April 17, 2009
Games No. 40-42
Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 49er Softball Complex
UCSB (21-18, 4-5) at Long Beach State (24-17, 5-4), 1 & 3 p.m.
Televised on ESPNU
Available on Gametracker
Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 49er Softball Complex
UCSB at Long Beach State, 1 p.m.
Available on Gametracker
The Opening Pitch
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will head to Long Beach State this weekend for a Big West series against the 49ers on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday doubleheader between the Gauchos and 49ers will be televised on ESPNU.
ESPNU can be found on channel 258 if you have Cox Cable in Santa Barbara, channel 148 on Dish Network and channel 609 on Direct TV. Check your local listings for confirmation.
Northridge Avoids Series Sweep With Wednesday Win
UCSB swept a Big West doubleheader with Cal State Northridge this past Saturday, but the Matadors avoided the series sweep with a 4-2 victory in game three on Wednesday. Northridge led 4-0 before the Gauchos scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, but UCSB's late rally fell short and CSUN held on for the victory.
The Gauchos currently are second in the Big West - and are ranked 32nd nationally - with their collective .295 batting average. They are tops in conference games with a .313 average, making them the only club hitting above .300. If the Gauchos remain on-pace, they could break the UCSB single-season batting average record, which was set last season with a .291 average. UCSB is tops among Big West teams in runs (171), hits (318), RBI (153), sac flies (10) and stolen bases (41).
No Place Like Home
The Gauchos now hold an 8-2 record at Campus Diamond this season. At home, UCSB is outhitting its opposition .350 to .214 and has outscored its opponents 50-25. The Gaucho pitching staff owns a 1.62 ERA in their home circle.
On The Road
UCSB is just 4-9 on the road and 0-3 in Big West road pairings. They are batting .260 on opposing diamonds and have been outscored 62-42 during those contests. The Gaucho staff owns a 3.30 ERA on the road.
Cobb Earns Big West Co-Pitcher of the Week Honors
Freshman Krista Cobb (14-6) picked up her fourth Big West Pitcher of the Week honor on Monday, sharing the accolade with Cal Poly's Anna Cahn. Cobb tossed a pair of seven-inning shutouts over Fresno State and Cal State Northridge and closed game one against the Matadors, pitching 3.2 innings to capture the win. For the week, she had an ERA of 0.00 and allowed no runs, eight hits and walked just one while striking out 12. She currently leads the Big West with her .205 opponent batting average and is sixth with a 1.97 ERA. Cobb is third in the conference with her 14 wins and is just one win away from cracking into the UCSB single season pitcher victories list. She is two wins away from tying Jennifer Davis as the Gauchos' winningest freshman pitcher.
Fifty Is Nifty
Now in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, Brie Galicinao won the 50th game of her career on Saturday when UCSB defeated Northridge in game one. She has compiled a 51-42 record in her two seasons and reached 50 wins quicker than any previous softball coach at UCSB.
Swinging For The Fences
Senior Tiffany Wright was the first player to hit a home run at Campus Diamond this season after belting one over the fence during Saturday's second game with Northridge. Prior to this season, UCSB made field improvements to Campus Diamond, which included adding a taller outfield fence and moving the fence back several feet. Wright's homer was her fourth of the season and the 27th of her career, which earns her a spot on the Big West's top-10 all-time career home runs list.
Senior second baseman Christine Ramos is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She leads the Gauchos and the Big West, batting .403 this season - .455 in Big West games - with 56 hits. She is tops among the Gauchos with 63 total bases and 13 stolen bases. She has had hits in all but five games this season and has had multiple hit games on 15 occasions, including six three-hit games. If the senior finishes the season as the Gauchos' hits leader (she is currently eight hits ahead of Jessica Ziegler), she will be the only player in program history to lead the team four consecutive years.
Sophomore Katie McWhirter has had quite a bit of success this season as the Gauchos' designated player. She currently is second on the team with her .339 average and is tied second in the conference with a .440 average during league games. On Wednesday, she hit her second double of the season in the loss to Northridge.
Sophomore Jessica Beristianos continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West with her single-season program record 13 hit-by-pitches, which ranks her 27th nationally with a 0.33 per game average. Not all of her at-bats result in a welt though. The shortstop leads UCSB in doubles (10), walks (15) and is second with 28 RBI. She is batting .292 and was nailed by two pitches in the game against Northridge on Wednesday, marking the third time this season she has been hit by more than one pitch in a single game.
Getting Ziggy With It
The Gauchos' number two batter - Jessica Ziegler - is currently third on the team in batting average (.338) and second in the conference in hits (48), behind Ramos. She has had hits in all but nine games this season and against Northridge, she had a pair of hits in both of Saturday's games and scored three of the six runs in the 6-0 shutout of the Matadors. At first base, she has posted a .996 fielding percentage and has committed just one error.
She's Got The Wright Stuff, Baby!
Senior Tiffany Wright leads the team with her 27 runs and 29 RBI. In her final season she is making her mark on the Gaucho record books. She currently ranks third in career RBI (115), fourth in doubles (33) and seventh in hits (180). She is also fifth all-time for career runs with 109, one run behind teammate Christine Ramos (110). Wright already owns the UCSB record for career home runs with 27. Wright is batting .279 on the season and is tied with Jessica Ziegler with a league-leading eight runs in Big West contests.
Cobb is not the only freshman that has made an immediate impact this season. Third baseman Amanda Ziegler is one of the Gaucho team leaders at the plate. She is batting .295 overall and an impressive .355 in Big West games. She is third on the team with 23 RBI this season. She had two hits in both of Saturday's games against Northridge and posted her eighth double in game one. The third baseman had a single in game three against the Matadors.
Currently the Gaucho pitching staff owns a 2.86 ERA, an improvement upon last season's collective 3.82 ERA. Cobb has made a team-leading 24 appearances, but junior MeLinda Matsumoto (2-7) isn't far behind with 19. The junior is second on the team with her 3.14 ERA and has posted 36 strikeouts.
Big Hitting In The Big West
Currently five Gaucho starters - Ramos, McWhirter, Amanda Ziegler, Priscilla Perez and Tiffany Wright - are batting .300 or above in conference games. None of the Gaucho starters are hitting below .200 in league parings.
Scouting Long Beach State
Defending Big West champion Long Beach State enters this weekend's series with a 24-17 overall record and a 5-4 mark in conference games. The 49ers have posted an impressive 13-3 record at home. Leading the team is Danielle Linke - who is batting .336 - and Jennifer Griffin - who leads the team with 28 runs, eight homers and 30 RBI. The Long Beach pitching staff is led by Taylor Petty - who owns a 10-4 record and a 1.25 ERA - and Brooke Turner - who has gone 13-9 with a 2.71 ERA.
Against The 49ers
Long Beach owns a 66-24-1 all-time series record against the Gauchos and won two of three during last season's conference series. The teams got a sneak peek at one another on Feb. 14 when the Gauchos defeated LBSU, 8-3 in eight innings in a nonconference pairing.
Battle Of The Best
This weekend's pairing could be a classic tale of big pitching against big hitting. While the Gauchos lead all teams in Big West games for batting average, Long Beach currently is tops with its 1.11 ERA and .188 opponent's batting average.
UCSB will play its final regular season road series at Pacific next week. The Gauchos and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 25 and a single game the following day. UCSB will return home in May for its final two Big West series against UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton.
Youth teams are invited to Campus Diamond to be a part of the Softball Sidekicks program, hosted by UCSB. Teams can sign-up to participate in on-field activities, including taking the field with the Gauchos prior to the start of the game. Players and coaches can attend the game free of charge.