The UC Santa Barbara softball team is on a slide in their recent conference games, dropping five straight games and getting swept by California State University, Fullerton.

Nexus File Photo

In their first game, the CSU Fullerton Titans were able to capitalize on the Gauchos’ miscues on the field and on the mound.

In the 4th inning of the game, the Titans came out hot in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 3 runs via a solo home run and an RBI double. 

Sophomore outfielder Alexa Sams broke the shutout for UCSB in the 6th inning, doubling in a run to make it a 3-1  game. The Titans would blow the game open behind 2 errors in the 6th inning to make it a 7-1 ballgame and final score. 

In the first game of the double header against the Titans, the Gauchos struggled to capitalize on an early opportunity to score, leaving 3 runners stranded in the top of the 1st inning. 

The Titans then took the lead with an RBI double in the first 1st inning and extended their lead with another double in the 3rd.

The Gauchos had a chance to score in the 4th inning but ultimately came up empty, while the Titans exploded for 9 runs in the bottom of the inning, leading to an 11-0 advantage.

In the 5th inning, UCSB managed to avoid a shutout with a late double from junior catcher Ashley Donaldson, bringing in junior infielder Madelyn McNally, but it wasn’t enough as the game ended with a final score of 11-1 in favor of the Titans.

Looking to bounce back, the Gauchos needed to pull out a victory to avoid the sweep and drop in the conference standings against the Titans.

In the second game of the doubleheader against CSU Fullerton, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos once again struggled to convert early opportunities, leaving 4 runners on base in the first 2 innings.

The Titans took a lead in the 2nd inning, scoring 2 runs on 3 hits. The Gauchos continued to struggle offensively, leaving another runner stranded in the 3rd inning. There were 2 errors by the Gauchos in the 3rd inning, which allowed the Titans to extend their lead to 4-0.

Despite a strong pitching performance from junior pitcher Camryn Snyder, who allowed 5 runs (3 earned) and struck out 5, the Gauchos were unable to produce any timely hits and fell to the Titans 5-0, concluding the series.

With the Titans sweeping the Gauchos, it puts the Gauchos in a tough position to take the regular season conference crown.

The Gauchos will face UC Davis, UC Riverside and California State University, Northridge to end the regular season. 

UC Davis sits just above the Gauchos in conference standings as the No. 4 seed, while CSU Northridge holds the same record in conference play.

The Gauchos will need to capitalize against UC Riverside, as they sit just above last place in the Big West at 4-14.

Look for the softball team to make a huge push at the end of the season to secure a better seed in the end of the season conference tournament.