January 23, 2008

UCSB Finalizes the 2008 Softball Schedule

Jan. 23, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team has finalized its 2008 schedule and it features five opponents currently ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and 11 opponents that participated in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, including four Super Regional qualifiers and one team that advanced to the College World Series.

Additionally, UCSB will face seven first-time opponents in 2008: Indiana, Tulsa, St. John's, Syracuse, North Carolina State, North Dakota, and Bucknell.

The Gauchos, who will be on a quest for their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in five years, will open the season at UCLA in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament (alternately being called the UCLA/Cal State Fullerton Freeway Series) on Feb. 8. UCSB will open the three-day event with a match-up against Nevada followed by a pairing with No. 5 ranked Oklahoma, which advanced to the 2007 NCAA Super Regionals. The following day, the Gauchos face Santa Clara and host No. 14 UCLA. Last season, UCSB upset the Bruins on their home field, capturing a 3-1 win in Westwood on Mar. 27.

Following the season-opening tourney, the Gauchos will return to Campus Diamond for an Alumni game on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Continuing tournament action, UCSB will head to San Diego State the weekend of Feb. 14-17 for San Diego State's Campbell/Cartier Classic. The Gauchos will face the host Aztecs, Utah State, Indiana, Fresno State, and Tulsa during the four-day event.

Santa Barbara will return to Campus Diamond for its home-opening Softball by the Beach Tournament on Feb. 22-24. The Gauchos will play host to Portland State and St. John's and face each team twice during the three-day event running.

Following the Softball by the Beach tourney, UCSB will pack its bags for its only regular season out-of-state road trip. The Gauchos are slated to play in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., which will arguably be one of their toughest weekends of the season. The tournament will run Feb. 29-Mar. 2 and UCSB is scheduled to take-on NCAA Super Regional participant No. 12 Michigan, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Mississippi State, and 2007 College World Series participant, No. 10 DePaul. North Carolina State and Mississippi State each received votes in the national preseason poll.

UCSB will return to California for a non-conference doubleheader with Loyola Chicago on Mar. 8 at Campus Diamond and will then head to Los Angeles the following day to face North Dakota and Loyola Marymount in a pair of non-conference match-ups at LMU. The Gauchos will have a good chance to get comfortable on the Lions' field when they continue action at the Loyola Marymount Tournament on Mar. 14-15 with games against Illinois-Chicago, Bucknell, and host LMU.

On Mar. 25, the Gauchos will host No. 14 UCLA in a doubleheader and will take-on Cal State Bakersfield, which is amidst its transition to Division I, the following day in a pair of games.

On Mar. 29, UCSB will finally get down to the nitty gritty of conference play when they open the Big West season with a three-game, two-day series at UC Riverside.

The Gauchos will host three conference series this season at Campus Diamond against defending conference champ Cal Poly (Apr. 5-6), Long Beach State (Apr. 19-20), and fellow 2007 NCAA Tournament qualifier, Pacific (May 3-4). UCSB will also take a break from conference action with a doubleheader against Fresno State on Apr. 8. The Bulldogs received votes in the NFCA preseason poll and ended the 2007 season ranked No. 25.

UCSB will face Big West foes Cal State Northridge (Apr. 12-13), UC Davis (Apr. 26-27), and No. 21 Cal State Fullerton (May 9-10) on the road. Fullerton, which was picked to finish first in the conference in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll, was a 2007 Super Regional qualifier. The series against the Titans will close out the regular season and the following weekend will mark the beginning of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

For the 2008 UC Santa Barbara softball schedule in its entirety, please visit:
2008 Schedule