The UC Santa Barbara softball team simply dominated its seventh annual Softball by the Beach Invitational this past weekend.
Scoring early and often in three of their four games, the Gauchos (6-2 overall) had hot bats offensively and gave up only six runs defensively in the tournament.
“Everybody got an opportunity to play this weekend, so that was nice, and we’ve been playing great defense,” Head Coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I think everyone’s been having a better plan at the plate, too, and just being a little bit more patient looking for something they want to hit.”
Senior right-handed pitcher Jennifer Davis (1-2) was instrumental in the Gauchos’ 4-0 victory over Nevada (3-7) on Friday. Her performance included a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts in addition to going two-for-three at the plate with two RBI.
“[Davis has] had three years under her belt, so as a senior, I think she’s had the experience and knows what she should do now,” Schroeder said.
UCSB secured a 9-6 win against Big West rival Long Beach State (3-6) in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Santa Barbara put up eight runs in the first two innings, and freshman righty MeLinda Matsumoto (2-0) had a successful Campus Diamond debut, despite allowing six runs in a late Long Beach surge. The 49er scoring ended abruptly when Davis took over and collected the save.
“[Davis] pitched phenomenally this weekend,” Schroeder said. “She shut Nevada down on Friday and when she came in against Long Beach she shut them down, so I was very pleased with her and she had some great at bats, too.”
Freshman right-hander Lindsey Correa (2-0) had another impressive performance on Saturday when UCSB achieved an 8-0 mercy-rule victory over the Northern Colorado Bears (1-8). Correa fanned three and walked only one while sophomore second baseman Christine Ramos went three-for-three with an RBI.
“All the freshman pitchers have really stepped up,” senior catcher Ericka Hansen said. “They’ve worked so hard in bullpen and, watching them from fall until now, they’ve just improved immensely.”
In her first game of the season, sophomore right-hander Tami Weston (1-0) threw a gem as the Gauchos again defeated the Bears 7-0 on Sunday. UCSB scored all seven of their runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run single from sophomore designated player Adrienne Anderson. Weston had nine strikeouts, the most from a Gaucho pitcher this season, in her complete game shutout.
“I was real excited about Tami pitching today,” Schroeder said. “She didn’t have any walks and that’s something she had struggled with in the past, so for her to come out and get ahead, that was great.”
Santa Barbara will next take on Texas-San Antonio on Friday at 8 a.m. to kick off the UCSB Mini Tournament.