Gauchos Head North For Three-Game Series at UC Davis

April 22, 2008

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• The Schedule
Games No. 46, 47, 48

Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008
UCSB at UC Davis, 12 & 2 p.m.
at UC Davis' La Rue Field (500)

Sunday, Apr. 27, 2008
UCSB at UC Davis, 12 p.m.
at UC Davis' La Rue Field (500)

• This Week in Gaucho Softball
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will head to UC Davis this weekend for a three-game series with the conference newcomer. The Gauchos and Aggies will face-off in a noon doubleheader on Saturday before wrapping up the series at noon on Sunday. All three of this weekend's games will be on Gametracker, just click the link on the front page or the softball schedule page at ucsbgauchos.com.

• For the Record
UCSB and Long Beach State were tied for first in the Big West heading into last weekend's series at Campus Diamond, each holding onto a 7-2 league mark. The 49ers swept Saturday's doubleheader by way of 8-6 and 5-2 scores, but UCSB avoided the series sweep on Sunday with an 8-7 victory. The Gauchos fall to second place in conference with their 8-4 record after spending three weeks atop the leader board, not too shabby for a team that was picked to finish seventh out of eight in the Big West Preseason Coaches' Poll. Overall, UCSB has gone 25-20 this season and with nine regular season games left on the slate, it is very likely that the Gauchos will post back-to-back 30-win seasons for the just the second time in program history. Santa Barbara, which went 30-23 in 2007, last accomplished the feat during the 2003 (34-22) and 2004 (32-31) seasons.

• Duran's Record Setting Weekend
Tisha Duran is currently amidst a stellar senior season and this weekend she found her way into the Gaucho record books - twice. During the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, the third baseman hit a two-run homer, which brought her season RBI total to 46, surpassing Jami Trinidad's single season record of 44 set in 2000. The next day, Duran hit her second home run of the weekend and her 13th of the season, which broke Lindsey Herrin's single season record of 12, set in 2005. She also currently has 81 career RBI, which is tied fifth all-time, a pretty big feat considering she is in just her second season with the Gauchos. The Ventura, Calif. native currently leads the Gauchos and is fourth in the Big West with her .379 batting average, which is on-pace to set a new UCSB single season batting record. She leads the conference with her 31 runs scored, 48 RBI, .750 slugging percentage, 99 total bases, and 13 home runs. Not just a leader in the Big West, Duran also ranks 25th nationally for home runs per game (0.29), 14th for RBI per game (1.07), 28th for slugging percentage, and 22nd for total home runs.

• Offensive Behavior
The Gauchos continue to lead the Big West in almost every offensive category this season. With its current league-leading .287 collective batting average, UCSB is on pace to set a new school record, surpassing the .275 team average by the 1999 squad. The Gauchos are also only three home runs away from tying the 2005 team's 36. In addition to leading the BWC for batting average and home runs, the Gauchos are tops for slugging percentage (.422), on-base percentage (.354), runs scored (194), hits (343), RBI (173), total bases (505), and stolen bases (48). Last season, 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 surpassed last season's runs, triples, and home run output and have 86 extra-base hits (43 2B, 10 3B, 33 HR). UCSB ranks 54th nationally for team batting average, 53rd for home runs per game (0.73), 44th for triples per game (0.22), and 56th for slugging percentage (.422). The Gaucho defense has also been impressive this season and is tied first in the league with their .967 fielding percentage and ranks 49th nationally amongst Division I teams. The Gauchos' 0.38 double plays per game (17 total) ranks 21st nationally.

• All About the Aggies
UC Davis enters this weekend with an overall record of 20-30 and a conference mark of 5-7. The Aggies dropped a non-conference doubleheader to San Jose State last Wednesday before capturing a series win over UC Riverside last weekend. After falling 1-0 in the first game against the Highlanders, UC Davis won the next two games by way of 7-3 and 7-4 scores to win their second Big West series of the season; the first was a two games to one victory over Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago. Julie Stauder leads the team hitting .318 on the season with 31 runs while Deanna Menapace is batting .275 with a team-leading 33 RBI. In the circle, Jessica Hancock leads the team with her 2.42 ERA and 14-17 record. The Gauchos lead the all-time series with the Aggies, 8-2, and won two out of three during last season's three-game series.

• The Wright Stuff
Junior Tiffany Wright has been dominant since the Big West schedule started. In league games, she ranks first amongst all players for slugging percentage (.927), runs scored (11), hits (19), RBI (15) home runs (6), and total bases (38). She is second with her .463 batting average. For the season, she is hitting a career-high .310, good for third on the team, and is second with nine home runs and 29 RBI. Last weekend, Wright hit her ninth home run of the season in the first game with Long Beach State and also tallied a season-high six putouts. Her home run brought her career count to 20, which is tied for third all-time, she needs just three more to reach the UCSB career homer record set by Tonya Dias in 2000. On Sunday, she helped the Gauchos to their 8-7 victory, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, three RBI, and a run scored. The center fielder has had at least one hit in 12 of the last 14 games, including six multiple-hit showings.

• The Ramos Rundown
Junior Christine Ramos currently is second amongst the Gauchos with her .318 batting average this season and is tied for first with Tisha Duran with 50 hits. After supplying a fielder's choice RBI in game one with the 49ers, Ramos had a hit in each of the following two games including a 1-for-4, two run, one stolen base showing in Sunday's win. The second baseman ranks eighth in the Big West with her season batting average, sixth with her 27 runs scored, fourth for hits, and third with her 12 stolen bases.

• How About Hansen?
Senior catcher Ericka Hansen led the Gauchos over the weekend with her .429 batting average (3-for-7). She provided a sac fly in the series opener and then went 2-for-2 with a run and a walk in Saturday's second game. On Sunday, she went 1-for-3 with a run scored. For the season, she is fifth on the team batting .293, a career-high, and has tallied a career-best five home runs. She has also committed just one error behind the plate and owns a .992 fielding percentage.

• The Ziegler Zone
Sophomore Jessica Ziegler is tied for first in the Big West with her 13 stolen bases this season. She is also third for runs scored with 29, and third for sac bunts with 10. The first baseman is second for chances (365) and putouts (330) and leads the conference for fielding double plays with 16, including two this weekend against the 49ers. Overall, she is hitting .257 on the season in the number two spot and has tallied 14 RBI. In game one with Long Beach, she went 2-for-4 with a run scored. On Sunday, she was 0-for-2, but posted a sac fly along with a run, and an RBI.

• The Outfielders
Accompanying Tiffany Wright in the outfield this season are senior Nicole Churnock and sophomore Priscilla Perez. Churnock is fourth on the team with her .304 batting average and has posted 12 RBI this year. She had a pair of doubles over the weekend and also scored a run in the 8-7 win on Sunday. Perez, who has been a consistent presence in right field since early March, is batting .253 and has scored six runs and posted six RBI. She is also one of three Gauchos to still hold a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage.

• Matsumoto Matters
Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto tossed 11 innings over the weekend. She came in one third of the way into the first inning of Saturday's series opener and allowed six runs, five of which were earned, on ten hits in the Gauchos' 8-6 loss. She then pitched the first 4.1 innings in Sunday's closer and after giving up seven runs on nine hits, she earned her third consecutive win. She holds a 7-8 record on the season, with five of those losses coming against teams that are currently nationally ranked or were ranked at the time of the game. She now holds a 4.16 season ERA and a 3.38 ERA in conference contests.

• The Weston Windup
Junior Tami Weston received the starting nod in the second game against Long Beach State. The pitcher tossed a solid six innings, holding the 49ers scoreless while allowing just three hits and giving up one walk. Unfortunately, she was unable to hold Long Beach off in the seventh and gave up five runs on six hits in the final frame. She posted six strikeouts in the 5-2 loss. Weston bounced back though on Sunday and came in to relieve Matsumoto for the last 2.2 innings of the series closer. She allowed just two hits and no runs while walking one and striking out two to earn the save as the Gauchos held on for the 8-7 victory. Weston leads UCSB with her 3.24 ERA during her 20 appearances. She has an 8-5 season record.

• Correa in the Circle
Sophomore Lindsey Correa fell to 10-7 on the season after dropping the first game of last week's series. Correa pitched just one third of the first inning against Long Beach and struggled, walking one before giving up a two-run homer. For the season, Correa holds a 3.83 ERA and a team-low .261 opponent batting average.

• 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.

• Coming Soon
UCSB will return to Campus Diamond on May 3-4 for their final home series of the 2008 season against Big West foe Pacific. As always, the three-game series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday at noon and conclude with a single game at noon on Sunday.