UCSB Resumes Big West Conference Play This Weekend With Three Games at Cal State Northridge
Games No. 33, 34, 35
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at CSUN's Matador Diamond
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Game 1 - 12:00 p.m.
Game 2 - 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Game 3 - 12:00 p.m.
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara resumes conference play on the road again this weekend at Cal State Northridge with an 18-14 overall record after taking the series with UC Davis, 2-1 at La Rue Field. Following a 2-1 loss in the opener--the program's first ever defeat at the hands of the Aggies--the Gauchos snapped a season high three-game skid and rebounded to win the final two contests. UCSB scored six runs in the first three innings of game two and held on for a 6-4 win as Tami Weston earned her second career victory. Santa Barbara left no doubt in the finale, posting an 8-0 victory while Jennifer Davis limited UCD to just three hits in her third shutout of the year. The Gauchos, who own a 2-4 record in the Big West, are 13-12 away from home and have a 4-3 mark in true road games.
UCSB Notches First Weekend Series Win
The series victory over the Aggies was the first for the Gauchos in 2006. While UCSB did sweep Radford University in a doubleheader Mar. 16, Santa Barbara entered the set with Davis on the heels of two straight 1-2 series marks. The Gauchos dropped the final two games after posting game one victories in consecutive series against Cal State Fullerton and Pacific to start conference play. UCSB turned that trend around against future Big West member UC Davis, winning games two and three to capture the series following a loss in the opener.
Offensive Production Key In Victories Over Davis
After being limited to just three hits and one unearned run in the 2-1 loss in the opener with the Aggies, the Gaucho offense responded in games two and three. Danielle Meyer's three-run homer in the second inning followed by a three-run third powered by three straight singles and two sacrifice flies gave UCSB a 6-0 lead that held up for the win in the nightcap. Santa Barbara then scored its second-highest total of the season in the finale to capture the series with an 8-0 win. Brittany Putich led the way with a two-run double in the fourth inning and Adrienne Anderson added a double of her own that scored two in a four-run fifth. Eight different Gauchos recorded hits in the game and the eight runs UCSB scored were the most since pinning the same total on Cal State Fullerton in an 8-6 win April 1. Averaging an even three runs per game entering the series with UC Davis, the Gauchos tallied six and eight runs in their two wins respectively, which was the highest total over a two game span this season. The 14 runs eclipsed the previous total of 13 runs set against Sacramento State and Massachusetts to open the season.
With the release of this week's Division I statistics, the UCSB coaching staff has much to smile about. Head coach Kristy Schroeder has always demanded excellence from her teams defensively and it definitely shows this year, as the Gauchos currently own the nation's highest fielding percentage at a sparkling .982 through 32 games. Santa Barbara shares the top mark with two of its 2006 opponents in Stanford and Penn State. In addition, several Gauchos appear among the nation's best individually, as well. Jessica Hejna has a total of 14 sacrifice hits for an average of 0.44 per game which is the ninth highest average in the nation, Ericka Hansen ranks 15th with a total of 22 walks for a per game average of 0.69 and Christine Ramos finds herself among the top DI players in terms of being toughest to strikeout and getting hit at the plate. Ramos is 27th in the nation striking out every 20.8 at-bats and 28th getting hit by a pitch 0.22 times per game.
With the loss of Ginger Gutierrez, Jennifer Davis has continued to carry the Gauchos in the circle. For the third straight series, the junior appeared in all three contests against UC Davis, throwing a total of 15.2 innings and went 1-1 with a save. She allowed just two runs--both in the game one loss--on a total of nine hits, while striking out 17 and walking three in the series. Davis, who has now been the pitcher of record in 14 of UCSB's last 17 contests, limited the Aggies to just three hits en route to her third shutout of the season in the 8-0 win Saturday. The Whittier, Calif. native has been stellar all season and earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors following a three-hit shutout of No. 5 Stanford Mar. 4. She is now 12-11 with an ERA of 2.84 and 153 strikeouts--which is second in the Big West--in 147.2 innings pitched in 2006, third among conference pitchers. With 17 Ks against the Aggies, Davis has now moved into the second spot on the all-time career strikeouts list with a total of 549. Her 41 wins and 505 innings pitched are fourth and seventh on the career charts, respectively. Davis has gone the distance in 18 of the 22 contests she has started and ranks seventh all-time with 50 career complete games.
Junior center fielder Kendra Singley has been one of the squad's most reliable players in 2006, ranking first or second in batting all season. She is currently second, hitting .304 with 31 hits and has recorded a team-best four homeruns, 19 runs batted in and six doubles. The Irvine, Calif. native was tremendous against RU Mar. 16, when she finished 3-for-4 and drove in four of the Gauchos' five runs in the first game, which tied a season high. Singley tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single, then hit a walk-off three run homer in the bottom of the tenth to seal the victory. She homered in the opener with CSF and smacked an RBI double in the third inning of game two. Her three-run shot in the third against UOP gave UCSB the lead for good. Singley, the only Gaucho to hit in all three games with Davis, has 15 career homeruns, which ranks fifth on the career chart, while her 76 RBI register sixth all-time.
Rookie of the Year
Freshman second baseman Christine Ramos has been the presence at the top of the order that the Gauchos lacked in 2005 all season. Hitting in the leadoff spot for most of the year, she boasts team-highs in batting average at .327 and runs with 17, while her .402 on base percentage and four stolen bases rank second. The Long Beach, Calif. native earned Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling All-Tournament Team honors after hitting .500 with two RBI Mar. 8-11 in Honolulu. Ramos, who scored a season high three runs Feb. 10 in the Gauchos' 10-1 throttling of UMASS, singled up the middle and scored in UCSB's game two win over Davis.
The Wright Stuff
Freshman Tiffany Wright has been dependable from day one for Santa Barbara, starting all 32 games at first base this season. The Corona, Calif. native leads the squad with four homers, ranks second with 13 RBI and third batting .281. Since hitting a homerun in her first game as a Gaucho Feb. 9, the clean-up hitter's bat has been a force in the lineup all season. Wright has been hot recently, going 2-for-5 with a solo homer in game two against Fullerton April 1. She doubled and drove in what proved to be the winning run in Santa Barbara's 4-3 win over Pacific two weeks ago and her solo homer accounted for the Gauchos' only run in the 6-1 loss in the finale. Wright doubled and scored twice in the 8-0 win in the final game with the Aggies. Her four homeruns are tied for the fifth most ever by a UCSB freshman.
Hans On Approach
Sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen continues to impress, hitting .268 overall and a team-high .438 in Big West play, with 11 runs scored and seven runs batted in. Her .464 on base percentage leads the squad and ranks sixth in the Big West. The San Clemente, Calif. native connected for an RBI triple and scored a season high three runs in the final game with Davis and was a big reason UCSB won the opener with Fullerton three weeks ago, finishing 3-for-3 and a triple away from hitting for the cycle. She scored three runs and hit her first homer as a Gaucho in the fifth inning of that game. Hansen had a career-high three RBI in the Palm Springs Classic opener against Ohio State Feb. 25 after hitting a bases loaded triple in the fourth inning.
The Need To Lead
When head coach Kristy Schroeder decided to switch up the lineup against the Aggies and move Brittany Putich to the top of the order, the junior shortstop responded. Putich turned in arguably her best few games of the season, stealing two bags and scoring UCSB's only run in the opener before going 2-for-4 with a run in game two. She capped off the weekend with a two-run double in the series finale. The two-time All-Big West honoree, who has been improving all season after a slow start, leads the team with nine stolen bases and is second with 14 runs scored.
Meyers Makes A Case
Sophomore Danielle Meyers started for the first time since Mar. 5 in the final two games with UC Davis and made a strong case to be the Gauchos' every day third baseman. She hit her first homerun of the year with runners on first and second to give Santa Barbara a 3-0 advantage in game two and drove in the first run of the game in Saturday's finale. Meyers is now hitting .200 with two runs and four RBI in 14 games this season.
While junior left fielder Jessica Hejna is hitting just .209, her contribution to the Gaucho offense cannot be overlooked. The Orange, Calif. native heads up the small ball attack, leading the team and the Big West with 14 sacrifice bunts. Hejna's three triples are also tops on the squad and rank second in the conference and she has recorded eight runs and nine RBI in 2006. She had two of UCSB's three hits in game one at UC Davis and chipped in with a sacrifice fly in the third inning of the nightcap. Hejna was the catalyst in the 10-1 mercy rule victory over UMASS Feb. 10, turning in a 3-for-3 performance with three runs, a walk and a career-high four RBI.
Anderson Continues To Produce
Freshman Adrienne Anderson's ability to come up with big hits off the bench has given the Gaucho offense some much needed depth. She made her first career starts in the final two games against UC Davis and made her presence felt in the finale, belting a two-run double in the top of the fifth inning that gave UCSB a commanding 6-0 lead. She was the only Gaucho to record two hits in that game. Coming through at the big moments, the Porterville, Calif. native has now driven in a run on two of her three hits this season. Anderson is hitting .273 with three RBI in just 11 at-bats.
The Kristy Schroeder File
Kristy Schroeder is in her fifth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara softball program and continues to foster a commitment to excellence and a high level of success. Her impact has been immeasurable, as she has turned what once was a very mediocre program into one of the top squads in the conference each and every year. She took a team that was plagued by injuries in 2005 and posted a 26-22 overall record, playing one of the most difficult schedules the program had ever seen. Schroeder notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB February 26. In 2004, she led the Gauchos to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after guiding them to a 32-31 overall record and a 14-7 conference mark--the highest league finish in UCSB history. In addition, the Gauchos won 30-plus games in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever as a Division I program. In 2003 Schroeder guided the team to the best record in program history at 34-22 and had a school-record nine players named All-Big West, with two receiving All-Region accolades. In 2002, her first season at UCSB, she was named the Big West's Co-Coach of the Year, after Santa Barbara finished the season with a 27-36 overall record--an increase of nine wins from the year before. In seven seasons as head coach at UCSB and Division II Truman State, Schroeder has a career record of 270-159-1 (.628), while her mark with the Gauchos is 137-125 (.523).
Gutierrez No Longer With UCSB
On Thursday, Mar. 30, head coach Kristy Schroeder announced that junior pitcher Ginger Gutierrez would no longer be with the program due to ineligibility. The transfer from Ventura College had a record of 4-2 with 26 strikeouts and nine walks in nine appearances. Pitching in the second spot of UCSB's rotation, Gutierrez led the team and ranked second in the Big West with a 1.77 ERA in 2006.
Probable Gaucho Starters - Notes
C - Ericka Hansen - Batting a team-high .438 in Big West play
1B - Tiffany Wright - Doubled and scored twice in the Gauchos' 8-0 win over Aggies Saturday
2B - Christine Ramos - Team leader hitting .327 with 34 hits and 17 runs scored
3B - Danielle Meyers - Belted first homerun of the season with two runners on Saturday
SS - Brittany Putich - Hit .300 with two RBI and a run in two games in leadoff spot
LF - Jessica Hejna - Leads Big West with 14 sacrifices, second with three triples
CF - Kendra Singley - Only Gaucho to hit in all three games at UC Davis
RF - Liz Walters - Went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in Davis finale
DP - Adrienne Anderson - Made first career start in game two Friday
Gaucho Reserves - Notes
C - Brenda Lira - Started 22 games behind the plate last year
1B - Dani Baltazar - Made her first appearance of 2006 as a pinch hitter against LUC March 4
2B - Lauren Augino - Appeared as a pinch runner and scored in the fifth inning Saturday
3B - Shelby Hensler - Started 27 games at third base this year
OF - Nicole Churnock - Started 13 games in right field in 2006
OF - Jackie Conlin - Scored two of UCSB's four runs in game two vs. Fullerton Apr. 1
Scouting the Matadors
The Gauchos resume Big West competition with three games at Cal State Northridge Saturday and Sunday. The Matadors own a 12-18 overall record and a 1-8 Big West mark after being swept by Cal Poly last weekend. CSUN is led by freshman outfielder Amanda Peek, who is batting a team-high .413 and leads the squad with 22 runs, nine doubles, 10 homers and 19 RBI. Freshman hurler Selena Salazar has shouldered most of the work in the circle, posting an ERA of 3.91, a 5-11 record, with 72 strikeouts in 105.2 innings pitched. Junior Sam Schroeder is 7-7 with a 4.69 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 91 innings of work. The Matadors lead the overall series 38-17-1, but the Gauchos have won the last five meetings, including a three-game sweep by 7-6, 3-1 and 9-0 at Campus Diamond a year ago.