Gauchos Open 2010 Season at Red Desert Classic

Feb. 10, 2010

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• The Schedule
Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah
Thursday, February 11, 2010
UC Santa Barbara (0-0) vs. Northern Colorado (0-0), 3 p.m.
Series record vs. Bears: 2-0
Last time vs. Bears: W, 8-0 (Feb. 17, 2007)

Friday, February 12, 2010
UC Santa Barbara vs. Tulsa (0-0), 12:30 p.m.
Series record vs. Golden Hurricane: 1-0
Last time vs. Golden Hurricane: W, 3-2 (Feb. 17, 2008)

UC Santa Barbara vs. BYU (0-0), 3 p.m.
Series record vs. Cougars: 1-3
Last time out vs. Cougars: L, 6-2 (Feb. 19, 2004)

Saturday, February 13, 2010
UC Santa Barbara vs. Maine (0-0), 10 a.m.
Series record vs. Black Bears: 0-0

UC Santa Barbara vs. Utah Valley (0-0), 3 p.m.
Series record vs. Wolverines: 2-0
Last time out vs. Wolverines: W, 4-0 (Mar. 3, 2007)

• The Opening Pitch
UCSB opens its 2010 campaign this week at the Red Desert Classic being hosted by BYU and Utah Valley in St. George, Utah. The Gauchos will play five games across three days and will begin tourney action against Northern Colorado on Thursday.

• For The Record
The Gauchos ended the 2009 season with a 26-25 overall record, marking the seventh consecutive winning season in program history. UCSB posted a 9-12 record in Big West play, finishing the conference season tied for fourth with Cal State Northridge.

• Who Are These People?
The 2010 UCSB roster consists of 13 returning letterwinners from last season's squad, one redshirt freshman and four newcomers. Of the 13 returners, six were regular starters for UCSB in 2009. The Gauchos also return three All-Big West selections: Krista Cobb, Katie McWhirter and Jessica Ziegler. Cobb was the 2009 Big West Co-Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a Pacific Region First Team honoree.

• Preseason Predictions
In the Big West Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released last week, UCSB was picked to repeat as the conference's fourth place team this year. The Gauchos garnered 43 points in the poll, 13 points behind first-place Cal Poly. Long Beach State (51 points) and Cal State Fullerton (50 points) were ranked second and third, respectively.

• Taking On The Top
UCSB is slated to face 11 teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the 2010 national preseason polls. The Gauchos will play eight games against teams that are currently ranked in the top-25 nationally and will play 14 contests against teams receiving votes. The first of these games will be against BYU on Friday, a team receiving votes. Then, next Wednesday, UCSB will host preseason No. 6/8 UCLA in a doubleheader at Campus Diamond. Other ranked opposition includes consensus No. 1 Washington (Feb. 19), No. 5/7 Arizona State (Mar. 4 and 6), No. 10/12 Stanford (Mar. 27) and No. 24/25 Fresno State (Mar. 30).

• Coach's Corner
Head coach Brie Galicinao is now in her third season at the helm of the UCSB softball program. In her previous two seasons, Galicinao has coached the Gauchos to a 56-49 cumulative record for a .533 winning percentage, the best by a UCSB coach 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 12 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.

• Top-10 List
Three Gauchos climbed their way onto the UCSB career top-10 lists last season and will look to move their names up in the record books this season. Senior Jessica Ziegler currently ranks eighth all-time for career runs with 75 scored over the past three seasons. The school record is held by Mandy Edwards (1997-2000), who posted 156. Junior Jessica Beristianos is currently ranked ninth all-time for doubles with 22 and is 20 away from Edwards' school record. Sophomore pitcher Krista Cobb ranks eighth all-time for career shutouts with nine, she needs 14 more to tie Jennifer Davis' (2004-07) school-record of 23.

• Super Senior
First baseman Jessica Ziegler joins the Gauchos for her final season in the blue and gold. The two-time All-Big West Honorable Mention is the top returning batter for the Gauchos after ranking second on the team in 2009 with her .335 average, which ranked eighth in the Big West. She also was second on the team with 32 runs, 60 hits and was third with nine stolen bases. Ziegler is just one stolen base away from cracking into the UCSB career top-10, having tallied 29 already.

• Beristianos' Big Bat
Junior Jessica Beristianos is also on the verge of cracking a Gaucho top-10 list. The infielder is just five RBI away from tying Brittany Putich's (2004-07) 60 runs batted in. Beristianos was second on the team in 2009 with 32 RBI and led the team with 13 doubles. Her .271 average ranked fifth on the squad and is fourth among returning players.

• Jennings Returns
Infielder Keilani Jennings had a massive start to the 2009 season before an injury forced her to redshirt the year. The shortstop has recovered and, if her sneak preview last season is any indicator, should be a major contributor to the Gaucho offense this season. Across just nine games last season, she batted .391 with a .548 on-base percentage. She scored eight runs on nine hits with a double, four home runs and 10 RBI. She also drew eight walks.

• In The Circle With Cobb
2009 Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year Krista Cobb had a breakout rookie campaign in which she tied the school record for victories with her 18-9 record and became the winningest freshman pitcher in program history. Her .204 opponent's batting average was the best in the Big West and her 1.93 ERA led the team. She also totaled nine shutouts and recorded the first perfect game in school history.

• New Kids On The Diamond
UCSB has added three freshmen and a sophomore transfer to its roster this season. Sophomore outfielder Jamie Adishian comes to Santa Barbara via Illinois where she was the starting center fielder for the Illini in 2009. Freshmen Tiffany Corder, who hails from San Clemente, Calif., and classmate Jackie Sweet out of Corona, Calif. are currently competing to play at second base. Kelly McDonald (San Mateo, Calif.) rounds out the newcomers and will by vying for a spot in the lineup as the designated hitter.

• Tweet, Tweet
Head coach Brie Galicinao is on Twitter. To get her insights and updates throughout the season (and the rest of the year), follow her by clicking, here.

• Gauchos.360
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, click here.

• Coming Soon to Campus Diamond
Following this weekend's handful of road games, UCSB will return home for a doubleheader against UCLA at Campus Diamond next Wednesday, Feb. 17. The start time, which was previously slated for noon, has been pushed back to 12:30 p.m. The following day, UCSB will head south for the Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State.

• Get Your Tickets
Tickets for all 21 of the Gauchos' home contests this season - including passes to the four-day Gaucho Classic being held Feb. 25-28 - 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.