The UCSB softball team (22-24, 6-2 in the Big West) needed to take care of business this weekend against UC Riverside (11-35, 1-7), and they definitely got the job done, winning both games of the series.
In the first game, the Gauchos came out firing and jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, courtesy of junior pitcher Lindsey Herrin’s eighth home run of the year, which gave the Gauchos momentum for the subsequent weekend. Herrin also was dominant on the mound, pitching seven scoreless innings while improving her record to 4-1. The Gauchos then added three runs in the third inning and three more in the sixth to seal the game, 7-0. Freshman left fielder Jessica Hejna gave Santa Barbara an outstanding performance with 2 crucial RBIs.
In game two, the start was not what the Gauchos wanted to see as the Highlanders jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. After regrouping, the Gauchos turned up the juice and scored four runs in the top of the second inning off an array of singles. Freshman catcher Shelby Hensler, who is emerging as a star player for Head Coach Kristy Schroeder, added 2 RBIs to guide UCSB to a 6-1 win to sweep the series. Freshman Lindsey Sommer pitched seven innings, allowing only one run off nine hits and improving her record to 6-8.
The real story this weekend was freshman shortstop Kendra Singley. Singley has not only provided power at the plate, going 4-8 with 4 RBIs this weekend, but she has also been near perfect on defense as well.
The Gauchos improved their Big West record to 6-2, which ties them for second place. The Gauchos take on Fresno State on Wednesday at Campus Diamond for a nonconference matchup and then will face Cal Poly this weekend at home as well.