Gauchos Return to Central Coast for Four Games this Week

Gauchos Return to Central Coast for Four Games this Week

March 10, 2010

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• The Schedule
Mustang Classic
Friday, March 12, 2010 at Cal Poly's Janssen Field

UC Santa Barbara (7-12) vs. Iowa State (10-11), 5 p.m.
Series record vs. Cyclones: 5-6
Last time vs. Cyclones: L, 2-0 (Feb. 23, 2003)
Watch on Gametracker

UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State (3-12), 7:30 p.m.
Series record vs. Hornets: 20-13
Last time vs. Hornets: W, 3-2 (Mar. 10, 2007)
Watch on Gametracker

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at Campus Diamond
Cal State Bakersfield (7-9) at UC Santa Barbara, 1 & 3 p.m.
Series record vs. Roadrunners: 14-7
Last time vs. Roadrunners: W, 6-0 (Mar. 1, 2009)
Watch Game One on Gametracker
Watch Game Two on Gametracker

• The Week Ahead
UCSB returns to the Central Coast this week for four games. The Gauchos will make the short trek up to San Luis Obispo on Friday to play Iowa State and Sacramento State in the Mustang Classic being hosted by Cal Poly. The following day, UCSB will host non-conference foe Cal State Bakersfield in a doubleheader at Campus Diamond.

• Last Time Out
The Gauchos went 2-3 in their action in Tempe, Ariz. last weekend falling twice to No. 9 Arizona State by way of 10-2 and 8-0 scores. The third loss came to Creighton, 5-1. UCSB posted wins over Idaho State - via an 11-1 mercy-rule victory - and Samford, 5-2.

• For The Record
UCSB enters this week with a 7-12 overall record, which is its slowest start to a season since 2001 when the team posted an identical record in its first 19 games. The last time the Gauchos had a losing record after its first 19 games was in 2008 (9-10), head coach Brie Galicinao's first season at the helm of the program. That season UCSB turned things around and finished with a 30-24 overall mark. The Gauchos have posted a 6-5 record in neutral contests this year and are 1-4 at home. UCSB has not finished a season with a losing home mark since 2001 (5-10).

• Blame It On The Rain
The Gauchos have had a total of five games cancelled across three different tournaments due to inclement weather, including their final game of the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational against Northern Iowa this past Sunday. The recent addition of Friday's game against Sac State is to make up for one of those lost games.

• Ziegler Named Big West Player of the Week
Senior infielder Jessica Ziegler was named the Big West Player of the Week for the first time in her career after a standout week at the plate in Tempe. The Gauchos' leadoff batter hit safely in all five of the week's contest, in fact, she is currently amidst a seven-game hitting streak. The senior had two hits in four of the Gauchos' five games and went 2-for-3 in both contests against No. 9 ASU. She led the team with nine total hits, four runs, two stolen bases and nine total bases. She also tallied three RBI - her first of the season - and two walks. Ziegler posted a .563 batting average, .563 slugging and had a .611 on-base percentage. Additionally, she was error-less, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage at first base.

• Record Watch
Speaking of Jessica Ziegler, she made moves in the UCSB record book last week. The infielder surpassed Brittany Putich (2004-07) for career runs and now ranks sixth all-time with 86. She also moved past Davis Beck (2001-04) on the career stolen bases list to rank ninth with 36.

• Beristianos' Top-10 List
Junior Jessica Beristianos' single to right center field in the third inning against Creighton on Friday not only drove home the only Gaucho run of the game, but also brought her career RBI count to 60, tying Brittany Putich for 10th in the UCSB record books. She needs 10 more to match Lindsey Herrin's (2004-05) career output.

• Brooke's Bat
Sophomore Brooke Putich has earned a starting spot in the Gaucho outfield after two impressive weeks at the plate. After going 5-for-6 with two RBI, a double, two walks and two runs at the Gaucho Classic two weeks ago, Putich's strong play continued in Tempe. The outfielder was 5-for-16 (.312) and went 2-for-4 with two runs in the 11-1 mercy rule win over Idaho State. She is amidst a four-game hit streak and ranks second on the team with her .345 average. Her .379 slugging percentage and .406 on-base percentage lead the team and she is in a three-way tie for third on the team for runs (5) and hits (10).

• Freshman Phenom
Freshman designated hitter Kelly McDonald hit her second grand slam of her young career in the win over Idaho State last Friday (her first was in the season opener against Northern Colorado on Feb. 11). The rookie is third on the team with her .236 average and leads the squad with 12 RBI. She is second on the squad with four multiple-hit games.

• 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 63-61 cumulative record for a .508 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.

• Have Mercy!
UCSB has been the victim of six mercy-rule losses this season - including its pair of losses to ASU last week - the most suffered in a single year by the team in the last 10 years. The run rule, which ends the game if one team leads by a eight runs after five innings, also cut a pair of games with UCLA short in addition to contests with BYU and Washington. Each mercy loss has come against a team ranked in the nation's Top-25. The Gauchos were able to post their first mercy win of the year over Idaho State last Friday in 11-1 fashion.

• Rookie Heats Up
After tallying her first career hit against Wisconsin (Feb. 26), freshman Tiffany Corder has gone 4-for-9 in her last four starts. At last weekend's tournament, she was second on the team batting .444 and tallied two runs while also earning two walks. She has a career-best two hits in the win over Idaho State and also had hits in each of the games against then-ranked No. 9 ASU.

• In The Circle
Senior Lindsey Correa (2-4) currently leads the Gaucho bullpen with her 3.91 ERA, .275 opponent's batting average and four complete games. Senior MeLinda Matsumoto leads the staff for wins (3-4), and innings pitched (41) while freshman Krista Cobb (2-4) is tops for appearances (11) and strikeouts (27). Each of these UCSB pitchers are on their way to breaking into the program's career wins top-10 list. Abby Murphy (1998-2000) currently ranks 10th with 26 career victories and Matsumoto is just four wins away from tying that mark while Correa is five away and Cobb is six. Matsumoto needs three complete games to matching No. 10 Tracy Witherell's (1982-83) 29 complete games and is 4.2 innings away from matching tenth-ranked Jennifer Tolton (1997-98) on the career innings pitched list.

• 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. UCSB opens conference play on April 2 at Cal State Fullerton. Currently every Big West team has a losing record in non-league play.

• Hiatus On The Horizon
UCSB will take a break from games next week as the Gauchos prepare and take their winter quarter finals. Santa Barbara will hit the diamond again on Mar. 23 when they head to San Diego for a doubleheader with USD.

• 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.

• 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.