For the second consecutive weekend, the UCSB softball team won the first game of its series before dropping the final two contests of the weekend, recording a 4-3 victory and an 8-0 loss in Saturday’s doubleheader and a 6-1 loss to Pacific on Sunday. The Gauchos (16-13 overall, 2-4 in the Big West) broke their 14-game home winning streak.
“I’m a little frustrated – [Sunday] we didn’t play as well as we did [Saturday],” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I think our pitchers should be capable of throwing better than what they’ve been doing. Defensively, I don’t think we gave a great showing [Sunday], and we had been doing great pretty much throughout the season.”
In the first game of Saturday’s twin bill, the Tigers had a 2-0 lead when junior centerfielder Kendra Singley put Santa Barbara up with a three-run home run to centerfield. Singley crossed home plate again in the fifth with freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright notching the game-winning RBI.
The Tigers threatened in the sixth with a solo shot from junior shortstop Lizzie Hagen, but the Gaucho defense and junior pitcher Jennifer Davis held them off to earn the 4-3 win.
Pacific got things started in game two with a three-run home run from freshman pitcher Briana Santos. Davis again started in the circle but freshman Tami Weston came on in relief in the second. Santos held the Gauchos to just two hits en route to the mercy-rule victory in five innings.
“We hit the ball hard but we got in a huge hole in two innings and it’s hard to play catch up when you’re down seven runs,” Schroeder said. “[Sunday] we ended up having as many hits as they had but we didn’t necessarily have the hits at the right times so we need to work a little harder at having good at bats when runners are in scoring position and we didn’t do that this weekend.”
The Gauchos again got into trouble early in the series finale Sunday, giving up one run in the second and two in the third after allowing six base runners. Weston relieved Davis in the third after Davis walked in a run for the second time on the weekend.
UCSB’s only run Sunday came from Wright, who hit her fourth round-tripper of the year in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Chelsea Engle took the win, giving up just one run on six hits while Davis got the loss. Though Weston had five strikeouts, she walked seven, combining with Davis for a game total of 11.
“We’re very happy after dropping the first game of the series to come back and play well and win two games,” Pacific Head Coach Brian Kolze said. “We had our opportunities in the first game, Davis did a really good job at getting out of some jams against our top hitters – you have to credit her. I think we kept making good adjustments throughout the rest of the series and really took advantage of some opportunities so I was very happy.”
Next, the Gauchos travel to UC Davis for a nonconference series this weekend.