April 9, 2007

UCSB to Face No. 24 Fresno State in a Non-Conference Doubleheader Tuesday

April 9, 2007

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• The Schedule
Games No. 35 & 36

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
UC Santa Barbara at No. 24 Fresno State, 6 & 8:00 p.m.
at Bulldog Diamond

• The Week Ahead
UC Santa Barbara will take a break from conference play this week when they head to No. 24 Fresno State for a doubleheader Tuesday evening scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Gametracker will be available for Tuesday's doubleheader against the Bulldogs, check out the softball schedule page on www. ucsbgauchos.com for the link to all the action. After their midweek match-up, the Gauchos will head back to Campus Diamond where they will host a three-game series with future Big West opponent UC Davis. The weekend's series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14 scheduled to begin at noon and will conclude with a noon match-up on Sunday.

• An Update: Gauchos Swept By Pacific In Big West Conference Series
After being swept in their Big West opening series against Cal State Fullerton on March 31 and April 1, the Gauchos continued to struggle in league play at Pacific last weekend. The Tigers, who opened BWC play against UCSB, swept the series with the Gauchos with each of their three wins coming by way of a single run. On Friday, UCSB and Pacific battled into eight innings twice with the Tigers coming out on the winning end both times by way of 3-2 and 5-4 scores. Pacific completed the sweep on Saturday with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Gauchos.

• For The Record
With the weekend's three losses, UCSB fell to 20-14 on the season and is now 0-6 in Big West play. The Gauchos' current six game losing streak is the longest skid they have posted since 2004 and their 0-6 Big West start is the worst start for the Gauchos in the last ten years. UCSB is currently ranked fourth in the Big West for its overall winning percentage (.588) but is in last place with its 0-6 conference mark. UC Riverside is the only other team still winless in conference play with its 0-3 record. Fullerton and Cal Poly lead the conference with perfect 6-0 records after two weekend's worth of Big West play.

• Davis In The Circle...And At The Plate
Senior Jennifer Davis continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West with her .157 opponent's batting average and is ranked second with her 1.56 ERA on the season. The Whittier, Calif. native is currently 4-10 on the season after picking up two losses over the weekend to Pacific. Davis relieved freshman MeLinda Matsumoto in game one and took the loss after allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings of work. In game two on Friday, Davis once again came in at the end of the game and only allowed one run on four hits in three innings of work. The hurler had five strikeouts on the weekend bringing her season total to 105. UCSB's career strikeout leader currently has 735 career strikeouts making her the only Gaucho to ever tally 700 or more. Sixty-three fanned batters stand between Davis and the Big West career strikeout record of 798, which was set by Cal Poly's Desarie Knipfer in 1998. At the plate, Davis is hitting .208 overall and went 1-for-4 in game one against the Tigers on Friday.

• The Ramos Rundown
Sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos led the Gauchos at the plate over the weekend, having at least one hit in each of UCSB's three games. The Long Beach, Calif. native opened the weekend going 2-for-4 with one run and a stolen base in game one which she followed up with a 2-for-4 performance, including a run and an RBI in the latter half of the doubleheader. On Saturday, Ramos went 1-for-4 to bring her current hit streak to four games. Ramos has had hits in 26 of the Gauchos' 34 games this season, including 16 multiple hit games. The leadoff hitter leads the Gauchos hitting .389 on the season and also has collected 24 runs with a .430 on-base percentage. A 2006 All-Big West Conference Second Team honoree, Ramos ranks in the conference top-10 for batting average, OB%, runs scored, hits (44), stolen bases (10) and steal attempts (11).

• The Dish On Tish
Junior third basemen Tisha Duran has been a consistent force at the plate for the Gauchos this season and went 3-for-10 with two runs, a sacrifice hit and an RBI over the weekend. In game two, Duran was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI versus the Tigers. The Ventura, Calif. native is second on the team hitting .307 on the season and is also second with 19 RBI. Duran ranks in the conference top-10 with eight doubles and eight sacrifice bunts. She has had hits in 22 of the Gauchos' 33 games this season and has posted seven multi-hit games. The junior is also second on the team with 21 runs scored.

• Matsumoto Matters
Pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto dropped her third game of the season on Saturday after pitching six innings allowing only one run on four hits while walking three and fanning four in the 1-0 loss to the Tigers. Matsumoto also pitched six of game one's eight innings allowing two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out one. The Union City, Calif. native is now 9-3 on the season, holds an ERA of 2.54, which ranks ninth in the BWC, and has an opponent's batting average of .259. Her nine wins are the fourth most by a BWC pitcher so far this season and three of Matsumoto's victories this season have been by way of shutout.

• Hurler Hype
After leading the conference for several weeks with their combined ERA, the Gaucho pitching staff is now second in the Big West behind Cal Poly for the second consecutive week with their 2.08 ERA. UCSB is also second in the conference with an opposing batting average of .202. The Gaucho staff has allowed the fewest runs (85), hits (171), homeruns (15) and second fewest earned runs (70). In addition to Davis and Matsumoto, hurlers Lindsey Correa and Tami Weston have contributed to the Gauchos' depth in the circle. Correa currently has an ERA of 3.34 and has recorded a 5-1 record with three shutout wins and has 24 strikeouts. The freshman is fourth in the Big West with an opponent's batting average of .220. Correa had a rough go against Pacific in game two, giving up three runs on one hit with three walks in the first inning. Rounding out the Gaucho staff is sophomore Weston who is 2-0 on the season with a 0.58 ERA in her five appearances. The Ventura, Calif. native has struck out 21 batters and has an opponent's batting average of .165.

• She's Got The Wright Stuff
Sophomore outfielder Tiffany Wright went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI during game two versus Pacific. She also had an RBI sac fly, sac bunt and walk in the first game versus the Tigers. The Corona, Calif. native is fourth on the team hitting .272 overall and is first on the team with 12 extra base hits: eight doubles (tied seventh in the BWC), one triple and three home runs. She is first on the team with 20 RBI and is second with seven stolen bases, which ranks in the conference top-10. Hitting in the clean-up spot for the Gauchos, Wright has had hits in 19 of the 34 games played this season including seven multi-hit games.

• Honing In On Hejna
Senior Jessica Hejna went 2-for-4 with a run in game two against Pacific on Friday. She also contributed two sac bunts and was hit by a pitch twice over the weekend. The Orange, Calif. native is currently third on the team hitting .286 on the season with a .363 slugging percentage and a .375 on-base percentage. Hejna also leads the team with 18 sacrifice hits on the year, which ranks second in the Big West. The 5'2" first basemen has also been a force defensively as she holds a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 263 chances and a conference-leading 248 putouts.

• Putich Power
After going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the first game against Pacific on Friday, senior shortstop Brittany Putich moved onto the UCSB all-time career RBI list tying Krissy Kryiazis (1991-93) for tenth with 56 total. The Whittier, Calif. native is sixth on the team hitting .210 and is third with 14 RBI. She also has gone 6-for-9 in stolen base attempts.

• Hansen Walks It Off
Junior catcher Ericka Hansen had a pair of hits over the weekend, going 1-for-2 at the plate in games two and three of the Pacific series and she also picked up a run. Hansen also earned four of the nine walks collected by the Gauchos over the weekend. The San Clemente, Calif. native is batting .184 on the season and leads the team with 16 walks on the year, which ranks sixth in conference. Hansen is also in the Big West top-10 with her seven sac bunts.

• Poll Watch
Since receiving votes four weeks ago in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Softball Poll, the Gauchos have yet to reappear on the list. 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 Poly has received votes in both of this week's polls and Cal State Fullerton has garnered votes in the ESPN.com poll. UCSB has gone 3-3 this season against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll including wins over then-ranked No. 23 Massachusetts (Feb. 9), No. 2 Arizona State (Mar. 2) and No. 11 UCLA (Mar. 27).

• Bulldog Banter
No. 23 Fresno State is currently 32-13 on the season and boasts an impressive 16-1 record at home. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight games and went 3-1 last week. Fresno State split a pair of games with Pacific and then took two over Saint Mary's. Kristi Sylvester leads the Bulldogs offensively batting .384 with 10 doubles, six homeruns, 34 RBI and a .608 slugging percentage. Including Sylvester, five Bulldogs are hitting above .300 on the season and the team is collectively hitting .306. In the circle, Robin Mackin leads the pitchers with her 1.18 ERA and 24-6 record. She currently has 267 strikeouts this season. Fresno State leads the all-time series with UCSB 48-10 and the Gauchos' last win and loss versus the Bulldogs came in 2005.

• Coming Soon
After this week's five non-conference games, the Gauchos will return to Big West action on April 21 and 22 when they host Cal State Northridge for a three game series at Campus Diamond. The series will begin at noon on Saturday with a doubleheader and conclude with a single game at noon on Sunday.

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