UC Santa Barbara finished above .500 on the season after competing in the Lancer Invite. The Gauchos beat the Wagner College Seahawks 5-0 and 4-1 and the Howard University Bisons 6-1. Unfortunately, in both matchups, the California Baptist University Lancers defeated the Gauchos 3-1.

Nexus File Photo

On Friday, March 3, the Gauchos were penciled in to play Wagner College and California Baptist University back to back. The Gauchos started great against the Seahawks, as they were first on the board by scoring 2 runs in the first. 

Sophomore catcher Daryn Siegel worked a walk to bring in junior infielder Madelyn McNally. Freshman third baseman Bella Fuentes followed her teammate by hitting a sacrifice fly to score freshman outfielder Makayla Newsom and lead 2-0. 

Freshman pitcher Malaya Johnson started in the circle for the Gauchos as she held Wagner College to 0 runs and earned a complete game win. Johnson struck out 5 while only walking 1. The Gauchos scored 3 more runs in the fourth, having the scoring end at 5-0 with a Gauchos win.

During the second game of the day, the Lancers struck first on junior pitcher Camryn Snyder. The Gauchos tried turning a double play to get out of the inning unscathed, but it did not go as planned, as the Lancers put one across in the third inning. 

UCSB tied it up at one in the next half of the inning. Siegel singled to right field, scoring junior catcher Ashley Donaldson. 

California Baptist University responded right away, scoring one in the fourth off a wild pitch and another where the Lancers stole home. The Gauchos racked up 2 hits in the last inning but couldn’t mount up enough to tie it in the seventh, giving them the 1-3 loss.

On the following day, March 4, the Gauchos were set to face off against Wagner College and California Baptist again. Sophomore pitcher Ava Bradford took the rubber for the Gauchos as they faced off against the Seahawks first.

The Gauchos again struck first against the Seahawks as Siegel homered to left field, driving in 2 runs in the third inning. They extended their lead by scoring one in the fifth and one in the sixth to make it 4-0 Gauchos. 

Bradford earned the complete game win, only allowing 1 run and 1 walk as the Gauchos swept the Seahawks 4-1. 

The Gauchos shortly retook the field to take on the Lancers. Johnson took the circle in seeking to go 1-1 against California Baptist University.

All looked well for the Gauchos until the third inning. The Lancers scored all three of their runs in the third by having 4 hits in the inning, two being RBI doubles. The Gauchos responded by scoring one in the fourth when sophomore second-basemen Alexa Sams doubled to bring in Siegel. 

The Gauchos went 1-1 for the day and got swept by the Lancers.

On the last day of the invite, the Gauchos took the field against Howard University with Snyder in the circle for UCSB. Both teams went back and forth, putting zeros on the board until the sixth inning. 

Howard University struck first on a wild pitch to put them up 1-0, which they held for the rest of the game. The Gauchos responded immediately as they strung 6 hits in the inning, while the Bison also made 2 errors. UCSB pushed 6 runs across to give them the 6-1 lead going into the seventh. 

Snyder shut it down in the seventh, earning her the complete game win with 7 strikeouts and only allowing 2 hits. The Gauchos went 3-2 in the Lancer classic, and look to get ready for Fresno, California and compete in the Bulldog Classic.