The UC Santa Barbara softball team played 4 games at the Bulldog Classic, where they lost the opening game against Utah Tech University but won the next 3 games against California State University, Fresno 4-1 and Utah Tech University 7-5 and 4-3.
The Gauchos started their 4-game weekend against Utah Tech and Fresno State in a double-header.
In Game 1, UC Santa Barbara faced off against the Utah Tech Trailblazers. The Gauchos got on the board early after junior shortstop Madelyn McNally hit an RBI single to make it 1-0 after 1 inning of play.
The Trailblazers responded the next inning, scoring off a wild pitch to tie it at 1-1. The Gauchos retook the lead in the 4th as junior catcher Ashley Donaldson got a hold of one to give herself her second career home run and the Gauchos the 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately, Utah Tech returned to tie it and take the lead in the 6th. The Trailblazers pushed 3 runs across off a double and a fielding error giving them the 4-2 lead. The deficit was too large for the Gauchos, as they dropped the first game 5-3.
The Gauchos quickly turned around against the Fresno State Bulldogs. Donaldson hit a single up the middle to make it 1-0 Gauchos. Junior pitcher Camryn Snyder allowed 4 hits, 4 strikeouts and 4 walks, earning the win.
UC Santa Barbara scored 3 more runs after Fresno State scored 1 in the 3rd inning, giving the Gauchos a 4-1 win after 7.
The following day, the Gauchos sought revenge against the Trailblazers for the last 2 games of the Bulldog Classic.
For the first game, the Gauchos got on the board first for the third straight time in the classic. Three Gauchos were credited with RBIs in the inning; Freshmen second baseman Jazzy Santos and sophomore center fielder Alexa Sams had 1. Freshman third baseman Bella Fuentes had 2 RBIs after her triple to center.
Utah Tech soon pushed runs across in the third inning, scoring 4-3 in favor of UC Santa Barbara. The Trailblazers soon took the lead after scoring 1 in the 4th and 5th inning. After 6 innings of play, the Gauchos found themselves behind 5-4 heading into the 7th.
UC Santa Barbara did not go down without a fight, as they tied it up on a Santos single in the 7th and then took the lead in the 8th by scoring 2 more runs. Senior pitcher Ilona Sullivan earned the win after getting the last 3 outs of the 7-5 ballgame.
Both teams looked to take the last game of the series to fulfill the series win against one another. The Gauchos did not strike first for once as the Trailblazers hit an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to score 2 in the inning, giving them the early 2-0 lead after 2 innings.
Santos continued to stay hot as she hit another RBI single on the day to cut the deficit in the 4th. From there, the game became scoreless until the 7th, and Utah Tech added some insurance as a double bought one to make it 3-1.
Fortunately for the Gauchos, the deficit was not too large for them. UC Santa Barbara came back with 3 runs to walk it off. Sophomore catcher Daryn Siegel got the scoring going, as she hit an RBI single to make 3-2. McNally tied it at 3-3 after an RBI double. Donaldson finished off the Trailblazers with her own RBI double to secure the 4-3 victory.
The Gauchos will kick off their Big West campaign next weekend by traveling to Hawaii for a 3-game series. The series will commence on Friday, with a double-header scheduled for Saturday. The first pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m. pacific standard time, followed by games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Fans can catch all three games live on ESPN+.
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