Gauchos Open Season at Capital City Kick Off in Sacramento

Gauchos Open Season at Capital City Kick Off in Sacramento

The Schedule
2018 Capital City Kick Off
at Shea Stadium – Sacramento, Calif.

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Santa Clara
All-Time Series Record: 38-6
Live Stats

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal
All-Time Series Record: 3-20
Live Stats

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Santa Clara
All-Time Series Record: 38-6
Live Stats

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State
All-Time Series Record: 22-16
Live Stats

Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State
All-Time Series Record: 22-16
Live Stats

Capital City Kick Off
UC Santa Barbara softball kicks off its 2018 campaign at the Capital City Kick Off hosted by Sacramento State. The Gauchos will take the field for the first time this spring tomorrow morning, Feb. 9, at 10:00 a.m. when they take on Santa Clara. Later in the afternoon, UCSB takes on Cal before facing Santa Clara again on Saturday. To wrap up the round robin style tournament, the Gauchos will play host Sacramento State on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

2017 Recap
Last season, UCSB finished with a 31-28 record, three wins better than the previous year, while finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the Big West. The Gauchos also qualified for the inaugural Postseason National Invitational Softball Classic, marking their first postseason appearance since the 2007 NCAA Tournament, and fourth in program history. UCSB landed five players on the All-Big West Team, with Sierra Altmeyer being the lone representative on the First Team, while Kristin Clark, Jessica Johnston, Veronika Gulvin and Alyssa Diaz were named to the Second Team. Diaz was also named to the All-Freshman Team.

Key Returners
Two-time All-Big West selection Sierra Altmeyer headlines the core group of returners for the Gauchos, who bring back seven starters from last season and 11 returners overall. Altmeyer led the team with a .354 batting average last year to go with 10 homeruns, 33 RBIs and 39 runs scored. Jessica Johnston returns for her senior year after a season where she hit .339 with five homeruns, 33 RBI and 34 runs. After a breakout freshman campaign, Alyssa Diaz, who hit .297 with three homeruns and a team-high 34 RBIs, also returns at first base. In the circle, ace Veronika Gulvin returns for her junior year, after posting a 17-14 record in 44 appearances and 31 starts while notching an impressive 2.69 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 205.2 innings pitched.

Incoming Talent
New to UCSB this spring will be freshmen outfielders Rayna Cohen (Woodland Hills, Calif. / de Toldeo HS), Sammy Fabian (Glendale, Calif. / Glendale HS), Alyssa Lazatin (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Capistrano Valley HS), infielder Maci Fines(Elk Grove, Calif. / Sheldon HS) and pitcher Emily Schuttish (Napa, Calif. / Vintage HS).

Preseason Poll
The Gauchos were selected to finish seventh in the annual Coaches Poll released by the Big West Conference earlier this week. Defending Big West champions Cal State Fullerton were selected as repeat winners with 57 votes, followed by Long Beach State (53), CSUN (43), Hawai'i (32), UC Riverside (31), Cal Poly (31), UCSB (29) and UC Davis (12).

New Coaches
Three-year staff member Alysia Hendricks will become a full-time assistant for the first time while the Gauchos also brought on board assistant coach Kacee Cox. Cox previously served as a volunteer assistant coach at Stanford and prior to that was a student-athlete at St. John's (N.Y.). "I'm excited to have Alysia and Kacee on staff full time with their experience as coaches and collegiate athletes as well as their educational backgrounds," said head coach Brie Galicinao. "They're a great fit for UCSB. Our staff has worked well together throughout the fall and pre-season and we're looking forward to starting season next week."