As she gets closer to the end of her senior year and her best offensive season with UCSB (22-14 overall, 8-4 in the Big West), senior first base Lindsey Herrin and the rest of the Gaucho softball team look to continue its five-game win streak this season as it heads to Stockton to face Pacific (22-19 overall, 6-3 Big West) in a three-game series this weekend.
Last weekend Santa Barbara closed out its homestand with a sweep of Davis, ending the weekend with an eight-run mercy rule.
UOP is coming off a sweep of its own sweep against Cal Poly from last weekend, but the Gauchos said they feel Pacific’s defensive ineptitude should play in their favor.
“I felt good about last weekend and going to Stockton,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “Pacific is pretty strong offensively, but their pitchers have struggled in the past, and have been allowing a lot of other teams to score runs.”
For Santa Barbara to piece together a resume good enough for the NCAA committee as it did last year, nonconference series like this go under the must-win umbrella.
“Defensively and pitching wise, we’re stronger than they are, but for the most part we line up pretty good,” Schroeder said. “I’m confident about our chances, but since it’s an away game, we need to show up and play. If we come out ready and fired up, I think we’ll have a great chance this weekend.”
Herrin is coming off a three-for-six performance against Davis and broke the record she set last year for most home runs in a single season at UCSB. With her 11th home run, she is just three shy of breaking the all-time career home run record at Santa Barbara.
“I definitely think she’s capable of breaking the record,” Schroeder said. “We have a lot of play left in the season and she’s swinging the bat great. I’d be surprised if she didn’t break it. But since she’s been on a roll and other teams know it, opposing pitchers might not give her the pitches that she needs. If she just sits back on the pitches, she’ll definitely do it.”
In keeping consistent with the past few weekends, sophomore pitcher Jennifer Davis will pitch the bookend games, while sophomore Lindsey Sommer will pitch the second game. With the return of sophomore pitcher Carly Harmon from injury, Santa Barbara has relief options to fall back on.