Gauchos to Host Defending Conference Champion Cal Poly
April 3, 2008
Games No. 35, 36, 37
Saturday, Apr. 5, 2008
UCSB vs. Cal Poly, 12 & 2 p.m.
at UCSB's Campus Diamond (500)
Sunday, Apr. 6, 2008
UCSB vs. Cal Poly, 12 p.m.
at UCSB's Campus Diamond (500)
Big West Action Continues this Week
Following a spring break week filled with seven games, the UC Santa Barbara softball team faces a comparatively light week as they host defending Big West Champion Cal Poly for a three-game conference series this weekend at Campus Diamond. The Gauchos and Mustangs will face-off in a doubleheader on Saturday, scheduled for a noon start. The third and final game of the series will be played at noon on Sunday and will be broadcast online at kcsb.org. All three games of the series can be viewed on Gametracker, just click on the link on the softball schedule page at ucsbgauchos.com.
What a Week!
UCSB had a full spring break with seven games in six days. The Gauchos opened the week with a doubleheader against national power UCLA. The Bruins swept the Gauchos 7-2 and 8-1, but UCSB rebounded and swept a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield at Campus Diamond the following day. The Gauchos posted a 7-0 and a 4-1 win over the Roadrunners. On Saturday, the team traveled South for their conference-opening series against UC Riverside. The Gauchos opened with a 7-6 eight-inning victory in the first pairing and closed Saturday's action with a 6-2 win. On Sunday, UCSB completed their sweep of the Highlanders with a 3-1 win. The Gauchos improved to 20-14 on the year and are 3-0 in the BigWest.
Duran Earns Second Big West Player of the Week Honor
2007 All-Big West First Team selection Tisha Duran earned her second Big West Player of the Week honor of the season (and of her career) after helping the Gauchos to a 5-2 week. The senior's week kicked off with a couple of hits, a homer, and two RBI in a doubleheader against No. 1/4 ranked UCLA. The following day, she continued with a couple of RBI, a double, and a run scored in a twin bill sweep of Cal State Bakersfield. Duran saved her best for UCSB's conference-opening series against UC Riverside. In the opener, she walked twice and scored twice in the Gauchos' tight 7-6 win. She then knocked in three runs and added a home run in the second game of the three-game set. She wrapped up the series with a 2-for-3, two RBI effort in the finale to aid the Gauchos to a 3-1 win. For the week, Duran batted .381 (8-for-21) with two home runs, a team-leading nine RBI, six runs scored, and a pair of doubles and walks.
Senior Tisha Duran's solid week at the plate was actually just a continuation of a stellar senior season for the third baseman. The Ventura, Calif. native currently leads the Gauchos and is third in the Big West with her .416 batting average. She leads the conference with her .802 slugging percentage, 36 RBI, and 10 home runs. She is also ranks in the Big West's top-three for on-base percentage (.500), hits (42), total bases (91), and walks (18). Duran also currently ranks amongst the best in the country, she is 35th for batting average, 32nd for home runs per game, 21st for RBI per game, and 21st for slugging percentage in the NCAA Division I statistics that were released earlier this week. Duran is steadily making her climb into the Gaucho record books, she currently is ninth for career home runs with 13 and just two home runs away from tying Lindsey Herrin's school record of 12 in one season. She currently has 69 career RBI, which is eighth all-time, a pretty big feat considering she is in just her second season with the Gauchos.
She's Got The Wright Stuff
Junior Tiffany Wright had her season-best six game hitting streak ended during the doubleheader against UCLA, but was able to rebound in a big way during the following five games last week. In the first contest against Bakersfield, she went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and a run. Then, in the opening game against Riverside, she posted a career-high five hits in five at-bats with two RBI, a homer, and a run. Her five hits set a school record for hits in a single game. She posted her third homer of the week in the second game of the Riverside series and rounded out the week with a hit in the final game. For the week, she batted .435 with an .870 slugging percentage. She had a team-leading seven runs, and three home runs and also tallied a double and five RBI. In conference games, Wright leads the Big West in runs (4), hits (7), and total bases (13). She posted a .583 batting average and 1.083 slugging percentage in the series with Riverside.
Ramos Goes Streaking
Second baseman and 2007 All-Big West First Team pick Christine Ramos is currently amidst an eight game hitting streak, a season-best for the junior. She went 2-for-4 and 1-for-3, respectively, against UCLA, and then posted a 2-for-4 showing in the first contest against Bakersfield. In the latter half of the twin bill against the Roadrunners, Ramos tallied four hits, a career-best, during four at-bats, while also scoring a run and stealing two bases. She finished the week with at least one hit and one run in each of the three games against UC Riverside. For the week, she batted .464 with a team-leading 13 hits. She also collected four runs and three stolen bases. Ramos is currently third on the team batting .314 on the season and leads the squad and the Big West with 11 stolen bases.
Her Name Is Nicole
Nicole Churnock has continued to put together a solid senior campaign for the Gauchos. The left fielder posted a double in the 7-2 loss to UCLA on Tuesday and then went 2-for-3 in each game against Bakersfield, including another double. She posted an RBI single in the eight inning win over Riverside and went 2-for-3 in the second win. For the week, she batted .364 and is currently second on the team with her .348 season batting average. Churnock is third amongst the Gauchos with five doubles and has posted 12 RBI.
Freshman Jessica Beristianos stretched her hitting streak to 12 games this past week, the longest by a Gaucho this season. The shortstop was impressive during the Bakersfield doubleheader, she went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a homer in game one and was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in game two. She batted .409 on the week and posted five RBI, including the gamewinner in the eight-inning victory over UC Riverside. For the season, she is hitting .309 and is tied second on the team with 17 RBI. Another freshman putting a solid performance last week was Katie McWhirter. The designated player put together a great showing against UC Riverside, opening the series going 3-for-5 with a run, a double, and an RBI. McWhirter is ranked fourth in conference with her .455 batting average in Big West games and ranked second behind Wright for hits in conference games with five.
UCSB continues to lead the Big West in batting with its collective .299 average and is tops in conference games with its .337 team average during the Riverside series. In 2007, the Gauchos relied heavily on the small ball to get runs across the plate and batted a conference-low .248 with 83 extra-base hits (49 2B, 10 3B, 24 HR) and 148 runs. This season, UCSB has already matched last season's runs, triples and home run output and have 70 extra-base hits (36 2B, 10 3B, 24 HR). In fact, the Gauchos currently rank 22nd nationally for triples per game (0.29) and 41st for slugging percentage (.441). In almost a complete reversal, the 2007 pitching staff led the Big West with its 2.03 ERA and this season's staff is currently seventh out of eight with its 3.51 ERA.
How The Weston Won
Junior Tami Weston improved to 7-2 on the season and currently leads the Gaucho staff with her 2.81 ERA. After tossing 4.1 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits in the 8-1 loss to UCLA, Weston rebounded from just her second loss of the season and held Bakersfield to just one run on seven hits in a 4-1 complete game win. She allowed no walks for the first time this season in the contest with the Roadrunners. The junior then went on to pitch a complete game against Riverside on Saturday, allowing just two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks. She rounded out the weekend by holding the Highlanders scoreless in the final six innings of Sunday's series closer.
The Gaucho Circle
Sophomore Lindsey Correa went 2-1 last weekend with a pair of complete game wins. The pitcher took the loss to UCLA in game one of the doubleheader with the Bruins after allowing six runs on 10 hits. She did, however, tie her career record for strikeouts in the game with eight. The next day, Correa pitched a complete game shutout against Bakersfield, allowing just five hits and three walks while fanning five. The sophomore rounded out the week by winning the first game against Riverside, she allowed six runs on five hits with eight walks and four strikeouts. She is now 9-4 on the season with a 3.12 ERA. Fellow sophomore MeLinda Matsumto wasn't the pitcher of record in any games over the week, but she did toss over five innings between four games. Matsumoto also held Riverside scoreless and allowed just one hit in the eighth inning to hold the Gaucho lead in the 7-6 win on Saturday. She currently holds a 4-8 record on the season with a 4.60 ERA.
In The Dugout With Coach Galicinao
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.
Defending conference champion Cal Poly enters this weekend's series after completing an impressive three-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton last week. The Mustangs went the distance posting 9-1 (5), 1-0 (14), and 2-1 victories over the Titans to get off to a 3-0 start in the Big West. Anna Cahn led the way in the circle and at the plate, batting .400 during the series with five RBI while also posting a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA in 10 innings of work. Cal Poly, which has gone 15-13 on the season and 0-2 away, is led by Stephanie Correia, who is batting .329 on the year with 15 RBI. In the circle, Robyn Kontra has a team-best 1.55 ERA and 5-1 record. In 2007, UCSB won the conference series with the Mustangs picking up a 5-0 win before splitting a pair of nine-inning 6-5 contests.
Following this week's series with Cal Poly, the Gauchos will host their final pair of regular season non-conference games when they host No. 13 Fresno State in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 8 at noon. UCSB will then head to Cal State Northridge for a three game Big West series with the Matadors on Saturday and Sunday.