UCSB To Compete at 28th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego

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

The Schedule
28th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State
San Diego, Calif.
Tournament Central Page

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Grand Canyon (2-3) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-1)
All-Time Series Record: 0-0
Live Stats

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
Northern Illinois (3-2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-1)
All-Time Series Record: 0-0
Live Stats

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.
Middle Tennessee (2-3) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-1)
All-Time Series Record: 0-0
Live Stats

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.
Grand Canyon (2-3) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-1)
All-Time Series Record: 0-0
Live Stats

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
San Diego State (3-2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-1)
All-Time Series Record: 26-26
Live Stats

NorCal Kickoff Review
UC Santa Barbara got out to a fine start to its 2019 season, winning two of three games at the NorCal Kickoff hosted by Sacramento State and UC Davis. After falling 4-3 to CSU Bakersfield in their season-opener, the Gauchos proceeded to claim wins over Sac State, 12-6, and an extra innings win over Montana, 11-6. Santa Barbara had at least 10 hits in all three games, led by Sammy Fabian's eight. Originally scheduled for a five-game opening weekend slate, the Gauchos' final two games against Nevada and Santa Clara were canceled due to weather.

28th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic Preview
Following their 2-1 start, the Gauchos carry a two-game win streak down to San Diego State this weekend for five games at the 28th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic. Of the four teams UCSB will play, they have only ever faced the host Aztecs before, taking an equal split of the winnings from their 52 previous meetings. 

Fabian's Hot Start
Sophomore Sammy Fabian had perhaps the best start offensively of any Gaucho during opening weekend, batting a team-high .571 with a .571 on-base percentage and .643 slugging. The left fielder is the only Big West player with at least two hits in every game so far, seeing her post the second-highest batting average in the conference through one week of play. Only one time during her freshman season did she have a three-game stretch with more than eight hits, when she tallied nine from Feb. 19-22 in games against Loyola Marymount and Dayton.

Stringing Those Hits
UCSB had at least 10 hits in all three of its games to open the year, averaging a Big West-leading 10.7 hits per game so far on a conference-high .348 team batting average. The last time the Gauchos had a double-digit hit streak like this to open a season was in 2016, when they had 11 or more hits in each of their first six games. Despite losing two games to the rain last weekend, their 32 total hits are still good for fourth out of eight teams in the Big West.

Caught 'Em Looking
If you're a fan of strikeouts, you probably enjoyed UCSB's pitching performances in week one. Through three games, all three of the Gaucho pitchers that have stepped into the circle this season rank in the conference's top-10 for Ks per seven innings. Senior Veronika Gulvin ranks second at 9.00 strikeouts per seven, while her 15 total Ks are tied for first. Junior Felisha Noriega, who stepped up to a pitch a nearly flawless final 3.1 innings in the win over Montana – she tallied six strikeouts, giving up a single walk with no hits or runs in the eight-inning, 11-6 win – sits right behind Gulvin in third with an 8.40 K/7 average. Finally, sophomore Emily Schuttish comes in at No. 8 after tossing four strikeouts (5.25 K/7) in 5.1 innings. As a team, the Gauchos are the only Big West school averaging more than 5.7 strikeouts per seven innings, tossing a conference-leading 7.95 to this point.

Key Returners
Highlighting the 11-Gaucho returning faction is three-time All-Big West Teamer Sierra Altmeyer, as well as 2018 All-Freshman Team selections Sammy Fabian and Maci Fines. Altmeyer is coming off an All-Conference Second Team selection last year, when she led the Gauchos in runs (33), RBIs (31), doubles (11), home runs (8), walks (28), on base percentage (.420) and slugging percentage (557).

Second-year Gauchos Fabian and Fines return following standout freshman seasons. Playing out of left field last year, Fabian would go on to lead the team in hits (54), batting average (.335) and stolen bases (9), earning All-Big West Honorable Mention recognition in the process. Her 26 runs were also good for third-most on the team. Defensively, she was solid throughout the year, finishing with a .988 fielding percentage after tallying just one error.

New Talent
UCSB brings six newcomers to Campus Diamond in 2019, including Utah State transfer Devan Sperry Jr. (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Mt. Sac standout Carissa Felix (Montclair, Calif. / Ontario HS) along with four freshmen. Sperry posted career-highs across the board as a sophomore last year, finishing with 20 hits, four doubles, three homers and 15 RBI at USU. Meanwhile, Felix dominated at Mt. Sac, helping lead the Mounties to a 41-7 record while totaling 59 hits and 41 runs on a .415 batting average.

Rounding out the newcomers are Gaucho freshmen infielders Teah Thies (Laguna Hills, Calif. / Laguna Hills HS) and Ally Nodohara (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato HS), pitcher Alyssa Molina (Los Angeles, Calif. / Notre Dame S.O.) and outfielder Tyler Goldstein (Agoura Hills, Calif. / Agoura HS).