The UCSB softball team persevered through rain and cold weather to take four out of five games in this weekend’s Softball by the Beach Tournament.
In their first homestand of the season, the Gauchos (7-7 overall) defeated Portland State 1-0 on Friday and then notched two more wins on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over St. John’s and an 8-5 triumph against the Portland Vikings. UCSB finished the tourney on Monday by splitting two games with the Red Storm (1-8) by way of an 11-2 mercy win and a 6-4 loss. Third baseman Tisha Duran was named Big West Player of the Week after hitting three homeruns and registering 10 RBI.
Duran brought home the only run of the game on Friday when she singled home second baseman Christine Ramos early on in the first inning. Junior pitcher Tami Weston (3-0) threw her second consecutive complete game shutout despite a lack of run support, as the Gauchos left nine runners on base. She struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits in the 1-0 victory.
“[Weston’s] throwing really well, and I think the more innings she gets under her belt, the more confidence she’s going to get,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “She took care of business at the end. You could see a little bit of nervousness in the seventh inning, but I think that was the case for the whole team. Just being able to win a close game gives her more confidence.”
The Gaucho offense broke through with 11 runs on 16 hits in Saturday’s doubleheader. Duran wielded another hot bat by going three-for-three in the first game, highlighted by a solo shot in the fourth. On the mound, sophomore hurler Lindsey Correa (3-3) came away with a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts, while allowing six hits and walking four.
“[Correa] did a good job of working when she had to with runners in scoring position,” Galicinao said. “She’s still working through finding what’s comfortable and working through her pitches. The fact that she didn’t have her best performance and still was able to shut out a team was great.”
Sophomore pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto (1-4) got her first win of the season in the 8-5 victory over Portland in Saturday’s second contest. Duran put UCSB in front with a three-run homerun as part of a four-run first inning, and Santa Barbara managed to keep its advantage despite 12 hits by the Red Storm.
“That was a closer game, but I think overall the energy was a lot better,” Galicinao said. “They played like it was their home field, and it showed. The physical errors are going to happen, but the attitude was there and the swagger that we were lacking our first two home games finally showed itself.”
Due to heavy rain on Saturday night, Sunday’s finale was changed to a doubleheader with St. John’s on Monday. In the afternoon’s first meeting, four runs were again scored off Gaucho bats in the first inning, including another three-run homer by Duran. UCSB proceeded to score at least one run in three of the next four innings followed by a four-run fourth that put the mercy rule into effect. Weston picked up the win after allowing just two runs by the Red Storm.
In the second game, Santa Barbara took a three-run lead going into the sixth, but Matsumoto and Correa both struggled, and the Red Storm responded by scoring three on a double and tacking on two more runs in the seventh.