Gauchos Head to Riverside for Big West Series with Highlanders

Gauchos Head to Riverside for Big West Series with Highlanders

April 14, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday, April 17, 2010 at Amy S. Harrison Field, 12 & 2 pm
Sunday, April 18, 2010 at Amy S. Harrison Field, 12 pm

UC Santa Barbara (9-28, 0-5) vs. UC Riverside (19-20, 4-2)
All-time series record vs. Highlanders: 31-1
Last win: March 29, 2009 (3-1)
Last loss: March 28, 2009 (11-5)

• For The Record
UCSB enters this week with a 9-28 overall record, which is its slowest start to a season since 1991 when the team got out to an 8-29 start. The Gauchos are currently amidst an 11-game losing streak, their longest skid of the season and longest since the 1990 season when UCSB also dropped 11 straight (Mar. 16 - April 7).

• Gauchos vs. The Big West
The Gauchos have had a rough start to Big West play this season dropping their first six straight after series sweeps by Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. Despite their 0-6 Big West mark, it is important to note that the Gauchos were swept by the same two teams last season and still ended the conference season tied for fourth with a 9-12 record.

• Riverside Run Down
UC Riverside enters this weekend with a 19-20 overall record and a 4-2 mark in Big West games. The Highlanders are leading the Big West with their .292 batting average and 1.23 ERA in conference contests. UCR is coming off of a series win over Cal State Fullerton (2-1) and also defeated Cal Poly in its conference-opening series two weeks ago.

• Conference Update
After two weeks of conference play, there is a three-way tie at the top of the Big West leaderboard between UC Riverside, Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton, which have all posted 4-2 marks. Pacific and UC Davis are each 3-2 while Long Beach State (3-3) and Cal State Northridge (2-4) are sixth and seventh, respectively. The Gauchos are the lone team without a win, but if history is any indication, that very well can change this weekend as UCSB holds a 31-1 all-time record against UC Riverside.

• Leading Lady
Despite the Gauchos' struggles this season, senior Jessica Ziegler is having a tremendous year at the plate. The leadoff hitter leads UCSB and the Big West with her 44 hits, is second for stolen bases (18) and ranks third in the conference with her career-best .358 batting average. Her 14 multi-hit games also lead the Big West and she ranks eighth with 19 runs. Not just an offensive standout, the first baseman leads the conference in chances (290), putouts (266) and fielding double plays (14)

• Making History
Speaking of Jessica Ziegler, she is currently solidifying her place in the UCSB record books. The senior is now fourth all-time for career stolen bases after bringing her total to 47. She is five stolen bags away from tying Christine Ramos (2006-09) for third. Additionally, she has cracked the career hits top-10 list as she now ranks 10th with 151, seven away from tying Stacy Atwood (1993-96) for ninth.

• Beristianos' Bat
Jessica Beristianos has started the Big West schedule in fine form batting .450 across the last six games and hitting safely in all but one game (Saturday's loss to Cal Poly in which the team was limited to just two hits). For the season, she is fourth on the team hitting .267 and is second for hits (27) and on-base percentage (.361). Additionally, she leads the Gauchos and is fourth in the Big West with eight doubles.

• While We Are On The Subject
Beristianos is another Gaucho climbing through the all-time top-10 lists. She recently cracked the RBI all-time list and is five away from tying ninth-ranked Lindsey Herrin's career output of 70 (2004-05). She is also tied with Tonya Dias (1997-2000) for sixth all-time for career doubles (30).

• Jessica Squared
Even though UCSB ranks fourth in the Big West for hits in conference games (41) and sixth for batting average (.240), two Gauchos lead all conference players in both categories. Jessica Zielger has posted a conference-best .455 batting average in league play and Jessica Beristianos ranks just below her teammate with her .450 average. Ziegler is also first for hits (10) and Beristianos is second with nine.

• No Sophomore Slump Here
Brooke Putich has had a solid sophomore season in which she is batting a career-best .303, which is good for second on the team and 10th among Big West players. She is also tied second on the squad with 27 hits and is second for runs (13) and stolen bases (6). Her .382 slugging percentage leads the squad. The outfielder has had a hit in all but one conference game (the second game of the Fullerton series), including one of the Gauchos' two hits in Saturday's second game against Cal Poly.

• Did You Know?
UCSB currently leads the conference in runners picked-off (5) and is tied first for double plays (18). In fact, the Gauchos are just one double play shy of tying the school record, which was set in 2004.

• Among The Nation's Best
UCSB ranks sixth nationally for double plays per game (0.49). Meanwhile, Jessica Ziegler ranks 58th for stolen bases with an average of 0.49 per game and also ranks as the 69th toughest player to strikeout. Keilani Jennings also ranks in the national top-100 for sacrifice flies with her three this year.

• A Record Better Left Unbroken
Currently the UCSB pitching staff owns a collective 5.49 ERA, which is on pace to surpass the program record for highest season ERA set in 2008 at 3.82. They have tied the record for home runs allowed (38) and are 14 earned runs (185) away from tying the school record, both also set in 2008. The Gauchos did see a large improvement in their ERA from the Cal State Fullerton series to the Cal Poly series last week. They averaged 5.39 fewer earned runs in the three game set against the Mustangs.

• End Of An Era
Prior to this year, UCSB has posted seven consecutive winning seasons, a program record. Unfortunately, that streak ended last weekend. With just 15 games remaining on the schedule, the best record the Gauchos can now finish with is 24-28 (.462).

• 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 65-77 cumulative record for a .458 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.

• 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.