UCSB Set to Host Gaucho Classic II this Weekend

Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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The Schedule
Gaucho Classic II
Campus Diamond - Santa Barbara, Calif.
*Schedule may change due to weather

Friday, Mar. 23, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Bakersfield
All-Time Series Record: 25-9
Last Meeting: Mar. 24, 2016 - UCSB def. CSUB, 5-3

Friday, Mar. 23, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. St. Mary's
All-Time Series Record: 18-3
Last Meeting: Mar. 1, 2015 - UCSB def. SMC, 5-2 (8)

Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Bakersfield

Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Seattle
All-Time Series Record: 8-1
Last Meeting: Mar. 24, 2018 - UCSB def. SU, 6-5

Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 at 3:45 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Seattle

Monday, Mar. 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Seattle

Eagles Edge UCSB in Doubleheader
It's been nearly two weeks since the UC Santa Barbara softball team was in action last, and a little more than two weeks since UCSB hosted Florida Gulf Coast at Campus Diamond. Going up against a talented Eagles team, the Gauchos dropped a 2-0 decision followed by a 3-2 score in the nightcap in a pair of close games. Veronika Gulvin pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs while striking out five in the opener while Lena Mayer and Felisha Noriega both pitched well in the second game of the day. At the plate, Sierra Altmeyer blasted a game-tying two-run homerun in the fourth, but a solo shot from FGCU in the fifth proved to be the game-winner. 

Bulldog Classic in Review
After their doubleheader against FGCU, the Gauchos traveled north for the Bulldog Classic hosted by Fresno State. UCSB opened against a dominant No. 17 Cal team and fell 12-2 in five innings before falling 8-0 and being held to one hit against Fresno State later that night. The Gauchos proceeded to split a Saturday doubleheader with Monmouth, falling 12-4 before bouncing back for a 6-3 victory. The Gauchos made it two wins in a row with a 7-4 victory over Cleveland State. 

Gaucho Classic II Preview
UCSB will take its two-game winning streak into the annual Gaucho Classic II this weekend at Campus Diamond while hosting the trio of Cal State Bakersfield, St. Mary's and Seattle. The Gauchos have a favorable record in the all-time series against each opponent, going 25-9 against the Roadrunners while boasting an 18-3 record against the Gaels and an 8-1 all-time record against Seattle. Pending a change to the schedule due to weather, UCSB will open against CSUB on Friday at 11:00 a.m. and play St. Mary's at 4:00 p.m. The Gauchos will then play CSUB once more on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. before playing a trio of games against Seattle, starting with a doubleheader Sunday at 1:30 and a single game on Monday at 10:00 a.m.

Breaking Down Bakersfield
Cal State Bakersfield enters the Gaucho Classic II on a four-game losing streak and has just one win in its last 11. The Roadrunners (2-21) have just two wins this season, both one run victories, coming against San Diego in extra innings and against St. Mary's. CSUB is led by senior outfielder Julea Cavazos, who is batting .339 (20-for-59) with 11 runs scored. Junior utility Chris Hipa leads the team with one homerun and 10 RBIs. In the circle, Summer Evans (0-11) is the workhouse having appeared in all but three games this season, and has pitched 67.2 innings while producing a 4.97 ERA with 15 K's and 23 walks. 

Scouting St. Mary's 
The Gaels enter play this weekend with an 8-18 record overall, but are 8-7 since starting the year 0-11. Freshman outfielder Kimiko Zapanta is the lone Gael hitting above .300, boasting a .386 average (27-for-70) with a team-high 15 runs scored. Senior Hailey Sparacino is SMC's power threat with a team-high three homeruns to go along with 14 RBIs and a .288 average. Katlyn Whitt (4-7, 4.48) and Eileen Perez (3-6, 4.41 ERA) lead St. Mary's in the circle. 

Reviewing the Redhawks
Seattle has won six of its last seven games, including two in-a-row, and enters this weekend with a 19-13 record. Sophomore first baseman Madison Cathcart is tops in the nation with 16 homeruns and ranks 32nd in the nation with a .457 average (42-for-92) to go with 44 RBIs, 21 runs scored and 24 walks in 32 games. Ally Choate adds to Seattle's formidable lineup with a .371 average (43-for-116). Carley Nance (10-8, 3.01 ERA) and Shianne Smith (4-1, 2.28 ERA) lead the way for the Redhawks pitching staff. 

Home Sweet Home
So far this season, in just six home games, the Gauchos are hitting .307 at Campus Diamond as opposed to just .283 in combined road/neutral games. Furthermore, UCSB pitchers have a combined 2.60 ERA at home while just a 5.33 ERA in road/neutral games. 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 and are 2-4 so far this year. 

By the Numbers
Through 27 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. 

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 four hitters for the Gauchos, statistically speaking. Fabian currently leads the team, and ranks third in the Big West, with a .409 (27-for-66) average while Lazatin is hitting .333 (19-for-57). Cohen is hitting .316 (18-for-57) and has shown some early pop with two homeruns.

In the Circle
Senior Lena Mayer (3-5, 4.17 ERA) and sophomore Felisha Noriega (3-5, 5.25 ERA) lead the Gauchos in the circle with 52 innings pitched apiece. Veronika Gulvin (3-7, 5.21 ERA) rounds out the trio of starters with 48.1 IP, while freshman Emily Schuttish has come on strong lately and has a 3.20 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched and six appearances.