The possibility of snow is the scariest thing about the UCSB softball team’s trip to Logan, Utah, this weekend for a Big West Conference matchup with Utah State.
The Gauchos hope to repeat last year’s sweep of the Aggies, which saw sophomore pitcher Jenn Davis throw a career-high 16 strikeouts. Utah State brings a 1-8 conference record while Santa Barbara is sitting at 3-3 after sweeping Riverside at home last weekend.
“Hopefully we’ll go out there and take care of business, but if we go in there and think that we’re going to get an easy three wins, then that’s probably the last thing that will happen,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I was real happy with the way we performed and the way we finished the last Riverside game.”
Davis again proved to be a stalwart in the pitching circle, winning both starts against Riverside Saturday and Sunday in addition to hitting a three-run homer to start off the Gauchos’ victory Sunday. Davis’ shutouts last weekend garnered her Big West Pitcher of the Week status for the second time this season, and she boasts a team-low 1.28 ERA. Sophomore hurler Lindsey Sommer pitched an 11-inning shutout in Saturday’s second game and will most likely start this Saturday afternoon.
“They both have been throwing very well, so I feel very comfortable with either one of them. Our team seems to play well behind Jenn and we’ve struggled to get runs behind Lindsey, but hopefully we’ll be able to help both of them out,” Schroeder said. “If Jenn struggles for some reason, I wouldn’t hesitate to put Lindsey in there.”
Offensively for UCSB, sophomore infielders Kendra Singley and Brittany Putich currently lead the team with .314 and .304 batting averages, respectively, and senior first baseman Lindsey Herrin has driven in a team-high 21 runs on top of a .581 slugging percentage. The Gauchos will be without the services of sophomore catcher Shelby Hensler for the remainder of the year due to injury.
Freshman Amy Schaible poses the biggest threat from the Aggies, being the only player to hit in the doubleheader that Utah State dropped to Long Beach. The Aggies have a team ERA of 5.06, with junior Leslie Higley paving the way with 69 runs in 72 innings for a team-low 4.08 ERA.
First pitch is scheduled for noon Saturday.