After a laborious weekend in Sin City, the UCSB softball team hopes to get some tender bliss this weekend as it hosts the Commercial Capital Invitational, beginning today at Campus Diamond.
First up for the Gauchos is Brigham Young University, a team that beat the Gauchos 6-2 in last year’s tournament. Paving the way for the Cougars on the base path is senior catcher Lauren Watson-Perry, who is hitting .571 with six RBI and seven runs scored. In the circle is junior Summer Tobias, who has sported a 1.17 ERA in 12 innings in the field and has allowed just 12 hits on the season.
BYU is 4-0 on the season after a successful trip to UNLV last weekend and is hitting a collective .433, holding its opponents to a .234 batting average.
“They hit the ball very well. Every year they’ve come down to our tournament and beaten us, so it will be a real test for our team to go out there and get focused and do the things that we need to do,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said.
The Gauchos also ventured to Las Vegas this weekend but didn’t come out big winners, falling to 5-6 on the season after dropping three games to nationally ranked Washington, Baylor and Michigan.
“It was good that we were able to play with those teams. We did have an opportunity to win the Washington and Baylor games, so that was frustrating, but I was happy that our team proved to themselves that we can compete with those [nationally ranked] teams,” Schroeder said. “The big thing is letting them know that they’re capable and as good as anyone in the country. If they can believe that, when we go into the next game that we’re not supposed to win, then maybe we can win those games.”
Aiding the Gauchos last weekend was sophomore infielder Kendra Singley, who swung the game winning-hit in the 2-1 victory over Wichita Stat last Saturday, is second on the team with a .306 batting average and leads the team with 10 runs.
Sophomore Jennifer Davis, who has started all 11 games for the Gauchos this season and leads the team with a .333 average and a 1.28 ERA, has helped keep UCSB competitive. Saturday, Davis pitched a complete game to hold Wichita to just one run on two hits, going 1-3 with an RBI at the plate.
The Gauchos rearranged their lineup last weekend and it certainly helped freshman designated player Danielle Meyers, who hit the first home run of her collegiate career against Washington.
“We’ve been having a couple of injuries here and there, so we’ve been trying to nurse those a little bit. We have some depth on the team; we were able to play players who haven’t had a lot of time,” Schroeder said. “[Meyers] is starting to feel a little bit more comfortable at the plate and do some things there.”
Hopefully the old adage of “Home Sweet Home” will be true this week for the UCSB softball team as it returns to the friendly confines of Campus Diamond to host a bevy of teams for the Commercial Capital Invitational
UCSB takes on BYU 2 p.m. today, going on to play a double-header on Friday against Cal Poly (11:30 a.m.) and Loyola Marymount (2 p.m.), before taking on Southwest Missouri State at 9 a.m. Saturday. All games will be played at Campus Diamond.