UCSB Hosts Dayton, San Diego for Gaucho Classic I

Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge
Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge

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The Schedule
Gaucho Classic I
Campus Diamond - Santa Barbara, Calif.

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Dayton
All-Time Series Record: 1-0
Last Meeting: Feb. 7, 2014 - UCSB def. UD, 9-8 (9)

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Dayton

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego
All-Time Series Record: 19-7
Last Meeting: Mar. 25, 2017 - UCSB def. USD, 4-3

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego

Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Wrap-Up
The UC Santa Barbara softball team won the opening game of the 2018 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, a 12-7 victory over Fordham, but then dropped the next five straight after tough games against a handful of ranked opponents. Taking on then-No. 5 UCLA, the Gauchos took an early lead behind a leadoff triple from Maci Fines followed by an RBI single off the bat of Alyssa Diaz. After that it was all Bruins, as UCLA scored in five straight innings to put the game away 9-1. On the second day of action, UCSB fell 11-0 to No. 23 Cal before being shutout 3-0 against Sacramento State, their third meeting of the season with the Hornets. On Monday, the Gauchos were held scoreless for the third straight game, a 9-0 loss to No. 21 Utah, before snapping a 30-inning scoreless streak in the seventh inning of a 5-2 loss against LMU. 

Gaucho Classic I
After two weekends on the road to start the 2018 season, UCSB will make its debut at home as it get set to host the annual Gaucho Classic I from Feb. 22-25 at Campus Diamond. UCSB will begin play on Thursday with a doubleheader against the University of Dayton at 1pm and 3pm before concluding the tournament with a games against San Diego on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Dayton and San Diego will play a doubleheader on Friday with a single game set for Saturday afternoon. 

Dayton Doubleheader
When the Gauchos take on Dayton on Thursday, it will be the second and third meetings in the series all-time history. The first and last time UCSB squared off against Dayton was the Gauchos season opener during the 2014 Gaucho Classic I. In that game, the Gauchos used a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to upend the Flyers 9-8. This season, Dayton is off to a 2-3 start after competing in the Charlotte First Pitch Classic. The Flyers are led at the plate by Kyle Davidson and Abby Ehrenborg, both hitting .357 (5-for-14) with three runs scored while Ehrenborg leads the team with four RBIs and a homerun. In the circle, Dayton is led by Jessica Weaver's 0.91 ERA in 7.2 innings while Manda Cash has pitched 16 innings in four appearances and has a 2.19 ERA. 

Toreros in Town
Frequent Gaucho Classic participant, the University of San Diego, is back for more and will take on UCSB in a pair of games this weekend. The Gauchos swept the Toreros in three games last season with a 7-4 win, 6-1 win and 4-3 victory. The two teams will meet again this season in a single game on Mar. 28 in San Diego. So far on the young season, the Toreros are 6-5, and are having a similar season to UCSB. USD went 5-1 in the opening tournament before going 1-5 last weekend. San Diego is led by Kailey Hill at the plate, boasting a .355 average (11-for-31) with a team-high three homeruns and nine RBIs. In the cirlce, Halle Kyler is 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched. 

Home Sweet Home
In Brie Galicinao's 10 seasons at the helm of the Gauchos, UCSB is 123-85 (.591) in games played at Campus Diamond, while just 153-196 (.438) in road and neutral games. Last season, the Gauchos went 16-7 at home.

By the Numbers
In 11 games, UCSB is averaging 3.6 runs per game while batting .262 as a team. The Gauchos have six homeruns and 22 extra base hits along with a .320 one-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage. Opponents have scored 5.7 runs per game against UCSB. The Gauchos' pitching staff has a .384 ERA as a group, having allowed 41 earned runs in 74.2 innings pitched with 38 strikeouts. 

Sensational Sophomores
Sophomore catcher Genesis Ramirez currently leads the team with a .409 batting average (9-for-22) and seven runs scored while sophomore first basemen is also off to a hot start, batting .400 (14-for-35) and is the only Gaucho with double-figure hits. Both Ramirez and Diaz also have homeruns while sophomore third basemen Kayla Krantz leads the team with three homeruns and 13 RBIs. 

In the Circle
Senior Lena Mayer leads the Gauchos in the circle with a 2-1 record and a 2.58 ERA in 19 innings pitched. Felisha Noriega has been the workhorse thus far with 35.2 innings pitched and a 2-4 record with a 4.12 ERA and a team-high 14 strikeouts. Junior Veronika Gulvin is 1-1 in 15.1 innings pitched with 10 K's and a 4.11 ERA. 

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 Toledo 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).

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."