Pack your bags; we’re heading to Tucson.
The UCSB women’s softball team (14-7 in the Big West, 32-29 overall) received an NCAA regionals bid and the sixth seed Sunday night and will head to Tucson, Ariz. to face #3 seeded Northwestern (32-18, 13-9 in the Big Ten).
Santa Barbara earned its postseason status after winning two of three games against #19 Pacific and sweeping #11 Fresno State in a doubleheader. Additionally, UCSB won 23 games against top-25 teams.
The real turnaround for the Gauchos was when they took two of three games from Cal State Northridge, making their postseason dreams come true.
“The whole team is very excited about going to regionals this season,” freshman left fieder Jessica Hejna said. “We have worked hard all year, and it shows that it finally paid off.”
The Gauchos’ 16-7 Big West record earned them the second-place spot in the conference and proved to the selection committee that they were eligible to move on to the postseason.
“Now it’s business,” freshman catcher Shelby Hensler said. “We have beaten ranked teams before and proven to many that we can overcome a lot. Now is going to be the time to show everyone what we are all about.”
The team will leave for Tucson on Tuesday, where it will play its first game against Northwestern on Thursday. The tournament is double elimination play, with the winner moving on to play Friday through Sunday.
“We have been playing well the last part of the season going into the last games, which impresses the Regional Committee,” Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I feel that we can beat anybody in the nation and will look forward to whatever comes our way.”