The Cathedral City Classic was kind to the UCSB softball team this weekend, as the Gauchos (9-6 overall) went 4-2 over the four-day invitational, including a 6-4 upset of #17 Nevada. The win over the Wolfpack was Santa Barbara’s first triumph over a ranked opponent this year.
“Overall, we had a pretty good weekend,” senior infielder Christine Ramos said. ” I think our team is coming together real well, we’ve played a few weekends already. … I think that these are just like stepping stones to how much better we’re going to be. I think we had really good offense, really good defense, but we still have some kinks in there to get out, losing to some teams we shouldn’t have lost to.”
UCSB split the classic’s first day with a narrow 4-3 win over NC State (2-6) before dropping a 7-3 decision to Maryland (3-8), the Terrapins’ first victory of the year. Against the Wolfpack, UCSB took a commanding 4-0 lead after two innings and never looked back, with NC State’s comeback effort stymied by another impressive performance in the circle by freshman Krista Cobb. In five innings pitched, Cobb surrendered only two runs on five hits before junior MeLinda Matsumoto stepped in to close the deal in the sixth. At the plate, senior outfielder Tiffany Wright slammed a two-RBI-homer in the first before the Gauchos benefited from three Wolfpack errors in the second, which resulted in two more runs
UCSB’s bid to go 2-0 against the ACC on Day One was quickly ended against a Maryland team that picked a perfect time to get hot. Cradling a hard-earned 3-0 lead early, Maryland unexpectedly pulled freshman Kendra Knight after only one out and two earned runs in favor of sophomore Kerry Hickey. This quick change proved to be the difference-maker, as Hickey pitched the rest of the game, allowing only one run on four hits as Maryland continued to score.
The following day, UCSB seemed determined to right the wrong of remedying Maryland’s winless season, taking out their frustration in a 10-1 win over unsuspecting Tennessee Tech (5-9). Junior hurler Lindsey Correa threw her best game of the season, going seven innings and allowing only one run on two hits as the Gauchos amassed a 10-0 advantage going into the seventh.
“[Correa] had an awesome game against Tennessee Tech,” Ramos said. “It’s very exciting to see our upperclassmen do well. Our pitching did well last year, and I think they will continue to do well.”
After another Cobb complete game during the Gaucho’s 4-0 over Kansas (6-8), UCSB put together a complete game as a team to beat #17 Nevada (7-7) 6-4.
Sunday Santa Barbara closed out the tourney with a huge win over #17 Nevada, in which sophomore short stop Jessica Beristianos led the Gauchos with two RBIs off two hits in the 6-4 win over the Wolfpack, before dropping to Ohio State in the afternoon. Against the Buckeyes, UCSB came back from an early 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead into the top of the seventh inning. The lead couldn’t hold though, with an explosive Ohio State performance that tacked on four runs against Santa Barbara. The Gauchos managed to get one of the runs back in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t make the full run, falling 5-3.