After a perfect 5-0 start last weekend at the Gaucho Classic, UCSB softball heads to San Diego for five games in three days beginning Friday, weather permitting.
[media-credit name=”Lance Chu” align=”alignright” width=”170″][/media-credit]“Our team doesn’t need to play lights out to win [this weekend],” UCSB Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “They just have to play the way they practice.”
The San Diego Classic is the beginning of 15 games on the road for the Gauchos.
UCSB is scheduled to face Howard and Sacramento State University on Friday, followed by #15 Berkeley on Saturday. The Gauchos will finish up the tournament on Sunday, facing Northwestern and San Diego.
“We’ll be able to play some teams that are ranked, which is good,” Galicinao said. “It prepares us for our conference and postseason seeding.”
Assuming the games are not postponed or canceled due to inclement weather, she hopes that her team continues adapting between games and carries the momentum from the Gaucho Classic into the weekend.
“The 5-0 [record] is a confidence boost and reassurance that everybody is on the right track,” Galicinao said. “They’re focused on all the small things and getting better.”
This start is the Gaucho’s best since 2003. Last season, UCSB ended a disappointing 15-37 and 6-15 in Big West play, finishing last in the conference.
“Last year is last year,” junior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “We’re focusing on what’s ahead and the present’s looking good for us.”
Six freshmen have also aided the Gauchos in their recent turnaround. At the Gaucho Classic, freshmen McKenzie Kane and Kathryn Pilpil accounted for 10 of the Gauchos’ 23 runs. Freshman Andriana Collins also struck out 18 opposing players in just three games for UCSB.
“We have a lot of freshman contributors and the returners are performing better too,” Galicinao said. “Our team has a really good dynamic.”
However, DePompa said the team’s success comes from the determination of its players.
“I think the difference is just having everyone committed to the same goal and willing to do whatever it takes for our team to be successful,” DePompa said.