in the pitching department have transformed junior fielder Lindsey Herring into a commanding force on the mound showing superb power and excellent location. Schroeder and the rest of the team will look to Herrin to continue to shine in one of three games this weekend.
“Some of our freshman pitchers were struggling a little bit, due to injuries,” Schroeder said. “Herrin throws strikes and that is what we need. She wants to be out there and I want to put the players who want to win out on the field.”
The Matadors are coming off a three-game win streak and could potentially cause major problems for the Gauchos this weekend with a mixture of stellar pitching and power at the plate. Matador freshman pitcher Erin Sigala and junior pitcher Jenny Wheeler are both coming off shutouts in their last performance and look to halt UCSB’s recent offensive resurgence. The Matadors also feature senior center fielder Christen Bedwell who is a formidable foe at the plate, batting .419 with six homeruns and 23 RBI this season.
“I think we are capable of beating anybody, we proved that by beating Stanford with their best pitcher,” Schroeder said. “Our pitching staff has to pitch like I know they are capable of pitching.”