UC Santa Barbara softball took on their rivals, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Mustangs, in a three-game series over the weekend. The Gauchos swept the Mustangs, going 8-4, 8-2 and 8-6, to move their winning streak to 5 games.

Nexus File Photo

The Gauchos started the month of April by hosting a doubleheader on Saturday, April 1. UCSB did not waste time getting the bats hot as they struck first after holding the Mustangs to a scoreless first-half inning.

Sophomore outfielder Alexa Sams pushed 2 runs across for the Gauchos as she tripled to left center scoring, freshman utility player Jazzy Santos and junior catcher Ashley Donaldson. The game remained 2-0 Gauchos for a stretch of the game. Junior pitcher Camryn Snyder held the Mustangs scoreless until the 5th and 7th inning. 

Cal Poly scored 4 runs on Snyder, however, UCSB provided their pitcher with insurance runs. The Gauchos scored 3 runs in the 4th and 5th inning, giving them a 6-run lead at one point. Synder earned the complete game win, finishing with 5 strikeouts.

Sams and sophomore designated hitter Daryn Siegel did most of the damage in the 8-4 win as they combined for 7 RBIs. 

In the second game, the Gauchos remained hot as they held the Mustangs scoreless in the first and striked first when it was their turn for offense. Siegel continued to add to her RBI count on the day as she brought in junior infielder Madelyn McNally on an RBI groundout. 

With Siegel’s 1st inning RBI, the Gauchos have scored a run in the 1st inning for the fourth time in their past 5 games.

The Mustangs responded to tie it in the 3rd inning. Freshman pitcher Malaya Johnson gave up an RBI single to make it 1-1. Johnson limited the damage as Cal Poly did not score again in the inning. 

UC Santa Barbara took back the lead instantly as Sams hit an RBI single up the middle to give the Gauchos a 2-1 lead. From there, the Gauchos took over offensively as they scored 6 runs the next inning to put the game away. 

Johnson gave up 1 more run in the 7th but did secure the last 3 outs to earn the complete game win. Johnson struck out 2 while walking none and limiting the Mustangs to only 6 hits, giving the Gauchos an 8-2 win.

The following day, the Gauchos seemed to complete the sweep as they struck first in the 1st inning again. Donaldson, Sams and Santos all earned RBIs in the inning, giving the Gauchos an early 4-0 lead to start off the game. 

Sophomore pitcher Ava Bradford held Cal Poly scoreless until the 3rd inning. The Mustangs stringed together a couple of hits to push 3 runs across and cut the deficit to 1. Soon after, Cal Poly tied in the 4th due to an RBI single tying it at four a piece.

UCSB responded instantly, scoring 3 runs in the 4th to make it 7-4 Gauchos. The Gauchos added 1 more run in the 5th to extend their lead due to Donaldson’s RBI single. UCSB completed the sweep of 8-6 after the Mustangs cut the deficit to 2.