Just when things were going great and the UCSB softball team (25-26 overall, 7-4 in the Big West) was on a seven-game winning streak, things drastically took a turn for the worse. In this past weekend’s three-game series with Cal Poly (17-24, 5-7), the UCSB Gauchos won one of three games in a series in which UCSB could have swept to keep up their recent thunderous play.
In game one, the Gauchos came out firing, scoring two runs early. Senior Leslie Simien scored first for the Gauchos on a passed ball after she worked her way to third base and plated the Gauchos’ second run in the second with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Mustangs came back to tie the game at 2-2 off an array of singles and on a wild pitch by UCSB’s junior pitcher Lindsey Herrin. With the game tied, senior Heather Nobbe singled up the middle and advanced to third on a Mustang error. With Nobbe on third, junior Katie Oliver hit a sacrifice fly to score Nobbe for the go-ahead run. Senior Davis Beck went 2-for-2 to help the Gauchos pull the game out and start off the day on the right foot.
“I think everyone has been taking their hacks lately, it’s just been everyone has seemed to be more focused and prepared,” said senior centerfielder Davis Beck. “The more games that we play it seems that our hitting seems to be getting better.”
In Sunday’s two games the Gauchos weren’t their usual selves, losing both games 7-1 and 6-0. UCSB only scored one run and gathered nine hits in the two games on a day the team would like to forget. The two losses signify a major blow to the Gauchos’ hopes for a conference title.
“We didn’t come out strong at the beginning, and we had a lot of mistakes early on which led to many runs and caused problems for us later in the games,” freshman left fielder Jessica Hejna said. “We also weren’t hitting at all today and only had nine hits both days, which really can’t get a win when you produce those numbers.”
The team felt that many problems caused the losses Sunday, with faulty pitching being a top crisis. The Gaucho pitching staff had problems with location, which led to wild pitches and numerous walks.
“The first two innings we allowed three walks and one person got hit by a pitch. Our pitching just needs to work on location and accuracy,” Hejna said. “We need to put these games behind us and just look to the future. We can’t go back on what happened today, and we need to put this in the past. We need to improve on better selection at bat and narrowing down the walks.”
The Gauchos will try to forget this weekend as they take on Utah State (3-6, 7-22) next weekend in a three-game series at Campus Diamond. The Gauchos need to win all three games in the series to get their record back to over .500.