Despite dropping the series to Cal State Northridge, the UCSB softball team salvaged the weekend with a late win on the road yesterday to avoid a sweep.
Santa Barbara (19-16 overall, 3-6 in the Big West) fell twice to the mercy rule Saturday, losing 9-0 and 9-1 to the Matadors (14-19, 3-9 Big West), but broke out the big bats Sunday to post a 13-5 victory.
“I think we’re capable of playing well, we just all have to come out ready to play,” UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “We didn’t come out ready [Saturday] and our heads weren’t in the game. Everybody has to be ready to go and ready to pick someone else up and not rely on anyone else.”
Saturday, it seemed as if the Gauchos were waiting to be lifted out of the hole, but the relief never came. In the first game, UCSB fell behind 1-0 early. With one out in the third, Matador sophomore outfielder Jackie Duree singled and then stole second. Duree then moved to third on a groundout, when freshman infielder Micah Putnam laid down a bunt single on the first base line to widen the Gauchos’ deficit.
The Matadors blew the door wide open after managing to clobber an eight-run fourth inning, handing Santa Barbara a 9-0 shutout loss.
Junior pitcher Jennifer Davis started for the Gauchos, notching four innings and allowing three walks and striking out just two, while allowing nine runs, four of which were earned.
The second set of the twin bill was more of the same for Santa Barbara. Freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright went 1-2, scoring the only run for the Gauchos in the second inning putting them on the board first.
However, that was the only offensive number UCSB could post on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Northridge scored nine unanswered runs on four hits thanks to 11 walks, three hit batters and three wild pitches coming from Gaucho freshman pitcher Tami Weston. All but one batter in the Matador lineup plated a run, with Duree and freshman shortstop Amanda Peek leading the way going 1-2 with two RBI and 1-3 with two runs, respectively.
Davis returned to the circle Sunday and played a completely different game with the backing of a revived Santa Barbara offense.
“I was real happy with Jenn’s performance today,” Schroeder said. “They didn’t hit her as hard as they did [Saturday] and overall she only gave up three hard hits. Our defense stood behind her well, too, and it was a total team effort. … We really hit the crud out of the ball and it’s nice when you can give your pitcher some leeway and run support like that.”
UCSB’s offensive charge was led by Wright and sophomore outfielder Danielle Meyers who both went three-for-four. The Gauchos also posted 17 hits to Northridge’s seven, a complete reversal from Saturday’s doubleheader.
After the first, a scoreless inning for both teams, Santa Barbara managed to score one run in every inning, and posted multiple runs in five innings.
“I was happy with today; we definitely came out ready to play,” Schroeder said. “Hopefully that’ll carry into next week and we’ll be ready.”
The Gauchos continue Big West play this weekend, hosting Central Coast rival Cal Poly.