The UCSB softball team’s weekend was full of ups and downs, as it defeated #5 Stanford 2-0 and Loyola University Chicago 6-0 but lost to two other teams – to #9 Oregon State with a score of 4-0 and to Purdue 5-3 – at Cal State Fullerton’s Worth Invitational.
“[Beating Stanford] allowed us to recognize that we are capable of playing and beating any team in the nation, it’s a very positive thing. It’s too bad that we let down against Purdue, hoping to build off against that win,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “[The win against Stanford] gave the team confidence. The only team we shouldn’t have lost to was Purdue, but again I think we’re having a good pre-conference run.”
Rain cancelled the first game against #16 Northwestern, but the skies cleared in time for Friday’s game against #9 Oregon State. The Beavers went up 2-0 in the bottom of the second when freshman second baseman Paige Lowe plated two Oregon runners, who reached on walks from Santa Barbara junior pitcher Jenn Davis.
Senior left fielder Adrienne Alo stole home in the bottom of the third, and junior pitcher Brianne McGowan, who also threw the complete game shutout, had a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to finalize the win for the Beavers.
The Gauchos picked up the pace Saturday against Loyola, scoring in the top of the first inning with a hit from freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright, who went 3-3 on the day. Junior shortstop Brittany Putich drove in two runs with a double in the fourth to put Santa Barbara up 3-0.
Junior outfielder Liz Walters sealed the deal for UCSB with a three-run round-tripper in the top of the sixth. Junior southpaw Ginger Guitierrez pitched a one-hitter for the Gauchos, giving up one walk and striking out three.
On Saturday evening Santa Barbara faced its toughest competition of the weekend against #5 Stanford and came out triumphant, buoyed by Davis’ pitching. Junior outfielder Kendra Singley put the Gauchos up 1-0 in the top of the first with an RBI single, which plated freshman second baseman Christine Ramos. UCSB put the final run up in the top of the fourth when Putich brought around Wright, who had been hit by a pitch.
Davis gave one of her best pitching performances this season, striking out nine, giving up three hits and walking no one. The junior hurler retired the side in the first and second innings before giving up the first two hits of the game in the third, after which she closed out the inning with a strikeout. Davis silenced the final six Stanford batters to end the game.
In Sunday’s final game of the tournament, the Gauchos lost to unranked Purdue with a score of 5-3 in eight innings. The Boilermakers scored with a three-run home run from junior outfielder DaQueta Johnson. Davis, who started in the circle, battled back with an RBI single up the middle, and Walters tied the game at three with a two-run double in the sixth.
Despite hits from both sides in the seventh, the game was extended into the eighth when Purdue took the game, scoring two runs. Though they had a runner in scoring position, the Gauchos failed to deliver, striking out and flying out to end the game.
Next up for the UCSB is a trip to Hawaii to compete in the Hawaii Spring Fling Tournament.