Softball team loses 2-1 in weekend series against UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
On a sunny day with the stands packed at La Rue Field in Davis on April 8, the UC Davis softball team was defeated by the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 4-0 in the third game of play of the weekend. Going into the weekend series, the Aggies possessed a 20-12 overall record and a 2-1 conference record. The Gauchos were 13-23 overall and 0-3 in conference play coming into the series.
A first game 2-0 win the previous day and a second game 2-1 loss for the Aggies tied the weekend series, and with just 30 minutes to prepare for the second game of the day and the final of the series, UC Davis was trying to notch that second win.
In the first game of the series that took place on April 7, the Aggies showed big bats at the plate. Freshman catcher Riley Siegel and sophomore second baseman Isabella Leon knocked the ball over the fence in the third and the sixth innings, respectively. Sophomore starting pitcher Katie Kibby shut down the Gauchos, pitching a full seven-inning game shutout, earning her eighth win of the season and bringing her earned run average to an impressive 2.00 to give UC Davis the 2-0 win.
The second game of the series the next morning showed a different outcome for the Aggies. On RBI singles in the third and the fifth innings, the Gauchos put two runs on the board. Sophomore right fielder Frankie Mendoza earned a groundout RBI to put the Aggies on the board, but the team was not able to string together a hit with a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Aggies the 2-1 loss.
In the first inning of the last game of the weekend, two quick hits for UCSB look troubling for starting pitcher Kibby. However, her ability to paint the corners of the strike zone with the ball is not only difficult for a pitcher to do, but allowed for the next two batters to be out and end the inning tied at zero.
The top of the third inning proved tough for the Aggies, as the Gauchos were able to string together four hits, and drive in three runs, having UC Davis trail 3-0 going into the bottom of the inning. In the top of fourth inning, the Aggies continued to struggle, as UCSB loaded the bases and drove in another run to increase the lead to 4-0. Freshman relief pitcher Brooke Yanez came into the game for UC Davis with the bases loaded and one out on the board after the Gauchos scored, striking out one batter and making another batter hit a fly ball out to end the inning.
Following the fourth inning, the rest of the game was stagnant for both teams, as the Aggies and the Gauchos both left runners on base throughout the remainder of the game, but couldn’t notch the hits for them to cross the plate, giving UC Davis the 4-0 loss.
“It was a rough day,” said head coach Erin Thorpe. “It was just one of those days where you keep trying to push through and it doesn’t come through for you but everyone in conference is so tough and we just weren’t able to push any [runs] across.”
The Aggies are now 3-3 in conference play and 21-14 overall. UC Davis continues conference play away against Cal Poly on April 14.
“I think that we just need to continue to gain confidence in ourselves,” Thorpe said. “We [the team] are so young and still have some pretty inconsistent performances along the way. We have some key players that are injured and some other girls that we are giving opportunities to step up, so it is just them kind of feeling it out and gaining confidence in themselves.”
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — firstname.lastname@example.org