Jessica Soria, a transfer from Arizona Western College, will join the UC Santa Barbara softball team for the 2012 season it was announced by head coach Brie Galicinao. The outfielder is a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association Division I First Team All-American.
Soria, who hails from Simi Valley, Calif., led Arizona Western College in batting the past two seasons. This past spring, she batted .520 at leadoff, ranking ninth in the nation. She went 78-for-84 in stolen base attempts, ranking second nationally. As a freshman, she hit .493 on the year with 67 stolen bags.
"Jessica is as good as her stats and accolades advertise," Galicinao said. "She's fast, athletic, knows the game, has a presence on the field that really can't be taught, and plays to win all of the small challenges in the game. Whether it's finding holes in the defense while at bat, stealing extra bases or robbing home runs in the outfield. She's just a player.
"We're excited to have her in a Gaucho uniform next season, and I wouldn't be surprised if she turns into one of the top players in our conference the next few years," Galicinao continued. "Jessica will fit in well with our returners and incoming freshman with her drive and easygoing attitude; I expect that she'll help all of our players elevate their game."
Soria will join a UCSB team that returns 13 letterwinners from the 2011 campaign, including the entire bullpen and all but one of its starters in the field.
Galicinao previously signed three incoming freshmen in November: Jenessa Jeppesen (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge HS), DeJanee Moore (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon HS) and Shelby Wisdom (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove HS). Moore and Wisdom faced one another in the CIF San Joaquin Division I Section final this spring and Moore's team captured the championship.