Gauchos Hit the Road for Big West Series at CSUN

Rayna Cohen (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Rayna Cohen (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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The Schedule
Saturday, Apr. 28, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. CSUN (18-32, 3-9 Big West)
All-Time Series Record: 
2017 Series: UCSB, 2-1
Last Meeting: Apr. 15, 2017 - UCSB def. CSUN, 4-0

Sunday, Apr. 29, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. CSUN

The Week Ahead
The UC Santa Barbara softball team begins a six-game road trip with a three game series at CSUN this weekend. The Gauchos begin with a doubleheader against the Matadors on Saturday, Apr. 28 beginning at 1:00 p.m. before wrapping up the series with a single game on Sunday.

The Week in Review
Last weekend, the Gauchos took on No. 18 Long Beach State and fell in a series sweep to the 49ers. A late rally in game one had UCSB thinking upset, but a two-run homerun in the top of the seventh helped the Beach hold on to a 5-3 victory. The second game of the series was tied up early 1-1 and close until LBSU put together back-to-back three run innings late to pull away and win 10-2. In the finale on Sunday, the Gauchos were unable to overcome the 49ers' control issues in a 4-1 loss. 

Matadors Matchup
CSUN is coming off series at Cal Poly where it was swept by the Mustangs in a trio of close games, including two, one-run losses. Prior to that series, the Matadors took two-out-of-three against UC Riverside, but sit at the bottom of the Big West standings with a 3-9 conference record. Only one player, Savannah Horvath, is batting over .300, and she is hitting a blistering .390 (55-for-141) with a team-high 13 homeruns, 50 runs scored to go with 36 RBIs. In the circle, the Matadors look to ace Jillian James (7-17, 3.74 ERA) who has 11 complete games, one shutout and 136 strikeouts in 161 innings pitched. 

Walk it Out
In Sunday's 4-1 loss to No. 18 Long Beach State, UCSB walked a school record 10 times at the plate, breaking the record of nine walks that has occurred three times, most recently last season against Wright State. Individually, leadoff hitter Genesis Ramirez tied the program record with four walks in a game, tying Jessica Hejna's mark from 2004 as well as Sierra Altmeyer, who walked four times in a game against LMU last year. 

Extra, Extra! Read All About It
After a 6-5 walk-off win in extra innings during the Hawai'i series, UCSB is now 4-1 in extra innings this season. The Gauchos topped Sacramento State 8-7 in nine innings on the road early in the season and have since won in walk-off fashion three times at Campus Diamond. Their lone loss came at the hands of San Diego, 3-2, at the Gaucho Classic I. 

Fine Under Pressure
After hitting a walk-off RBI single during the Hawai'i series, freshman Maci Fines has now had her hand in all three of the Gauchos' walk-off victories this season. Fines scored the game-winning run in a 5-4 walk-off against San Diego and scored the game-tying run in the 11th inning of a 5-4 marathon win against Seattle. She is hitting .316 (12-for-38) since Big West play began. 

By the Numbers
Through 45 games thus far, UCSB is batting .269 (323-for-1,202), good for fourth best in the Big West Conference, while averaging 3.6 runs per game. The Gauchos have 18 homeruns and 77 extra base hits along with a .335 on-base percentage and a .369 slugging percentage. Opponents have scored 5.6 runs per game against UCSB. The Gauchos' pitching staff has a 4.30 ERA as a group, having allowed 185 earned runs in 301.0 innings pitched with 171 strikeouts. 

Fabulous Freshmen
Freshmen Sammy Fabian, Rayna Cohen, Maci Fines and Alyssa Lazatin have made immediate impacts for the Gauchos this season and are four of the top six hitters, statistically speaking, in the lineup. Fabian recently regained the team lead with a .346 batting average (44-for-127) after going 11-for-26 in the past six games. Cohen is hitting .294 (30-for-102) to go along with two homeruns and 19 RBIs. Fines has been hot since conference play began and has upped her overall average to .248 while Lazatin is batting .250.

In the Circle
Freshman Emily Schuttish has continued to impress in the circle for UCSB and leads the team with a 2.76 ERA. The Napa, Calif. native went toe-to-toe with reigning Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year Cielo Meza on Friday, and allowed just three earned runs to one of the most potent offenses in the nation. In 71 innings pitched, Schuttish has a 3-5 record with a team-high seven complete games along with 42 strikeouts. Felisha Noriega leads the team with 83.1 innings pitched and is 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA. Veronika Gulvin (5-9, 4.98 ERA) and Lena Mayer (4-8, 4.97 ERA) have pitched 70.1 innings and 62 innings, respectively, to round out the staff.