The UCSB softball team benefited from a nonconference trip north, taking the weekend series against UC Davis – dropping the first game 2-1 before winning the following two games 6-4 and 8-0.
“[Friday] we just didn’t really produce runs, we played decent defense but we came out a little bit flatter than usual and that might have had something to do with how we’ve been doing the past couple of weekends, getting down and not feeling confident,” junior pitcher Jennifer Davis said. “Once we lost to them, it was a kick in the butt and we came back with fire in the last two games.”
In the first game of Friday’s twin bill, the Gauchos got on the board first in the second, an inning in which UCSB stole three bases, when a throwing error allowed junior shortstop Brittany Putich to come home. The Aggies followed suit in their half of the inning with freshman right fielder Roxanne Hannan stealing home after singling to left to tie the score.
The Aggies scored the game-winner in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore catcher Ashley Johnson came home on a throwing error by Santa Barbara. Junior Aggie pitcher Lindsay Tognetti held UCSB to one hit in the final three innings to notch the win. Davis took the loss for the Gauchos, giving up one earned run on five hits.
Sophomore Danielle Meyers helped UCSB to establish its presence early in game two with a three-run shot to right field that plated sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen and junior right fielder Liz Walters.
The third inning was also kind to the Gauchos, who brought three more around on three hits and one UC Davis error in the inning. Freshman hurler Tami Weston earned her second win of the year, starting the game and pitching 4.1 innings.
On Saturday, Meyers, who started in her second consecutive game after replacing junior third baseman Shelby Hensler in the first game Saturday, drove in the first Gaucho run in the second with a single to short. Putich brought in two more runs with a double to left in the fourth. UCSB freshman utility player Adrienne Anderson also contributed going 2-4 with two RBI in her first collegiate start.
Meyers and Anderson were part of the new lineup last weekend and it worked to the advantage of the Gauchos, who had been struggling recently.
“I think it was a good move on our coach’s part to mix things up and give different people playing time,” Davis said. “It could have been anyone that came but both Danielle and Adrianne have been working really hard during the week, showing her and everyone that they wanted to play.”
Davis improved to 12-11 on the season, holding the Aggies to a season-low three hits while fanning seven batters.
“Even in the first game on Friday, I felt a lot better than I had been the past couple weekends, they scored a couple runs but they weren’t hitting home runs or finding the gaps so I felt pretty good Friday,” Davis said. “Saturday, I felt a lot stronger and confident, and how I know and feel that I should be throwing-gives me a lot of confidence going into the next couple weekends and will be coming back strong in the next couple of weeks.”
Santa Barbara resumes conference play this weekend with a trip to Cal State Northridge next weekend.