The UC Santa Barbara softball team earned its first series sweep of the 2021 season in its 9-6 defeat of Cal Poly on Saturday afternoon at Campus Diamond.

Junior pitcher Emily Schuttish earned her sixth win of the season and freshman pitcher Lexi Campbell protected it with her second save of the year. Freshman Big West batting leader Madelyn McNally had a three-hit day and five others had a pair of hits apiece.

With the win, the Gauchos improve to 8-18 on the season and 5-4 in Big West play.

Sophomore right fielder Ally Nodohara got things going for the Gauchos on a leadoff solo blast to right field in the bottom of the second, but the Mustangs’ Maddie Amos hit a two-run homer out of the park in the following inning to take the lead.

The Gaucho bats came up big in the bottom half of the third, beginning with junior second baseman Maci Fines’ single through the left side that scored junior left fielder Sammy Fabian.

Then, the Gauchos went back on top with a Nodohara sac fly that brought in junior first baseman Rayna Cohen.

UCSB tacked on another three runs on an error, a sac fly from freshman DP Sam Denehy, and a double from freshman shortstop Madelyn McNally.

Cal Poly clawed back into the game in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring three runs to cut the deficit to one as UCSB looked to protect and extend its 6-5 lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning.

McNally and Donaldson hit back-to-back singles to do just that, scoring freshman Lauren Lewis and Denehy, respectively, to put the hosts up 8-5 after five.

Then, a single from sophomore catcher Teah Thies scored Fines in the sixth inning to widen the gap to four runs.

A groundout got a run across the plate for Cal Poly in the top of the seventh, but Campbell was able to shut down the Mustangs and secure the win for the Gauchos.

The Gauchos’ 16 hits today gave them a total of 43 for the three-game series.