After splitting the weekend’s opening doubleheader, the UCSB softball team rode yet another commanding performance by freshman right-hander Krista Cobb to earn a 5-0 rubber match victory against Pacific on Sunday. With the wins, the Gauchos (23-22 overall, 6-9 in Big West) set two dubious streaks to rest in Stockton, ending both their four-game losing streak and six-game conference road losing streak.

“We come out to play every game,” said junior hurler MeLinda Matsumoto. “We fought every inning, every pitch, and we came out with some wins.”

In game one, UCSB got their offense started in a hurry with a three-run half inning that would serve as the contest’s only scoring. After senior infielder Christine Ramos singled to right, junior infielder Jessica Zeigler was able to reach on a bunt after the throw was misplayed by the Tiger (17-29, 2-13) shortstop, leaving both runners safe at first and second. Senior Pacific hurler Chelsea Engle inadvertently advanced both Ramos and Zeigler on a baulk before surrendering a routine ground ball to senior outfielder Tiffany Wright. Unfortunately, the Pacific defense yet again fumbled the ball, allowing Ramos to score and Wright to arrive safely at first. Freshman utility Amanda Zeigler brought her sister home with a sacrifice grounder to make it 2-0, and a few at-bats later, sophomore infielder Jessica Beristianos would score Wright under the exact same circumstances.

Given a 3-0 lead before even setting foot on the mound, Cobb took full advantage, giving up only three hits and no runs while fanning five for her 13th complete game. While errors on defense would prove to be the difference for Pacific, Engle pitched a decent game for the Tigers, allowing only two hits and no runs from the Gauchos after the first.

“[Cobb]’s doing well,” said Matsumoto. “I think because she changed her slot this weekend, it’s really given a lot of people more [of] a chance to play.”

Game two, while again low scoring, was a decidedly different affair. Pacific, who had only hit nine home runs as a team going into Saturday’s doubleheader, struck first with a solo shot to right center by sophomore infielder Nicole Matson, putting the Tigers up 1-0. Matson, who leads Pacific with a .345 average and five of their 10 home runs, sparked the Tiger offense into action, forcing Head Coach Brie Galicinao to pull senior Tami Weston after she surrendered a double to senior outfielder Lauren Weyman. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Matsumoto stepped in to end the inning with a rare strikeout, leaving the score at 1-0. Pacific would scratch one more across in the bottom of the fourth, putting UCSB down 2-0 going into the sixth.

After mustering only two hits off freshman Michelle Tait thus far, Santa Barbara finally solved the youngster, beginning with a Jessica Zeigler single to lead off the inning. After the elder Zeigler stole second, Wright let fly a two-run jack to left, tying the game at 2-2 with one swing of the bat. A pitching change was in order for the Tigers after Amanda Zeigler singled to left, and freshman Gabby McDaniel did not disappoint. With one out and two runners in scoring position, McDaniel found her groove, striking out the last two batters she faced.

The brief tie would not last as Pacific, with two quick outs already on the board, rallied for a run in the bottom of the sixth, earning the narrow 3-2 lead. With runners on second and third, Weyman’s single would plate the deciding run of game two, giving the Tigers only their second win in their last 17 games.

UCSB would respond in the rubber match the following day, with Cobb two-hitting the home team while her offense reeled off five runs to take game three 5-0. Building off her solid performances the day before, Wright led all batters with three RBI on two hits. Back on the mound, Cobb’s two weekend wins moved her to 16-8 on the year, tying Jennifer Davis’ freshman record in victories.