Cathedral City Classic Next Up for the Gauchos

Feb. 18, 2009

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• The Schedule
Games No. 10-15
Cathedral City Classic (Cathedral City, Calif.)

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009
UCSB vs. NC State, 1 p.m.
Available on Gametracker
UCSB vs. Maryland, 3:30 p.m.
Available on Gametracker

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009
UCSB vs. Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m.
Available on Gametracker

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009
UCSB vs. Kansas, 5:30 p.m.
Available on Gametracker

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
UCSB vs. No. 17 Nevada, 12 p.m.
UCSB vs. Ohio State, 2 p.m.

• On The Road Again...
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will travel to the Cathedral City Classic this week where it are scheduled to play six games in four days. On the Gauchos' slate this Thursday through Sunday are NC State, Maryland, Tennessee Tech, Kansas, No. 17 Nevada and Ohio State.

• For The Record
After opening the 2009 season with four consecutive wins, the Gauchos hit a bump in the road when they visited San Diego last week. UCSB went 1-4 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic dropping games to then-ranked No. 8 Stanford, No. 10 Washington, No. 24 San Diego State and Utah State. The Gauchos' lone win was a big one, however, as they defeated defending Big West Conference champions Long Beach State, 8-3, in an eight inning tie breaker. The Gauchos were scheduled to play Stanford again on Sunday, but the second pairing with the Cardinal was cancelled due to rain.

• Poll Points
Last week, UCSB was receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Poll. After its four tough losses over the weekend, the Gauchos have dropped out of the "others receiving votes" section of the poll.

• The Good, The Bad, The Injured
Freshman shortstop Keilani Jennings had another great weekend for the Gauchos. She posted a .364 average across the five games with three runs, one home run, two RBI and seven total bases. She currently leads the Gauchos and the Big West for runs (8), RBI (10), home runs (4) and walks (8). Unfortunately for UCSB and Jennings, during last weekend's final game against San Diego State, she sustained an injury to her leg and will be sidelined indefinitely.

• Offensive Behavior
Just two weeks into the season, UCSB currently leads the Big West Conference in several statistical categories. The Gauchos ranks first for runs (42), hits (69), RBI (40), home runs (9), total bases (102), walks (30) and stolen bases (9).

• Countdown Till Campus Diamond
UCSB will play 13 more games on the road - including six this week - before hosting its home opener against San Diego on Mar. 11 at Campus Diamond.

• Ramos Rundown
Senior second baseman Christine Ramos leads the Gauchos with her .406 batting average this season. She also leads the team with three stolen bases and has posted a .444 on-base percentage. Last week, she tallied four hits, a run and a team-leading three RBI.

• Ramos Record Watch
With her four hits last week, Christine Ramos moved into the No. 3 spot on the Gaucho all-time career hits list with 196 during her four-year career. She surpassed Leslie Simien's (2001-04) 195 hits and is now just 12 hits away from Tonya Dias' school record of 208. Last week, she also tied Dias for seventh on the UCSB career stolen base list with 39. Ramos currently ranks fourth with 89 runs scored, 21 runs away from tying Simien's No. 3 ranking with 110 runs. Additionally, she ranks first for career batting with a .349 average.

• The Wright Stuff
Ramos is not the only Gaucho making her mark on the UCSB record books this season, senior Tiffany Wright is also climbing her way up the Gaucho all-time rankings. With her three hits last weekend, Wright moved to ninth place - surpassing Krissy Kyriazis (1991-94) - on the all-time hits list with her current four-year total of 149. She also surpassed former teammate Brittany Putich (2004-07) on the runs scored list, now ranking fifth behind Ramos with 86. Her two RBI over the weekend pushed her into a four-way tie for fourth-place on the all-time RBI list with Tisha Duran (2007-08) and Tonya Dias (1997-2000) with 88.

• Youth Movement
Two weeks ago, Krista Cobb pitched a perfect game in her first collegiate start and last week another Gaucho freshman had a standout performance in the circle. Jenny Liepman earned her first collegiate win in the eight-inning showdown with Long Beach State. Liepman tossed 5.2 hitless innings against the 49ers, walking four and striking out two. She has posted a 0.00 ERA and a .000 opponent batting average in her 6.1 innings of work this season.

• Sister, Sister
Freshman Amanda Ziegler posted a team-leading .400 (6-for-15) batting average across last week's five games. She had hits in every game - except the contest against Washington - and went 2-for-4 against Utah State and Long Beach State. Her older sister, first baseman Jessica Ziegler, was the lone Gaucho to post a hit against Washington on Friday. The elder Ziegler went 2-for-3 against the Huskies. The sisters rank fourth and fifth on the team for batting average. Amanda has posted a .346 average across nine games while Jessica is hitting .333 so far this season.

• Pitching Points
Collectively, the UCSB pitching staff holds a 4.00 ERA and .256 opponent's batting average. Krista Cobb (2-2) leads the team with 21 innings in the circle. Cobb has posted a 3.00 ERA during her five appearances and leads the squad with 19 strikeouts. Junior MeLinda Matsumoto (1-1) isn't far behind with four appearances and 19 innings pitched. She holds a 2.84 ERA and has struck out eight batters.

• Preseason Predictions
In the 2009 Big West Coaches Preseason Poll, the Gauchos were picked to finish third - tied with Cal Poly - out of the conference's eight teams. UCSB picked up one first-place vote while Long Beach State received the other seven. Cal State Fullerton was picked to finish second. The poll, however, isn't always the best indicator of how a season will end up. In 2008, UCSB was picked seventh in the preseason poll before taking second in conference.

• Scouting NC State
North Carolina State enters this weekend with a 2-1 overall record. Stephanie Call leads the team with her .429 batting average while Alyssa Allbritten is batting .375 with three RBI. In the circle, Lindsay Campan has posted a 1-1 record and a 0.78 ERA in nine innings of work. She has tallied six strikeouts and has an opponent batting average of .182. Thursday's paring with NC State will be the first in program history.

• Scouting Maryland
Maryland enters this week's tournament with a 0-5 overall record. Kerry Hickey leads the squad batting .471 on the season with a double and a RBI. In the circle, she is 0-1 with a team-leading 2.55 ERA. Kendra Knight is 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA and a team-leading 16 strikeouts. The Gauchos will face the Terrapins for the first time in program history.

• Scouting Tennessee Tech
Tennessee Tech enters this weekend with a record identical to the Gauchos: 5-4. Holly Thomas leads the squad with her .391 batting average. She has posted six runs, three homers and nine RBI. In the circle, Maddi Schmissrauter has pitched 29.2 innings and collected a 3-2 record with a 5.46 ERA had 35 strikeouts. Holly Thomas has posted a 2-2 record with a 4.15 ERA and 20 strikeouts. This weekend's match-up is another program first for the Gauchos.

• Scouting Kansas
Kansas enters this week with a 4-5 overall record. Val Chapelle leads the team batting .346 on the season with three runs, two doubles and three RBI. Val George leads the pitching staff with a 1.73 ERA in 32.1 innings. She has posted a 3-3 record in the circle and has tallied 36 strikeouts. UCSB holds a 2-1 series advantage over Kansas, though the Jayhawks won the last pairing by way of a 3-2 score during the 2007 season-opener on Feb. 8.

• Scouting Nevada
No. 17 Nevada has gone 7-2 this season. The Wolfpack currently has six players batting over .300 including team-leader Britton Murdock, who is hitting .448 with nine runs, three homers and 15 RBI. In the circle, Katie Holverson has posted a 4-2 record and a 1.02 ERA in 34.1 innings of work. She has 37 strikeouts on the year. The Gauchos lead the all-time series with Nevada, 5-4 but dropped the last pairing during the 2008 season opener by way of a 5-4 score on Feb. 8.

• Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State - which is ranked No. 23 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 Poll - has posted a 9-1 record so far this season. Sam Marder leads the team batting .414 with five home runs, eight runs and 12 RBI. Kim Reeder leads the pitchers with a 0.73 ERA, 36 strikeouts and a 4-1 record in 28.2 innings of action. UCSB has faced the Buckeyes just once before. The Gauchos posted a 10-1 win during that meeting on Feb. 24, 2006.

• Season Tickets
For a chance to catch all of the Gauchos' games at Campus Diamond this season, the UCSB Athletics Department is, for the first-time, offering season tickets. Ticket prices are $50 for adults, $40 seniors (55 and over) and $24 youth (13 and under) and include all 16 home contests. With the purchase of a season ticket, you will also receive a free UCSB visor. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here to purchase tickets.

• On The Horizon
Next week will be a relatively light one for the Gauchos when they travel to Cal State Bakersfield for a three-game series with the Roadrunners. The nonconference series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will conclude with a single game at noon on Sunday.