SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara softball head coach Brie Galicinao has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period.
MeShalon Moore (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon HS), Arianna Palomares (Downey, Calif./Warren HS), Alexandra Pingree (Monterey, Calif./Santa Catalina HS), Samantha Stark (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura HS) and Jessica Tetzlaff (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) will join the Gauchos for the 2013 season.
MeShalon Moore is a catcher that has helped lead Sheldon High School to consecutive CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Finals and a 2010 section championship. She is a three-time All-Delta River League First Team selection. Last season, she batted .380 with 12 doubles. In 2010, she hit an impressive .420 with three home runs. She plays travel ball with Lady Magic.
"We expect MeMe to have a great career as a Gaucho," Galicinao said. "Like her older sister, I don't think she understands how good she can be – and that's a good thing. She has a gun behind the plate and one of the easiest demeanors in the batter's box, which really allows her to perform in clutch situations. Her athleticism and mindset to play anywhere on the field will also allow for more flexibility in our lineup next season."
Arianna Palomares plays middle infield for Warren High School. She is a three-time All-San Gabriel Valley League pick and was Warren's MVP in 2011. She has helped lead her team to three-consecutive San Gabriel Valley League Championships and advance to the 2010 section finals. She is also a letterwinner on the volleyball team, serves as the Student Government Commissioner of Athletics, and has earned Scholar-Athlete honors. She plays travel ball with Lakewood Firecrackers.
"Ari has a spark plug personality, a great glove, and a beautiful swing from the left side," Galicinao said. "We expect that she'll be able to play anywhere in the middle infield or outfield and add consistency to our offense. She bats in the middle of the lineup on her competitive travel ball team and we expect that she'll continue to be a top hitter at the college level."
Alexandra Pingree is a right-handed pitcher hailing from Santa Catalina High School. She is a three-time Mission Trail Athletic League MVP and Santa Catalina MVP. She was named the 2011 Monterey County Player of the Year and the 2011 Salinas Valley Player of the Year. She was named to the 2011 California-Hawaii All-State Small Schools First Team (as a pitcher) and All-State Second Team (as a multipurpose player). As a junior, she compiled a 0.47 ERA and a .458 batting average. Over the past two seasons, she has tallied 415 strikeouts and 19 shutouts. She plays travel ball with San Jose Sting.
"Al kind of flew under the radar on the travel ball scene, but she's a fierce competitor who has handled some of the toughest offensive lineups," Galicinao said. "She was a multi-sport athlete in high school and has great body awareness that allows her to make quick adjustments in the circle. She'll round out our pitching staff nicely next season; she moves the ball on different planes and throws her change up in all counts."
Samantha Stark will come to UCSB from Agoura Hills High School, where she plays catcher and third base. She is a four-year starter and two-time team captain. She was also a 2010 All-Marmonte League First Team pick. She led her team in RBI, home runs and slugging percentage (.553) in 2011. Stark also plays travel ball for So Cal Pumas.
"Sami is another spark plug in this class who will add depth defensively behind the plate and at the corners," Galicinao said. "She is a tireless worker with a driven personality and we look forward to her development at the college level because we've seen how much she's improved in just the last year defensively, and offensively with her power and consistency."
Jessica Tetzlaff is a utility player out of (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS). She a four-year varsity starter and earned All-League Second Team honors. Additionally, she has garnered Scholar-Athlete accolades. Tetzlaff also plays travel ball for Corona Angels.
"Jess is the speed in this class," Galicinao said. "She runs well on the bases, and can also hit for power from the right side. She can play anywhere on the field – we've seen her make diving plays in the outfield and infield, as well as spend some time behind the plate. She's just a strong, fast and smart athlete who's fun to watch and finds a way to get the job done."
"We will need to fill the vacancies left by players who played some pretty big roles for us during their careers, and we are excited by the overall athleticism, work ethic, and competitiveness in this signing class," Galicinao said. "These players are all academic honor students and have championship experience on their high school and travel ball programs; and we expect them to continue to do big things in the classroom and on the field at UCSB."
The 2012 softball season gets underway on Feb. 9 when the Gauchos head to the Kajikawa Classic, which is hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.
Pictured (L to R): Moore, Palomares, Pingree, Stark and Tetzlaff.