The UC Santa Barbara softball team has been in a slump winning only one of their last six games in the month of May. Three of those losses came from California State University, Northridge Matadors.
In UCSB’s first game against CSUN, the Gauchos were slightly outmatched, resulting in a very close loss.
In the top of the first, the Matadors gained an early lead, as they scored 2 runs off of 3 hits. Later in the third, the Gauchos brought in a run due to hits by junior infielder Madelyn McNally, senior outfielder Sam Denehy and junior catcher Ashley Donaldson, which cut the lead in half.
Throughout the next 5 innings, junior pitcher Camryn Snyder did not allow another run and kept the Gauchos within the game.
In the top of the fourth inning, a triple from freshman outfielder Makalya Newsom brought in another run for the Gauchos to tie the game.
In the next few innings, UCSB couldn’t find success offensively, giving CSUN the chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh. With a couple of hits in the seventh inning a single by CSUN drove in the winning run where the Matadors outlasted the Gauchos 3-2.
In the second game of the series, the Gauchos started off with a 1-0 lead after hits from McNally and senior outfielder Denehy brought in a run.
Freshman pitcher Malaya Johnson got out of some trouble in the first 2 innings and gave up no runs to CSUN to maintain the Gauchos’ lead. The lead quickly disappeared as CSUN scored big in the third.
In the bottom of the third, CSUN brought in 5 runs while the Gauchos committed 1 error, giving the Matadors a commanding 5-1 lead. In addition Johnson gave up 4 hits, which allowed for the Matadors to gain a strong lead.
Later on in the fifth, the Matadors took a 8-1 lead after scoring another 3 runs. Additionally, the Matadors did not give up another run, holding onto their lead. CSUN took back to back games, winning this one 8-1.
In the last game of the series, UCSB once again was outperformed and struggled to find any success at pitching.
In the top of the first, McNally led it off with a single to be followed up with a triple from Denehy. McNally scored on the triple to make it 1-0 Gauchos. Then Donaldson’s deep fly ball allowed Deheny to score, giving UCSB a 2-0 advantage over the Matadors. Later in the inning, CSUN brought in a run to cut the lead in half.
The Gauchos got on base in the second inning with a sacrifice bunt from senior infielder Hannah Damore moving freshmen second baseman Jazzy Santos into scoring position. Newsom soon drove in Santos with a double, extending the lead. Not too long after, Newsom and McNally both scored from a single by Donaldson.
In the bottom of the third, the Matadors tied up the game at 5 a piece by bringing in 4 runs.
Much later, in the bottom of the eighth, the Matadors, with bases loaded, hit a grandslam to give them a 9-5 lead which they held. winning them the game and sweeping the series.
After these 3 losses, the Gauchos finished their season with an overall record of 26-22. In conference, the Gauchos went 13-14, which is a huge improvement compared to last year. The Gauchos did not get selected for regionals, but they exceeded expectations and improved drastically compared to last season.