UC Santa Barbara’s softball team has gotten off to a bad start this year and signs are not trending upward due to a current 3-game losing streak and 1-5 in conference play. 

Maci Fines slap-hits in an attempt to get on base. Dustin Harris/Daily Nexus

There is always room to improve and time to turn around the 9-22 start to the season with many conference and out-of-conference games to play for the Gauchos. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the Gauchos have been struggling compared to the nation’s leading teams. The Gauchos rank 90th in the nation for batting average out of 293 other Division I teams in the nation. Likewise, the .337 on-base percentage of the Gauchos is good enough for 175th in the nation. Then, with 3.84 runs per game, the Gauchos are struggling in the offense department, ranking them 184th. Improving one side of the offense, like baserunning, could be a jumpstart to the Gauchos’ offense. With averaging less than 1 stolen base per game, they once again rank in the 200s for stolen bases per game. 

On the defensive side of the ball, it doesn’t get much better for the Lady Gauchos. The Gauchos rank 148th in the country in fielding percentage which, once again, places the Gauchos in the middle of the pack for the Division I softball schools. The earned run average of the Gauchos’ pitchers is a whopping 6.26 which would rank the pitching staff in the top 20 worst earned run averages in the country. 

The last and most shocking stat is that UCSB’s win percentage is one of the worst in the country at a .290 win percentage, ranking them 246th in the country, just below mid-major schools not known for their sports such as the University of Holy Cross, Sam Houston State University and Columbia University.

With that said, there are still many bright spots in the Gauchos’ starting lineup. Starting with sophomore infielder Madelyn McNally, who is batting close to .400, McNally is second on the team with 34 hits and leads the team with 9 stolen bases. Leading the team in hits is senior infielder Maci Fines, with 35 hits and a team-leading 17 runs batted in. On the field, senior 1B/outfielder Rayna Cohen and sophomore catcher/utility Ashley Donaldson have been stellar, committing only one error each in the season. 

With many players producing at a high level, as mentioned above, it’s only a matter of time before the Gauchos string together a nice win streak to end the season.