March 5, 2008
Games No. 20, 21, 22, 23
Saturday, Mar. 8, 2008
UCSB vs. Loyola Chicago, 9 & 11 am
at UCSB's Campus Diamond (500)
Sunday, Mar. 9, 2008
UCSB vs. North Dakota, 12 pm
UCSB at Loyola Marymount, 2 pm
at LMU's Smith Field (500)
A Whole Lot Of Loyola
The UC Santa Barbara softball team returns to Campus Diamond this Saturday after spending last weekend on the road at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Gauchos will host Loyola Chicago in a non-conference doubleheader set to begin at 9 am. On Sunday, the Gauchos will head South to take part in the Loyola Marymount Round-Robin Tournament where they will face the University of North Dakota and the host Lions. Both of Sunday's games can be followed on Gametracker. Just click the link on the softball schedule page on ucsbgauchos.com to stay up-to-date on the Gauchos' game status.
UCSB represented California in the 2008 NFCA Leadoff Classic last weekend where the Gauchos posted a 2-3 record. UCSB opened with a 9-1 six-inning loss against No. 12 Michigan on Friday. The Gauchos came back and dominated Syracuse, 8-1, in their second game to earn a split on the first day of competition. On Saturday, UCSB posted another split, dropping an early game to N.C. State, 3-0, before upsetting No. 18 Mississippi State, 5-2 in eight innings. In the final game of the tournament, UCSB fell to No. 19 DePaul, 2-0. The Gauchos now hold a 9-10 record on the season.
In The Circle With Correa
Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Correa picked up both wins over the weekend, including the first UCSB victory over a ranked team this season. Correa pitched a complete game against Syracuse and allowed just one run on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts to lead the Gauchos to the 8-1 victory. The following day, Correa went the distance against No. 18 Mississippi State, pitching all eight innings. After seven scoreless innings, Correa gave up just two runs (one earned) in the final inning, helping the Gauchos hold onto their lead and take the 5-2 victory. Over the weekend, she recorded a 0.93 ERA with an opponent batting average of .180. Correa currently leads the Gaucho pitching staff with her 2.37 ERA and .194 opponent batting average. She also has a team-best 37 strikeouts, which already surpasses the 24 she tallied in 2007.
2007 All-Big West First Team selection Tisha Duran continues to lead UCSB batting .446 on the season with 12 runs, 25 hits, and 20 RBI. The senior leads the Big West in RBI and homeruns (5) and is second for batting average, hits, and total bases (43). She is third in conference for slugging percentage (.768) and on-base percentage (.516). After picking up her first career Big West Player of the Week honor a week ago Monday, the Ventura, Calif. native batted a respectable .308 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic with two runs and four walks. The senior went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks in the win over Syracuse and went 2-for-4 with a run in the win over Mississippi State. With her 20 RBI this season, Duran is just 13 shy of matching her total of 33 from last season.
The Freshmen Factor
The Gaucho freshmen have been a great addition to the UCSB line-up this season and this past weekend was no exception. Freshman shortstop Jessica Beristianos posted a .417 batting average across the five games. Following a 1-for-2 showing against No. 12 Michigan, Beristianos was 3-for-3 with a double, two RBI, a run, and a walk against Syracuse. Beristianos earned a season-high two walks against N.C. State and had a hit in the win over Mississippi State. The freshman has five RBI on the season and is third on the team with seven walks. Fellow classmate, Katie McWhirter, started the first four games last weekend and extended her hitting streak to six games before her bat was silenced against Mississippi State. McWhirter opened the weekend going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI against Michigan. In the following game against Syracuse, the Monrovia, Calif. native went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. Against N.C. State, she went 1-for-3 with a stolen base to round out the weekend. McWhirter is batting .267 on the season, the highest amongst Gaucho freshman.
Catching Up With Kelsey
Sophomore catcher Kelsey Anderson posted a two RBI double in the eighth inning to help lead UCSB to the 5-2 upset over Mississippi State on Saturday. Anderson also provided one of the Gauchos' three hits in the 2-0 loss to No. 19 DePaul in the tournament closer and posted a pair of walks and an RBI in the victory over Syracuse. Anderson is currently batting .229 on the season and is tied for second on the team with seven RBI.
On the surface it may appear that pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto may be suffering a sophomore slump. In 2007, she opened her freshman season with six consecutive wins, including an upset victory over then-ranked No. 2 Arizona State, and posted a season ERA of 2.63. Matsumoto's 1-6 record so far this season, however, is a bit deceiving. Five of Matsumoto's six losses have been against teams currently ranked in the nation's top-25, including her losses to then-ranked No. 12 Michigan and No. 19 DePaul this past weekend. In the first game of the weekend, Matsumoto struggled, allowing eight runs on seven hits while allowing five walks and striking out one against the Wolverines. Matsumoto came back in the final game of the tournament and held DePaul to just two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. In fact, Sunday's game was the second this year that Matsumoto has pitched without allowing any walks, she also accomplished this feat against San Diego State on Feb. 17. Matsumoto currently holds a 5.21 ERA this season with a .321 opponent batting average.
Also Chipping In...
Sophomore Priscilla Perez got the first starting nod of her collegiate career in the game against Mississippi State on Saturday and she took full advantage of the opportunity. Perez went 2-for-3 with a stolen base against the Bulldogs. The following day, she provided one of the Gauchos' three hits in the loss to DePaul. In her two starts, she batted an impressive .500. Another reserve making a solid contribution over the weekend was senior Danielle Meyers. The Lodi, Calif. native went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the 8-1 victory over Syracuse. She followed that up with a hit against DePaul. The designated player is currently batting .286 this season, good for third amongst the Gauchos.
The Ramos Record Watch
Second basemen and 2007 All-Big West First Team pick Christine Ramos, who batted a combined .350 during her first two seasons with the Gauchos, hasn't been making as much noise at the plate this season but is still tearing up the base paths. Currently batting .258 on the year, she currently leads UCSB with 12 runs, two triples, and is second on the team with five stolen bases. The leadoff hitter went 1-for-4 with one run, a triple, and a stolen base against Syracuse. She also provided an RBI single in the upset over Mississippi State. In just her junior year, Ramos is currently on her way to joining the UCSB all-time career leaders. Her run against Syracuse marked her 66th as a Gaucho and tied her for 10th all-time for runs. Ramos also stands seven hits and three stolen bases away from joining the Gaucho top-10.
The Wright Stuff
Gaucho center fielder Tiffany Wright stretched her hitting streak to a season-high five games on Friday, going 1-for-3 against Michigan and 2-for-4 with two runs in the win over Syracuse. Like several Gauchos, she was unable to get a hit against N.C. State on Saturday, but bounced back and went 1-for-3 with a run and a sac bunt in the win over Mississippi State. Wright is batting .214 on the year and is tied third on the team with 10 runs and tied second with seven RBI. Wright currently ranks in the Gaucho all-time career top-10 for homeruns (12) and doubles (19) and is just five RBI away from joining that list as well.
Walk It Out
First baseman Jessica Ziegler has made her presence known in the Gaucho lineup this season. The sophomore is fourth on the team and second amongst starters, batting .276 and leads the Gauchos, and the Big West with nine stolen bases. While Ziegler managed just one hit over the weekend, she was on-base in every contest. The sophomore earned a walk in each of the weekend's five games, one of which brought home a Gaucho run in the win over Mississippi State. Ziegler also added a run, a sac bunt, and a stolen base to her stats during the weekend.
The Weston File
Junior hurler Tami Weston suffered her first loss of the season against N.C. State on Saturday. The pitcher tossed 6.2 innings allowing just three runs (two earned) on five hits while walking four and fanning four. Weston holds a 3-1 record on the year and has recorded a 3.20 ERA in 30.2 innings of work. Her opponent batting average is currently .269 this season.
The Galicinao File
Former UCSB assistant, Brie Galicinao took the helm of the Gaucho softball program last June. Galicinao is a 2002 graduate of Princeton where she was a four-year starting pitcher and utility player for the Tigers and was named the 2001 and 2002 Ivy League Player of the Year. The Stockton, Calif. native served as Kristy Schroeder's assistant for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, helping guide the Gauchos to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Under her tutelage, Jennifer Davis became the Big West and Gaucho career strikeout record holder and the 2007 UCSB pitching staff led the conference for ERA.
Loyola Chicago is currently amidst a 10-game California road swing that will end at Campus Diamond on Saturday. As of Wednesday morning, the Ramblers are 3-8 on the season and recently split a doubleheader with Sunday's opponent Loyola Marymount on Tuesday. Ellen Kresl leads the team batting .389 with a team-high five stolen bases and 14 hits. In the circle, Amy Solava has posted a 2-5 record and a 4.03 ERA with 27 strikeouts while fellow hurler Krista Crosson is 1-3 on the season with a 3.58 ERA. UCSB holds a 2-0 series advantage against the Ramblers and picked up their last win in 6-4 fashion at last season's Stanford Classic.
Like Loyola Chicago, North Dakota is also on a California road swing this week and dropped a doubleheader to Big West team Cal Poly on Monday and fell to Cal State San Bernardino twice on Tuesday. The Fighting Sioux currently hold a 4-8 record on the season. Lindsey Gaustad is batting .394 on the year with a team-leading 13 hits. She also has nine runs and five RBI. In the circle, Michele Wolf holds a team-best 2.47 ERA with a 2-2 record and 13 strikeouts. Sunday's pairing will be the first between the two programs.
So We Meet Again...
Loyola Marymount heads into this weekend with a 12-8 record and most recently split a doubleheader against Saturday's opponent, Loyola Chicago, dropping the first game, 6-3, before picking up a 8-0 shutout in the second half of the twin bill. Currently the Lions are led by Kristen Slouber who is batting .405 on the season with a team-leading 11 runs. In the circle, Tiffany Pagano holds a 1.43 ERA, a 7-3 record, and a team-high 106 strikeouts. Saturday's match-up will be the first of two with the Lions this season, the Gauchos will face them for the second time on Mar. 15. The last time these two teams met, Loyola Marymount came back from a two-run deficit to take a 5-3 victory and subsequently end the Gauchos' season at the 2007 NCAA Los Angeles Regional. UCSB holds a 18-13 series lead against LMU.
In what may feel like a case of deja vu, the Gauchos will spend next week at LMU's Smith Stadium as well, as UCSB participates in the LMU Tournament. The Gauchos will play four total games, taking on Illinois Chicago and Bucknell on Saturday, Mar. 14 before facing Illinois Chicago and Loyola Marymount on Saturday.