The UCSB softball team is amid an eight-game winning streak, but if you talked with Head Coach Brie Galicinao, you probably wouldn’t know that.
“You can’t base your next game on what happened the last game, so that’s why we have to just take it one game at a time,” Galicinao said. “Sometimes you run-roll a team and sometimes they get you, so it’s just forget about the last game and look ahead to the next game.”
The Gauchos (23-14 overall, 6-0 in the Big West) play their final two nonconference games of the season against #10 Fresno State (35-7) today beginning at 12 p.m.
“It’s just another game at Campus Diamond,” Galicinao said. “It’ll be nice to play out of conference because we’re two opponents in and then we go down to Northridge. Because it is so tight in the conference, it will be good for them to compete and play someone else.”
Looking back at the weekend’s series sweep of Cal Poly (15-16, 3-3 Big West), UCSB managed to secure two very different kinds of victories on Saturday. The Gaucho offense came alive in the first game, with Santa Barbara scoring seven runs on six hits, including homeruns by junior center fielder Tiffany Wright and senior catcher Ericka Hansen. Game two, however, was much more of a defensive battle, as both teams left six runners stranded and the score was knotted at one run apiece before UCSB rallied four home in the sixth.
“That’s the thing with softball; you never know what’s going to happen,” Hansen said. “Sometimes it’s a defensive game, sometimes it’s an offensive game, but as long as you’re doing all the small things to make it work together, whatever it takes, just get it done.”
Santa Barbara certainly got it done on Sunday against the Mustangs with a 2-1 win after Wright took freshman left-handed pitcher Anna Cahn deep for the second time in two days. Wright has come alive during the Gauchos’ winning streak, going 14-for-27 with five homeruns, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored in the stretch.
“[Cahn] moved to the three spot and she’s just really made that her own,” Galicinao said. “She’s performing as a lead-off, she’s performing when we need a clutch hit and she looks like she’s having fun in there.”
UCSB will take its momentum straight into a Fresno State team that has enjoyed two impressive winning streaks of its own already this season. Following a loss to Massachusetts early in the year, the Bulldogs won 14 in a row and then later put up 12 consecutive victories. Freshman pitcher Morgan Melloh, who carries a 24-4 record as well as the 29th-best ERA in the nation at .095, leads Fresno State defensively. Freshman shortstop Haley Gilleland and junior left fielder Mallory Perkins are two of five regular starters who bat well over .300 to compose a very intimidating lineup.
Santa Barbara did face the nation’s best team in #1 UCLA two weeks ago, but the Gauchos will likely need a flawless performance to defeat the Bulldogs. The second game of the doubleheader, set for an approximate 2 p.m. start, can be heard on KCSB 91.9 FM or on the web at www.kcsb.org