Despite two losses to #13 Fresno State earlier this week, the UCSB softball team will head into this weekend still perfect in the Big West.
After a five-game homestand, the Gauchos (23-16 overall, 6-0 in the Big West) will travel to Matador Diamond to face Cal State Northridge. Santa Barbara had won eight straight games before Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Bulldogs (37-7), while the Matadors (14-18, 3-3 Big West) were able to deal #14 Long Beach State one of just three road losses the 49ers have had this season, last weekend.
“It truly is one game at a time for us,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “Even each game in the series, it’s not like a series at a time. It’s like game number seven, game number eight, game number nine; all separate from the rest. And in the Big West, it’s just record so it doesn’t matter who we beat or lose to, in the end, all those games matter. Each game is just as important as the next.”
UCSB’s offense has been flourishing of late with junior second baseman Christine Ramos currently riding a season-best 13-game hitting streak and, after earning her first career Big West Player of the Week honor, junior centerfielder Tiffany Wright was able to drive home one of five runs in the second game against Fresno State on Tuesday. Finally, senior third baseman Tisha Duran paces the Gauchos in seven offensive categories and remains just three homeruns and seven RBI away from breaking the two single-season school records originally set by Lindsey Herrin (2005) and Jami Trinidad (2003), respectively.
Currently tied for third place in the Big West standings, Cal State Northridge comes off a three-game series with Long Beach State (29-10, 5-1 Big West) in which the Matadors achieved a 9-1 mercy win while losing the other two. Junior catcher Amanda Peek, who leads the team with a .443 batting average and 21 RBI, went deep for her fourth home run of the season in the nine-hit victory over the 49ers. On the mound, senior pitcher Mercedes Lovato (12-11) has accounted for exactly two-thirds of the innings pitched (140.1) and maintains a 2.94 ERA.
The first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader is slated for 12 p.m. and the finale will be played at the same time on Sunday.