Rain, rain, go away come again another day.
On April 17 the UCSB softball team (28-26, 10-4) was scheduled to play UC Riverside (12-43, 2-11), but the game was cancelled due to rain. Now the weather is superior and the Gauchos will head down to Amy S. Harrison Field in Riverside to face the Highlanders in a single game.
Santa Barbara faced Riverside twice previously this season in a doubleheader in which the Gauchos pulled away with two wins defeating the Highlanders 7-0 and 6-1. Even with UCSB’s wins, the Highlanders are known as a team that can win at any time in the season. Last weekend Riverside faced Cal State Fullerton, losing two of three games in the series. The Gauchos need to go to Riverside and handle their business to leave them tied for second place in the Big West and have a good shot at making regionals.
“By sweeping Fresno, who is a highly talented team in the country, and beating Pacific, I think that if we go to regionals we are capable of upsetting teams,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “It’s just getting there which is the hard part now.”
After a wild and crazy weekend with a 16-inning game and a 16-strikeout day, the Gauchos are playing their best softball of the season. The team seems focused at the plate, averaging four runs a game in the last three games. Also, the UCSB pitchers are recently getting the job done, allowing only three runs last weekend. Freshman pitcher Jennifer Davis seems to have found her rhythm, commanding the mound and even striking out 16 last weekend.
“We have been playing good as of late and feel very confident going to play Riverside this week,” freshman left fielder Jessica Hejna said. “The more practice we get, the better we will be later in the season and hopefully during regionals.”
The Gauchos’ real test will be this weekend against Long Beach State, which sits atop the conference (42-10, 12-2 in the Big West). With only seven games left in the season, the team needs to strap on their helmets and head straight for the top of the conference.