April 4, 2013

UCSB Heads to Arizona to Finish Road Trip

• The Schedule
Saturday, April 6, 2013
UC Santa Barbara (21-13) at Arizona (24-13), 6:00 pm
All-time series record vs. Wildcats: 1-13
Last time vs. Wildcats: L, 10-0 (Feb. 15, 1997)
Streak: Lost 12

Sunday, April 7, 2013
UC Santa Barbara at Arizona, 12:00 pm

• Wrapping Up the Road Trip
After going 1-4 in last week's action, including a loss to St. Mary's and a 1-2 series loss at Pacific, the UCSB softball team will conlcude their six-game road trip this weekend with a visit to the University of Arizona. UCSB's two nonconference matchups with the Wildcats will bring the two programs together for the first time since the 1997 season.

• For The Record
UCSB enters this weekend with a 21-13 record and sporting the third most wins among Big West teams. However, with a 2-4 conference record, the Gauchos are fifth in the Big West standings.

• Wrangling the Wildcats
Arizona comes into the weekend with a 24-13 overall record, going 15-4 at home.  They currently sit in sixth place in the Pac-12 with a 4-5 conference mark. The Wildcats are led by sophomore outfielder Hallie Wilson with her .400 batting average. Arizona's starting catcher Chelsea Goodacre leads the club with 13 homeruns.

• History with Arizona
The two-game series will mark the first pairing between the two teams in 16 years. UCSB has topped Arizona only once in the series' history. The lone win dates back to 1982, UCSB Softball's inaugural season in Division I, when the Gauchos downed the Wildcats 1-0 for a home victory. Since then, UCSB has dropped 12 straight to Arizona.

• Batter Up!
Entering this weekend's series, UCSB ranks third in the Big West in team batting average (.271), slugging percentage (.387) and hits (246). Long Beach State ranks number one in both batting average (.281) and hits (258), while Hawaii has the top slugging percentage in the conference at .457.

• Hits List
While UCSB is third in the conference as a team, the Gauchos have three players rank among the top-ten hitters in the Big West: Arianna Palomares, Jessica Soria, and Shelby Wisdom. Long Beach State is the only other team to have that many players in the top-ten. Palomares leads the team with a .336 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big West. Soria checks in at ninth on the list with a .325 mark, while Shelby Wisdom is right behind her with a .324 average in 10th.

• Dual Threat
In addition to being the Gauchos' ace, Shelby Wisdom has also been improving her play at the plate. She is currently second in the Big West for RBIs with 31, and is fourth in total bases (61).  Her nine doubles leads the squad and is the fourth most in the Big West. The sophomore is also third on the Gauchos with 35 hits. She only trails Keilani Jennings for the team's highest slugging percentage at .565. Wisdom has also garnered the most bases on the team with 61, which places her in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Big West. 

• Palomares at the Plate
Freshman Arianna Palomares has made an immediate impact at UCSB by quickly becoming one of the top batters in the conference. In addition to owning the team's best batting average, she is also tied for the fifth most hits in the conference with 37. She has also hit eight doubles this season, which ties her with teammate Keilani Jennings for fifth place in the Big West. Her two triples have her in a seven-way tie for the most among conference players.  

• Sensational Soria
As a senior, Jessica Soria has led UCSB by being one of the most productive leadoff batters in the Big West. She leads the Gauchos with 39 hits, good for second in the conference. Soria is second in the Big West with 28 runs scored, and is tied for the most stolen bases with 19. What's more impressive is that she has only been caught stealing three times.

• Gaucho Slugger
Gaucho senior Keilani Jennings sports the biggest bat on the UCSB lineup. UCSB's starting shortstop leads the team with a .594 slugging percentage and seven homeruns. Her 26 RBIs also rank fifth in the Big West. Jennings' power has earned her the respect of opposing pitchers as she has been walked 19 times, tied for fourth most in the conference. Most recently, the senior hit the game winning homerun on Mar. 30th against the Pacific Tigers to put UCSB ahead in the top of the 10th inning.

• In the Circle
Shelby Wisdom has been the Gauchos go-to pitcher this season and has racked up the second most wins in the Big West with 12 and is seventh in ERA with a 2.52 mark. She is also fifth in the conference with 97 strikeouts through 119.2 innings of work. Of those punch outs, 27 of them have caught the batter looking, which is the fourth most in the Big West. Though Alex Pingree is only a freshman, she already has made an impact in UCSB's pitching rotation. She leads the club and is fifth in the conference with a 2.35 ERA. The freshman is also second among Big West pitchers in earned runs allowed with 18 and is fourth in hits allowed with 56. As a collective pitching staff, the Gauchos have garnered a total of 21 wins, good for third in the conference rankings.

• The Galicinao File
Head coach Brie Galicinao, who is now in her sixth season at the helm of the UCSB softball program, has coached the Gauchos to a 128-140 cumulative record for a .478 winning percentage, the second best since the softball program went Division I in 1982. Galicinao has coached three players to All-Region honors, two players to Big West Field Player of the Year accolades, two Big West Freshmen Pitchers of the Year and 27 All-Big West Conference selections. Last season, she was named the Big West Coach of the Year for the second time; she was named Co-Coach of the Year in 2008, her first season at the helm of the program.

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