When you’re up you’re up and, more noticeably, when you’re down, everyone is trying to keep you down.
Santa Barbara (23-16 overall, 6-6 in the Big West) and Northridge (14-16 overall, 3-9 Big West) are two clear examples of this, and they take to Campus Diamond this weekend for a three-game series.
“Never hurts when a team’s down to get them; you’d rather get them on a losing streak than on a winning streak,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “CSUN is always a solid team, a top team for defense in the country, and our biggest thing is to make sure they don’t score runs because they’ve been struggling offensively.”
The Matadors, who are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, are hitting a collective .209, with the majority of their starters hitting right at or below the .200 mark. Junior outfielder Emilee Moores hits a team high of .323 in 65 plate appearances. Senior Kia Fennell, who boasts a team low 2.02 ERA, will split time in the circle with sophomore Erin Sigala, who has a 2.88 ERA.
UCSB will most likely split its pitching between the sophomore trio of Jenn Davis (13-8), Lindsey Sommer (8-5) and Carly Harmon (1-2). Davis, who paves the way with a 1.65 ERA, was tapped for nine runs last Saturday against Pacific.
Sophomore second baseman Kendra Singley will lead the Gauchos around the base paths with a team-high .316 average. Senior first baseman Lindsey Herrin will bat second with .306 and 12 home runs. Sophomore outfielder Jessica Hejna helped to drive in five of UCSB’s eight runs in Sunday’s victory, including one home run.
“We’ve been hitting well — when everyone’s hitting and is having good at-bats, we’re hitting the ball hard,” Schroeder said. “It’s those times when we’re a little ahead and someone scores right away and we put too much pressure, then we have a tendency to swing at too many pitches. Hopefully, we’ll come out the chute strong and keep it up.”
First pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for noon.