Gauchos Head to Tempe for Wilson/DeMarini Invitational

March 3, 2010

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• The Schedule
Thursday, March 4, 2010
UC Santa Barbara (5-9) at No. 9 Arizona State (10-2), 6 pm
Series record vs. Sun Devils: 4-9
Last time vs. Sun Devils: W, 8-7 (Mar. 2, 2007)

Wilson/DeMarini Invitational
Friday, March 5, 2010

UC Santa Barbara vs. Creighton (5-4), 10 am
Series record vs. Bluejays: 0-1
Last time vs. Bluejays: L, 3-2 (Feb. 24, 1990)

UC Santa Barbara vs. Idaho State (3-4), 12 pm
Series record vs. Bengals: First Meeting

Saturday, March 6, 2010
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 9 Arizona State, 4:30 pm

UC Santa Barbara vs. Samford (5-5), 6:30 pm
Series record vs. Bulldogs: First Meeting

Sunday, March 7, 2010
UC Santa Barbara vs. Northern Iowa (8-2), 10 am
Series record vs. Panthers: First Meeting

• On The Road Again
After playing host to the rain-shortened Gaucho Classic last week, the UCSB softball team will hit the road again this weekend for its second out-of-state tournament of the season. The Gauchos will face No. 9 Arizona State on Thursday evening before kicking off action at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational on Friday against Creighton and Idaho State. UCSB will face host Arizona State again on Saturday along with Samford and then conclude tourney action on Sunday against Northern Iowa.

• Rain, Rain Go Away
Six of the 13 games scheduled at last weekend's Gaucho Classic were cancelled due to rain and its effects on the field at Campus Diamond, including three of UCSB's games. The Gauchos also had a pairing the previous weekend against Utah State at the Campbell/Cartier Classic scrapped due to poor weather bringing the count to four games missed due to Mother Nature. Tempe's forecast is calling for rain on Sunday, hopefully after the Gauchos wrap up tournament action.

• For The Record
UCSB opened last week's Gaucho Classic with a pair of narrow losses, falling to Drexel, 4-2, and North Dakota State, 2-0. The losses stretched the Gauchos' losing streak to eight consecutive games, the longest skid since the 2001 season when UCSB dropped 10 straight (Mar. 4 thru Mar. 17). On Friday, however, the Gauchos snapped their skid with a 6-1 victory over Wisconsin to improve to 5-9 on the season.

• Signs Of A Turnaround
In the win over Wisconsin, UCSB tallied a season-high-tying six runs, matching its six runs posted in the season-opening win over Northern Colorado (Feb. 11). The Gauchos also posted nine hits, one shy of its season-best, also against Northern Colorado. UCSB's pitchers also picked up momentum across last week's three games, allowing just five total earned runs, the fewest they have allowed across three consecutive games this season.

• Putich's Big Week
After going hitless through her first seven at-bats of the season, sophomore Brooke Putich had a breakthrough week at Campus Diamond and went 5-for-6 at the plate with two RBI, a double, two walks and two runs scored. In the victory over Wisconsin, the outfielder went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a double and two runs scored. The three hits marked a career high for Putich and the most hits in a game by a Gaucho this season. She is batting .385 on the season with a .500 on-base percentage in 13 at-bats.

• Ziggy, Ziggy, Ziggy Can't You See? Sometimes Your Hits Just Hypnotize Me
Senior Jessica Ziegler currently leads the Gauchos with her 12 hits, seven runs and five stolen bases this season. The first baseman also ranks second in the Big West for stolen bases and eighth for hits. Her .286 average is the highest among Gauchos that have played every game and she is the only UCSB player amidst a hitting streak, having hit safely in the last two games. In fact, Ziegler was the only Gaucho to manage a hit in the 2-0 shutout loss to North Dakota State last Thursday and she went 3-for-8 with two walks and a run at the Gaucho Classic.

• Record Watch
Speaking of Jessica Ziegler, the infielder is currently making herself a fixture in the UCSB record books. She is currently seventh all-time for career runs (82) and is just two away from matching sixth-ranked Brittany Putich's (2004-07) career output. She also ranks 10th in program history for career stolen bases with 34 and is just one away from tying ninth-ranked Davis Beck (2001-04).

• On The Verge
After driving Brooke Putich home with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning against Wisconsin on Thursday, junior Jessica Beristianos brought her career RBI count to 59 and is now just one away from cracking the UCSB career top-10 RBI list. Brittany Putich is currently 10th with 60.

• Coach's Corner
Head coach Brie Galicinao, who is now in her third season at the helm of the UCSB softball program, recorded her 60th win when the Gauchos defeated Utah Valley on Feb. 13. Galicinao has coached the Gauchos to a 61-58 cumulative record for a .513 winning percentage, the second 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.

• Walk It Out
Jessica Beristianos currently leads the Gauchos and the Big West with her nine walks and she tallied two last week. In fact, this season she has recorded more walks than hits (6). Freshman Keilani Jennings is second on the team and third in the Big West with eight walks.

• Wrong Side Of The Shutout
UCSB has gone 0-4 in shutout games this year. The Gauchos played in 18 shutout games in 2009, but held a 12-6 advantage over their competition in those games.

• How About The Hurlers?
While the Gaucho pitchers have yet to post a shutout this season, their performances last week were solid. MeLinda Matsumoto, Krista Cobb and Lindsey Correa combined for a 1.75 ERA - an improvement upon their collective season ERA of 5.83 - and allowed just five earned runs and seven total runs off of 17 hits. Matsumoto led the way, collecting a 1-1 record with a 1.50 ERA. The senior allowed just two earned runs on seven hits in 9.1 innings of work while striking out six.

• Preseason Predictions
In the Big West Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released prior to the start of the season, 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.

• 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 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
UCSB will return to the Central Coast next week to play a neutral site contest against Iowa State at Cal Poly on March 12 and then will host Cal State Bakersfield in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 13 at Campus Diamond.

• Get Your Tickets
Tickets for all of the Gauchos' home contests this season 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.