UCSB softball won its third consecutive Big West series this weekend, this time against Cal State Northridge 5-4, 2-9 and 4-2 at Campus Diamond.

[media-credit name=”Lance Chu” align=”alignright” width=”165″][/media-credit] The Gauchos improve to 24-20 with a conference record of 8-4, tying for third with Long Beach State. Meanwhile, the Matadors drop to 16-28 and 4-8 in the Big West.

In Saturday’s 4-2 rubber match victory, UCSB’s defense turned its 24th double play of the season in the second inning, breaking the single season record set last year. UCSB currently ranks No. 4 nationally in the category at .53 per game.

“As a whole, [our defense has] been rock solid,” junior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “We not only make the routine play but come up big on the tough plays.”

Later in the inning, the senior shortstop Jessica Beristianos and senior designated hitter Katie McWhirter stepped up to give their team a 1-0 lead, ripping two doubles with two outs. As a team, UCSB leads the league in doubles.

“[The series was] tied 1-1, and we were fighting for the win,” Beristianos said. “We had to set the tone on offense.”

Northridge climbed back in, closing the gap to 3-2 with the help of two Gaucho errors. However, a home run by junior right fielder Allison Taylor in the sixth clinched the series for UCSB. Taylor led the team offensively, hitting 2-3 with a run and three RBI.

Junior pitcher Krista Cobb (6-1 in conference) anchored the team defensively all weekend, allowing only two runs off three hits and no walks in game three.

“Krista’s been pitching with fire,” DePompa said. “She’s found confidence, which just helps everyone follow that energy that we’ll pull it out in the end.”

UCSB heads south next weekend for a critical matchup against Long Beach State.