Softball, Sports, Women's Sports

LBSU softball sweeps weekend series against rival UCSB

Long Beach State did a little bit of everything on the weekend to sweep conference rival UC Santa Barbara in three games.

Senior starting pitcher Sophia Fernandez stole the show in the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader. The lefty tossed a complete game, her seventh game of the season and allowed one run and two hits.

Fernandez matched a career-best seven strikeouts in a 2-1 Beach win at the LBSU Softball Complex.

Senior catcher Rebekah Durazo carried the offense on her back in the first game driving in both Beach runs that came across.

In the first, Durazo doubled in sophomore center fielder Makayla Medellin to open the game after Medellin was awarded third due to obstruction.

During the bottom of the third inning, Durazo singled and advanced senior Sara Olson to third before Olson scored because of a fielding error.

Both Beach runs came unearned and were all Long Beach State needed because Fernandez gave up one run the whole game.

“We’re playing good softball right now as a team,” head coach Kim Sowder said. “Our pitching did a great job. Sophia did real well starting and Mo [Quinlan] was a difference maker for us this weekend.”

Long Beach State regrouped during a UC Santa Barbara timeout in the second inning. The Beach’s softball team defeated No. 2 UCSB 7 to 2 during the home game in April 13.
Long Beach State regrouped during a UC Santa Barbara timeout in the second inning on Saturday. The Beach swept the Gauchos in a three-game series at the LBSU Softball Complex this weekend. Photo credit: Devin Malast

The second leg of the doubleheader saw another one-run game in which The Beach would come out on top 4-3.

Long Beach State took a 1-0 to the top of the fourth until three straight two-out hits, including two doubles, drove in two UCSB runs to give them the lead 2-1.

A double from Olson in the bottom of the fourth scored junior right fielder Corissa Sweet and tied the game back up. UCSB struck back in the fifth after a second base error, which allowed a run to score.

The Beach rallied back in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with three straight singles. Senior designated player Jocylyn Vidal drew an RBI walk to tie the game at three.

The next batter, senior first baseman Cassie Camou, flew out deep enough to center field for junior second baseman Jacquelyn Bickar to tag from third and scored the winning run for LBSU’s seventh walk-off win of the season.

Fernandez started game three of the series on Saturday fresh off her seventh complete game the day before and was light out again, which resulted in The Beach winning 7-2.

Quinlan entered the game in relief of Fernandez after she got into trouble and allowed two runs in the fourth inning. The Beach reliever pitcher struck out one while stranding a runner at second to escape without any more damage.

LBSU threatened early in the bottom of the first as Olson led off the game with a single and later came around to score on a wild pitch to put the Beach up 1-0.

Camou’s solo homerun to straight away center field in the second inning was part of six Beach runs put on in the first three innings.

“I think my confidence has been up a lot lately and I feel like I’ve been seeing the ball really well,” Camou said. “I kind of called it before it even happened. I just was waiting to get the right pitch.”

The Beach tacked on an insurance run from a Durazo RBI single in the fifth inning and the seventh Beach run of the game was more than enough to put away the Gauchos.

Quinlan closed the rest of the game and went four innings, struck out two and allowed two hits.

“I just have to quiet the mind,” Quinlan said. “My approach this weekend was to just go get ‘em … and quiet the mind and just let your body do what it knows how to do.”

Olson scored three hits and scored three runs, which included a spectacular diving catch in the fourth inning to save a run.

She also stole her eighth base of the year and 45th of her Long Beach career. Olson currently sits second all-time in career steals at LBSU, only trailing Sowder’s all-time mark of 50 stolen bases set between 1989 and 1992.

The series sweep against Big West rivals improved LBSU to 17-24 overall and 12-3 in the conference, second behind Cal State Fullerton. UCSB left with a 13-23 overall record and a 7-8 conference record.

LBSU next takes the field in San Luis Obispo in a doubleheader against Cal Poly on Saturday, April 20 starting at 1 p.m.

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