UCSB to Finish Up Early Season Tournament Action at Stanford Classic this Weekend

UCSB to Finish Up Early Season Tournament Action at Stanford Classic this Weekend

March 7, 2007

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• The Schedule
Games No. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Stanford Classic
at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium (820)

Friday, March 9, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego State, 10:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 12 Stanford, 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 10, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State, 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Loyola of Chicago, 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 11, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. TBA

• It's Tourney Time...Again
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will conclude its series of season opening tournaments at the Stanford Classic this weekend, the fifth consecutive tournament the Gauchos have participated in this season. The Gauchos will face San Diego State, Sacramento State, No. 12 Stanford and Loyola of Chicago at the three day event running Friday, Mar. 9 through Sunday, Mar. 11 at the Cardinal's Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium.

• An Update: Gauchos Highlight Weekend With Upset of No. 2 ASU
The Gauchos recovered from a 1-0 loss to Houston in the opening game of Arizona State's Sun Devil/Wilson DeMarini Invitational in a big way: UCSB bounced back to defeat No. 2 ranked host ASU, 8-7. Trailing 4-0 at the top of the fourth inning, a grand slam from Danielle Meyers propelled the UCSB offense as they jumped to an 8-4 lead in the next two innings. The Sun Devils made a comeback with a three run fifth inning, but the Gauchos hung on to grab their second win over a ranked team in 2007 (they defeated then-ranked No. 23 Massachusetts at the season opening San Diego State tournament) and arguably one the biggest upsets in program history. UCSB concluded the tournament with a pair of 4-0 wins over Utah Valley State and another narrow 1-0 loss, this time at the hands of North Florida.

• For The Record
After last weekend's action in Arizona, UCSB now stands at 13-5 on the season and is 5-4 on the road. The last time the Gauchos got off to such a strong start was the 2003 season, head coach Kristy Schroeder's second season at the helm of the program. In 2003, the Gauchos got off to a 14-4 start and eventually ended the season with the best record in program history: 34-22. UCSB now ranks second in the Big West conference for winning percentage (.722) behind Pacific. The Gauchos, who are 2-0 away after knocking down tourney hosts San Diego State and ASU, will look to remain perfect on opposing diamonds this weekend versus Stanford.

• The Science Of A Shutout
Out of the 13 wins the Gauchos have posted this season, eight have been by way of a shutout, which matches the number of total shutouts they posted throughout the entire 2006 season. UCSB has been on the receiving end of three shutout losses including two 1-0 decisions this weekend against Houston and North Florida. Pitcher Lindsey Correa has led the way holding her opposition run less three times this season, while MeLinda Matsumoto and Jennifer Davis both have a pair of shutouts under their belts.

• Poll Points
UCSB received votes in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Softball Poll, marking the first time this season the Gauchos have appeared in the poll. Santa Barbara received votes in the Feb. 13 ESPN.com poll, but have yet to be ranked in either poll's Top 25. Conference foe Cal State Fullerton has received votes in both of this week's polls and Cal Poly has garnered votes in the ESPN.com poll.

• First Inning Firepower
The Gauchos are starting to set quite a trend this season: first and fourth inning scoring. Out of the 76 runs scored by UCSB this season, 20 have been batted in during the opening inning of its games and 23 in the fourth. In fact, in eight of the Gauchos' games this season they have scored at least one run in the first inning and six of their game winning runs have come in the first.

• Matsumoto Matters
MeLinda Matsumoto made just one appearance over the weekend, but boy was it a big one. The freshman hurler picked up the win over the No. 2 ranked Sun Devils after throwing six innings allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits, walking five and striking out one. The Union City, Calif. native is now 6-0 on the season and holds a 2.12 ERA.

• Hurler Hype
Matsumoto was not the only one getting it done in the circle for the Gauchos last weekend. Despite picking up a loss against North Florida on Saturday, senior pitcher Jennifer Davis threw a complete seven innings allowing only one unearned run on two hits and struck out a season-high 12 batters against the Osprey. In fact, Davis pitched 22.0 innings over the weekend and allowed only two runs on nine hits, walked nine and struck out 21 batters. Overall she posted an impressive 0.38 ERA on the weekend and now holds a season ERA of 0.78. Freshman Lindsay Correa rounded out the strong performances in the circle as she posted her third shutout win of the season after holding Utah Valley State to just two hits on Saturday while walking five batters and striking out six. Correa, who is 4-1 on the season, holds a 1.70 ERA. The Gaucho pitching staff currently leads the Big West with its combined 1.37 ERA and has allowed the fewest hits, runs, earned runs, doubles and homeruns among conference teams.

• The Dish On Tish
Junior third basemen Tisha Duran continues to lead all UCSB hitters batting .353 on the season with a team-leading 11 RBI and six doubles. Duran leads all Gauchos with her .529 slugging percentage and .393 OB%. In Tempe last weekend, the Ventura, Calif. native went 4-for-15 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. In Friday's upset over Arizona State, Duran went 1-for-3 with a run and she went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Sunday's tournament closer versus Utah Valley State.

• Homerun Hero
Junior Danielle Meyers came up big for the Gauchos during last Friday's match-up with Arizona State. With the Gauchos trailing 4-1, the designated player hit a grand slam to grab the first UCSB lead of the game. Meyers drove in a run later in the game for five total RBI. Meyers' homer marked her second of the season. Speaking of homeruns, junior catcher Ericka Hansen hit her first of the season picking up two RBI against Utah Valley State on Saturday.

• Offensive Behavior
Meyers was not the only one who came up big against the Sun Devils. Sophomore Tiffany Wright was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs and an RBI and senior Jessica Hejna went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs. Wright is currently second on the team for runs (11), doubles (3), homeruns (2) and RBI (10). Hejna is tied third on the team with 10 runs, tied second with three doubles and leads UCSB with nine sacrifice hits.

• The Ramos Rundown
Sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos had a great weekend at the plate for UCSB collecting a hit in each one of the Gauchos' games to hit a team-leading .471 with her 8-for-17 performance. The Long Beach, Calif. native had a run in each of the Utah Valley State wins and two doubles in Sunday's closer along with an RBI. Ramos is currently second on the team batting .349 on the season and leads the Gauchos with 13 runs scored.

• Azk Me About The Aztecs
UCSB will open up this weekend's Stanford Classic with its second game of the season against San Diego State. The Aztecs are currently 11-8 on the season and are led by Melissa Owens and Brittany Knudsen who are each hitting .388 with five RBI apiece. Hurler Christina Ross leads SDSU with her 0.94 ERA and 6-3 record. Melissa Owens has a 1.94 ERA and is 5-5 on the year with a team-leading 51 strikeouts. The Gauchos last faced San Diego State at the Aztec's season-opening Campbell/Cartier Classic on Feb. 9; UCSB came away with the 1-0 win after going into eight innings. Santa Barbara owns a narrow 25-22 advantage in the series against the Aztecs.

• Halting The Hornets
Sacramento State enters this weekend's tourney with a 4-9 record and is currently 4-6 in neutral site games. The Hornets are currently being led by Jamie Schloredt who is batting .526 on the season with a team-leading four doubles, one triple, three homeruns and 11 RBI. Pitcher Cassie Cervantes (1-2) has a team-leading 3.05 ERA with 35 strikeouts while Kayla Meeks (1-4) has posted a 7.07 ERA in her team-leading eight appearances. UCSB leads the series with Sac State, 19-13 having picked up the last win in the 2006 season opener, 3-2.

• Cardinal Clues
Tournament host No. 12 Stanford is 16-5 on the season and will enter this weekend's tournament sporting a perfect 6-0 home mark. The Cardinal currently are led by Jackie Rinehart who is batting .362 on the season and Michelle Smith has posted a team-high four homeruns and 20 RBI. Hurler Missy Penna currently sports an 11-2 record and 1.36 ERA with an impressive 119 strikeouts. This past weekend the Cardinal struggled at the Worth Classic in Fullerton, Calif. where they fell to Big West schools Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton in addition to a loss to No. Northwestern. They picked up wins over Texas Tech and Minnesota to end the tourney with a 2-3 weekend mark. The Gauchos last saw Stanford in 2006, where UCSB came away with its biggest win of the season after shutting down the then No. 5 ranked Cardinal, 2-0. The Gaucho-Cardinal series is currently deadlocked at 7-7.

• Rambler Ramblings
Saturday's final pairing will be with Loyola of Chicago. The Ramblers are 1-5 on the season with their only win of the season coming against UC Riverside on Mar. 2. Ashley Mitchell currently leads the team batting .533 on the season while pitcher Amy Solava leads Loyola with her 3.44 ERA and 1-2 record; she also has a team-high 11 strikeouts on the season. The Gauchos lead the series with the Ramblers 1-0 after capturing a 6-0 win in 2006.

• In the Dugout With Coach Schroeder
Kristy Schroeder enters her sixth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara softball program and continues to foster a commitment to excellence and a high level of success. Her impact on the program has been immeasurable, as she has turned a very mediocre program into one of the top squads in the conference each and every year. In 2006, Schroeder led the Gauchos to a 24-22 record, an 8-10 Big West mark and the second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. She took a team that was plagued by injuries in 2005 and posted a 26-22 overall record, playing one the most difficult schedules the program had ever seen. She notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB on Feb. 26. In 2004, she led the Gauchos to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after guiding them to a 32-31 overall record and a 14-7 conference mark, which was tied for second in the Big West and was the highest league finish in UCSB history. In addition, the Gauchos won 30-plus games in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever as a Division I program. In 2003 she guided the team to the best record in program history at 34-22 and had a school-record nine players named All-Big West, with two receiving All-Region accolades. In 2002, her first season at UCSB, she was named the Big West's Co-Coach of the Year, after Santa Barbara finished the season with a 27-36 overall record--an increase of nine wins from the year before. In eight seasons as head coach, Schroeder has a career record of 289-172-1 (.627) and with the Gauchos is 156-138 (.531).

• Probable Gaucho Starters - Notes
C - Ericka Hansen - Hit first homerun of the season against Utah Valley State on Saturday.
1B - Jessica Hejna - Went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double and a sac hit in win over ASU.
2B - Christine Ramos - Hit .471 last weekend with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
SS - Brittany Putich - Had three hits, three runs and two RBI over the weekend.
3B - Tisha Duran - Leads team hitting .353 with six doubles and 11 RBI.
LF - Nicole Churnock - Was 2-for-6 at the plate, hitting .333 on the weekend.
CF - Tiffany Wright - Went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI against Arizona State.
RF - Liz Walters - Was 1-for-3 with two RBI in victory over Sun Devils.
P - Jennifer Davis - 0.78 ERA leads the Big West. Had a season-high 12 SO against UNF.
DP - Danielle Meyers - Grand slam plus additional RBI helped lead UCSB over ASU.

• Coming Soon
Next week the Gauchos will return home to host New Mexico State in a double header scheduled for St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, Mar. 17. The games are scheduled to start at noon at Campus Diamond.