UCSB softball snapped its seven-game losing streak this weekend when they defeated Cal State Fullerton 2-1 in the first game of Big West play. The Gauchos then dropped the next two 5-4 and 3-2, but recovered Monday to defeat South Dakota 4-1 in a nonconference doubleheader.
In Monday’s second win over South Dakota, the Coyotes scored first, but it would be their only point of the match. UCSB stormed back in the third to score three runs after a triple by freshman second baseman Kathryn Pilpil.
“We did a really good job of stringing hits together,” Junior utility player Amanda Ziegler said. “We were feeding off of each other and the energy was amazing.”
Freshman pitcher Andriana Collins struck out nine and allowed only five hits. UCSB leads the Big West in strikeouts.
“Our pitching is really good and each pitcher has her own strengths,” Ziegler said. “The trio works well together and they’re each competitors.”
In Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Titans, Fullerton’s Nicole Johnson hit a clutch home run in the ninth, giving the Titans a narrow victory after UCSB tied the game in the seventh.
“We went into the seventh inning and never doubted that we were going to come back,” said Ziegler. “[The hit was] super clutch on their part. [Cobb] pitched such an amazing game and [we’d] like to say that one hit can’t beat us, but one swing of the bat can change the game.”
In another one-run game Sunday, UCSB outhit Fullerton 9-5 but suffered a 5-4 loss. With a 3-1 lead going into the sixth, the Gauchos gave up four runs and were never able to recover.
“We didn’t take advantage of every opportunity,” Ziegler said. “Other teams are going to try to out scrap us and we can’t be comfortable with just a few runs.”
Saturday’s game was a come-from-behind victory led by freshman first baseman Lauren Boser who went 2-3. UCSB scored down the stretch in the fifth and sixth innings to secure the victory. Fullerton was the first to score in all three games.
Cal Poly is next for the Gauchos, with a three-game road series starting on Sunday at 4 p.m. in San Luis Obispo.