UCSB to Play FGCU at Home Wednesday; Travel North for Bulldog Classic this Weekend

Sammy Fabian (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Sammy Fabian (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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The Schedule
Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (8-12) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (14-4)
Campus Diamond - Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Series Record: First Meeting

Bulldog Classic - Mar. 9-11, 2018
Margie Wright Diamond - Fresno, Calif.

Friday, Mar. 9, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 17 Cal (18-3)
2018 Season Series: Cal 2-0
All-Time Series Record: 3-22

Friday, Mar. 9, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Fresno State (9-10)
All-Time Series Record: 14-57

Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Monmouth (4-4)
All-Time Series Record: 1-0

Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cleveland State (8-6)
All-Time Series Record: First Meeting

Citrus Class II in Review
The UC Santa Barbara softball team went 1-4 over the weekend at the Citrus Classic II in Kissimmee, Fla.. Despite tying their season-high of 15 hits in the tournament opener against Florida International, UCSB also committed a season-high four errors and allowed the Panthers to score seven runs in the fifth to pull away and top the Gauchos 12-6. A six-run third inning was UCSB's downfall in a 9-1 loss to Troy later that day. After Binghamton was unable to travel due to inclement weather, UCSB rescheduled with Notre Dame and fell 10-2 after the Fighting Irish scored seven runs in the fourth. The Gauchos were able to snap the skid with an 8-5 victory over Niagara on Saturday afternoon as both Alyssa Lazatin and Samantha Lujan went 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Sierra Altmeyer hit a homerun. On Sunday, the Gauchos fell to Massachusetts 7-3 to wrap up the weekend. 

Florida Gulf Coast Matchup
The Gauchos return to Campus Diamond this week for a twin bill against Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday. The Eagles are off to a 14-4 start this season, but are just 1-4 in their last five games after playing No. 6 Oregon twice and No. 13 Florida State at the FSU Unconquered Invitational over the weekend. FGCU is led by junior outfielder Racquel Fournet, who is batting .352 (19-for-54) with a homerun and 10 RBIs. Senior second basemen Ashley Swiderski is the Eagles power threat and leads the team with three homeruns. In the circle, the Eagles boast an overall ERA of 1.40, led by Taylor Bauman who has a 0.78 ERA in 18 innings of relief. Riley Randolph is the workhorse of the staff, having pitched 44.2 innings and is 5-2 with a 1.72 ERA. 

Bulldog Classic Preview
After UCSB's doubleheader with Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the Gauchos will travel north for the Bulldog Classic in Fresno, Calif. The Gauchos open the tournament with their third meeting against No. 17 Cal this season. UCSB fell 2-0 in a pitcher's duel during the first week of the season before falling 11-0 at the Mary Nutter Classic. Friday night, the Gauchos square off against host Fresno State and will play a doubleheader against Monmouth on Saturday morning. UCSB will wrap up play against Cleveland State on Sunday. 

Home Sweet Home
So far this season, in just four home games, the Gauchos are hitting .347 (43-for-124) at Campus Diamond as opposed to just .277 (117-422) in combined road/neutral games. UCSB is 2-2 in those games while 6-10 in road/neutral games. Furthermore, UCSB pitchers have a combined 2.66 ERA at home while just a 4.80 ERA in road/neutral games. 

By the Numbers
Through 20 games thus far, UCSB is batting .293 (160-for-546), good for third best in the Big West Conference, while averaging an even four runs per game. The Gauchos have 10 homeruns and 47 extra base hits along with a .354 on-base percentage and a .425 slugging percentage. Opponents have scored 6.1 runs per game against UCSB. The Gauchos' pitching staff has a 4.33 ERA as a group, having allowed 83 earned runs in 134.1 innings pitched with 70 strikeouts. 

Streak Alert
After recording a hit in all five games this weekend, freshman left fielder Sammy Fabian has upped her season and career-best hitting streak to 11 games. Freshman Alyssa Lazatin had a strong showing at the Citrus Classic II, hitting .600 (9-for-15) and now has a five-game hitting streak.  

Fabulous Freshmen
Freshmen Sammy Fabian, Alyssa Lazatin and Rayna Cohen have enjoyed early success in their collegiate careers, as they are three of the top five hitters for the Gauchos, statistically speaking. Fabian currently leads the team, and ranks second in the Big West, with a .455 (20-for-44) average while Lazatin upped her average to .341 (14-for-41) after a strong tournament in Florida. Cohen is hitting .316 (18-for-57) and is tied for second on the team with two homeruns. Freshman Maci Fines has also started 18 of 19 games for UCSB, primarily in centerfield, and leads the team with a pair of triples while ranking third with nine runs scored. 

Sensational Sophomores
Sophomore catcher Genesis Ramirez has been on a tear to start the 2018 season, batting .349 (15-for-43) to rank second on the team, to go along with a team-high 11 runs scored. Sophomore first basemen Alyssa Diaz has also enjoyed early success, batting .328 (22-for-67) to rank third on the team. Sophomore third basemen Kayla Krantz. meanwhile, leads the team with three homeruns and 14 RBIs. 

In the Circle
Senior Lena Mayer leads the Gauchos in the circle with a 3-3 record and a 3.47 ERA to go with a team-high 26 strikeouts in 38.1 innings pitched. Furthermore, UCSB is 5-3 in games that Mayer starts. Felisha Noriega has pitched a team-high 44.2 innings and carries a 2-4 record with a 4.86 ERA and 19 strikeouts while Veronika Gulvin is 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA and 18 K's in 36.1 innings pitched.