Feb. 9, 2011
Gaucho Classic I at Campus Diamond
Friday, February 11, 2011
UC Santa Barbara (0-0) vs. Western Kentucky (0-0), 8:30 am
All-time series record vs. Hilltoppers: 0-1
Last time vs. Hilltoppers: L, 7-0 (Feb. 20, 2010)
KCSB Online Broadcast
UC Santa Barbara vs. Western Kentucky, 10:45 am
The Opening Pitch
UCSB opens its 2011 campaign this week with the Gaucho Classic I, which is being held at the Gauchos' own Campus Diamond. UCSB will play five games across three days and will begin tournament action against Western Kentucky on Friday morning. For the complete tournament schedule and results, click here.
Home Sweet Home
Santa Barbara will be opening the 2011 season on its home diamond for the first time since the 2004 campaign. UCSB has posted a 28-28 record at Campus Diamond during head coach Brie Galicinao's tenure.
For The Record
The Gauchos ended the 2010 season with a 15-37 overall record and a 6-15 mark in Big West play; they finished eighth in the conference. The season marked the Gauchos' first losing season since 2002 and the first for Galicinao.
Who Are These People?
UCSB returns 11 players from its 2010 roster and has added six freshmen. Of the returners, six started regularly last season. The Gauchos also return three All-Big West selections: Jessica Beristianos, Krista Cobb and Brooke Putich.
The Gauchos were predicted to finish seventh in the Big West out of eight teams in a preseason poll of the conference coaches. The last time UCSB was picked to finish seventh in the league's preseason poll was in 2008. That season the Gauchos finished second in the Big West, which tied their best conference finish, and posted a 30-24 overall mark.
The Galicinao File
Head coach Brie Galicinao, who is now in her fourth season at the helm of the UCSB softball program, has coached the Gauchos to a 71-86 cumulative record for a .452 winning percentage, the second best since the softball program went Division I in 1982. Galicinao has coached three players to All-Region honors, two players to Big West Field Player of the Year accolades, one Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and 16 All-Big West Conference selections. In 2008, Galicinao was named the Big West Co-Coach of the Year after her first season leading the Gauchos.
Taking On The Top
This year, UCSB is slated to play 17 games against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in either the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll or the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The most challenging weekend could arguably come at the Cathedral City Classic (Feb. 24-27) when the Gauchos will take-on No. 4 Tennessee, No. 23 Oklahoma State, No. 22 Ohio State and Long Island, which is receiving votes. UCSB will also have tough road tests at No. 1 UCLA (Mar. 22) and No. 13 Arizona State (Mar. 25-27). Other highly rated opponents include No. 12 Cal (Feb. 19), No. 18 Stanford (Mar. 5) and Fresno State (Mar. 22), Northwestern (Feb. 20) and Oregon State (Mar. 4), which are all garnering votes in the national polls.
Jessica Beristianos returns for her final season in the blue and gold. Over the past three years, she has started all 157 games in the infield for the Gauchos. Last season, she led the team in RBI (21), walks (25) and doubles (11). Meanwhile, she was second on the squad with her .368 on-base percentage and total bases (48). Her 2010 season culminated in All-Big West Honorable Mention accolades. Beristianos is currently ranked fifth all-time in the UCSB record books for career doubles (33) and needs nine more to tie No. 1 Mandy Edwards (1997-2000). She is also ninth for career RBI with 76; Kendra Wood (1997-2000) owns the school record with a whopping 130.
Two-time All-Big West honoree Krista Cobb begins her junior campaign this Friday. The Gaucho ace has compiled a 26-22 record across the past two seasons, tossing 11 shutouts during her 63 appearances. She ranks seventh all-time in the UCSB record books for career shutouts and is 10th for career victories. Cobb is 17 strikeouts and two complete games away from cracking the UCSB top-10 in those categories.
Junior outfielder Brooke Putich was second on the team in 2010 and first among 2011 returners with her .294 batting average, .365 slugging, 17 runs, 37 hits and eight stolen bases. She parlayed a solid sophomore season into All-Big West Honorable Mention accolades, the first such honors of her career.
New Year, New Faces
UCSB has added six freshmen to its roster this season. Andriana Collins (Fairfield, Calif./Rodriguez HS) will provide more depth in the circle while catchers Kendall Gill (Wilton, Calif./Capital Christian HS) and Brittany Grier (Corona, Calif./Notre Dame HS) add to the staff behind the plate. Infielders Kathryn Pilpil (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) and Lauren Boser (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) are expected to make an immediate impact as is outfielder McKenzie Kane (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS).
What Lies Ahead
Following this weekend's tournament, the Gauchos will hit the road for 15 games across three tournaments. First up will be the San Diego Classic I, being hosted by the University of San Diego. The tournament field includes Howard, Sacramento State, Cal, Northwestern and San Diego and will kick-off on Friday, Feb. 18. UCSB will then travel to the Cathedral City Classic (Feb. 24-27) before heading to the DeMarini Invitational in Fullerton (Mar. 4-6). The Gauchos will round out their string of tournaments with the Gaucho Classic II that will be held at Campus Diamond the weekend of Mar. 11-13.
The Gaucho softball team has entered the blogsphere. Several members of the team are contributing regularly to "Gauchos.360" filling in UCSB fans on their student-athlete experience. To check it out visit click here.
Get Your Tickets
Tickets for all of the Gauchos' home contests this season - including passes to the three-day Gaucho Classic I - are now available. To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.