Closing with a tough 7-3 loss to the University of Massachusetts (7-6); the UCSB softball team, who is now 8-12 will leave the sunshine state with a total of one win and four losses on the weekend following its participation in the Citrus Classic.
The two teams looked like even competitors right out of the gate, ending the first inning with a score of 1 to 2, Gauchos ahead. Together, the teams totaled a combined 22 hits and two home runs after seven innings.
UCSB’s sophomore Alyssa Diaz homered into left center for 2 RBIs in the first inning. UMass’s redshirt senior Jena Cozza, who also leads the team’s offensive lineup with a .462 batting average, followed suit in the sixth inning.
However, UCSB granted Umass two unearned runs in the third inning, giving them the lead with it. From then on, UCSB found themselves trying to catch-up and failed to regain their place on top.
UMass rookie pitcher Kiara Oliver started her first game of the series and successfully kept UCSB off-balance at the plate. She had ten strikeouts on the day and of her 125 pitches threw 81 strikes, capping her strike percentage at 70%.
Where the Gauchos only scored in the first and fifth innings, UMass racked up runs in four out of the seven innings played. In total, the Gauchos gave up four unearned runs, potentially accounting for the four-point deficit in their final score.
The team’s offensive statistics for the Citrus Classic II series ended with a .300 batting average, dropping from the .315 average they maintained before game five of the weekend.
In the five games, the Gauchos gave up twelve unearned runs and made thirteen errors. Their lack of offensive and defensive solidity resulted in a tough blow to the team as they now come back home and continue their pre-season games.
UCSB looks to decrease their win-loss deficit at home in a double header against Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, March 7.