The UCSB softball team will conclude its 10-game road swing starting today as it heads to San Jose to compete in the Santa Clara Bronco Classic. After dropping four out of five and leaving 31 runners stranded on base in the Hawaii Invitational last weekend, the Gauchos look to end their hitting woes before returning home.
“We needed to do more things to produce offensively as far as moving runners and getting bunts down and doing the small things,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “That’s something we will continue to work on this weekend.”
UCSB currently sits at 7-15 overall and will play five games in three days during the weekend. The Gauchos will face San Jose State (10-12) in its first game and play a doubleheader against St. Mary’s (5-10) and host Santa Clara (3-18) the following day. Santa Barbara will play rematches against both teams on Sunday to conclude the tournament.
“I think we really have a good chance of winning a lot of these games,” sophomore pitcher Andriana Collins said. “They’re really scrappy teams, kinda similar to our style and play … There’s always going to be tough games but the biggest thing is to know that whoever you’re playing against, you can beat them.”
The Gauchos enter with higher expectations this week and look to better their results from last weekend when they played against tougher opponents including No. 19 Hawaii and No. 22 Florida State. The Gauchos lost their first game against the Seminoles 5-1 before getting their only victory in the tournament versus Radford in a 2-1 win.
The offense struggled to produce any runs from there on, getting shut out by Hawaii 5-0 and losing in a rematch versus FSU 13-4. The Gauchos did not score in the third-place game of the tournament, losing to Radford 3-0 and finishing in fourth place overall.
The pitching duo of Collins (3-8) and freshman Shelby Wisdom (4-7) will take the mound for the Gauchos this weekend. Between the two, they have started every game and have combined for a 4.72 ERA with 108 strikeouts. Collins had a stellar outing against Radford where she pitched a complete game, giving up only one run and striking out seven batters with no walks allowed.
“Right now we’re working well. We have a young staff but I think, for me personally, pitching a lot last year, I have experience,” Collins said. “As a staff, Shelby and I really work together … We probably push ourselves harder than if we had a big staff but I think that’s what makes our combination successful.”
The Gaucho offense comes in reeling, being outscored 32-8 in its five games played last week and hitting for a combined batting average of .207 with 32 strikeouts.
“We just need to make adjustments a little bit sooner,” senior catcher Lainey DePompa said. “I think everyone seems to be going really well right now and we’re excited for it to come all together.”
First pitch for the Gauchos is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at the Spartan Softball Stadium.